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Build AppImage #8329

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Build AppImage #8329

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@azubieta
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@azubieta azubieta commented Oct 16, 2020

This PR adds a Github workflow to pack OpenTDD using the AppImage format from commits and PR to master.
The resulting binary is published as an artifact.

appimage-builder is ran twice in order to patch the timidity configuration to use freepaths. This could be fixed once the feature gets added into appimage-builder AppImageCrafters/appimage-builder#50

Closes #8019

@azubieta azubieta force-pushed the azubieta:master branch 3 times, most recently from b56bdbc to 7392a80 Oct 16, 2020
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@TrueBrain TrueBrain commented Oct 16, 2020

As IRC doesn't stick, let me write it down here too:

  • I wouldn't publish an Artifacts on pull-request; this allows for people to mislead others in downloading binaries that could do not-so-nice things. Currently what is implemented with Azure DevOps that you can say something to a bot, which starts to produce the artifacts. It is so rarely used, I cannot even remember what the command is :P But this is also the reason the CI currently does not attach binaries to Pull Requests. Not because we cannot do that, but because it is unsafe unless marked otheriwse.
  • I would rename "appimage.yml" to "appimage-builder.yml" or what-ever the build-tool is called, just to make it clear there are several definition formats for different tools in the appimage eco-system. Otherwise, and I have the IRC logs to proof it, this is rather confusing (especially as the YAML file has no reference to the tool it is meant to be used by; possibly a nice addition too, just to mention: # Definition file for <url>, or what-ever floats your boat).
  • I would extend the appimage-builder first to allow for scripting of some sort, so the things in the workflow can go in the definition. This allows for people to test out AppImages without reading in the GitHub workflow how to do this. As I would personally put the downloading of the opengfx / opensfx / openmsx in there, as the fixing up of that one file. It would mean people can do: cmake .. && make && <command for appimage-builder> ../os/linux/appimage-builder.yml.

As a side-note: OpenTTD currently releases nightlies via Azure DevOps. It is planned to migrate to GitHub Actions, but as long as that migration is not finished, adding AppImages here will not make them appear on the nightlies download pages.

@FLHerne
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@FLHerne FLHerne commented Oct 16, 2020

I would extend the appimage-builder first to allow for scripting of some sort, so the things in the workflow can go in the definition. This allows for people to test out AppImages without reading in the GitHub workflow how to do this. As I would personally put the downloading of the opengfx / opensfx / openmsx in there, as the fixing up of that one file. It would mean people can do: cmake .. && make && ../os/linux/appimage-builder.yml.

Alternatively, perhaps add the AppImage build as a CMake target performing these steps, so that users (and the workflow) can just do cmake .. && make appimage.

@azubieta azubieta force-pushed the azubieta:master branch from ec74ed2 to 1507ea1 Oct 16, 2020
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@azubieta azubieta commented Oct 16, 2020

I have renamed the recipe file to appimage-builder.yml and added a first line comment linking to the tool documentation. Thanks for the hints. I'll update all my recipes right away.

Regarding the integration with cmake. I would like to improve the tool a bit more before investing time on this.

@azubieta azubieta force-pushed the azubieta:master branch 2 times, most recently from f4e9e9f to 0d64177 Oct 23, 2020
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@azubieta azubieta commented Oct 23, 2020

I've improved the recipe (and appimage-builder), now appimage-builder it's capable of patching stuff and the whole pack process takes a single instruction.

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@glx22 glx22 left a comment

Nice improvement compared to previous versions

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@TrueBrain TrueBrain left a comment

We have been working on moving our release workflow to GitHub Actions, so I was wondering if we could integrate this into it already. Found a few things you could possible address for me!

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@TrueBrain TrueBrain commented Jan 14, 2021

With all the work on the release workflow etc done, this can be updated to be integrated with the new release workflow.

The main issue the AppImage has (as well as the other single-package solutions), and which is kinda a blocker for integrating it with our own releases, is that with the inclusion of freepats, the binary becomes unreasonable large. Where most binaries are < 10 MiB, this all of a sudden is ~50 MiB last I checked. The main problem I have with that: it is only for music, which most people disable. So that is a lot of wasted bytes :D

We ran into the same issue with Emscripten, which resulted in packaging a version where sound is just completely disabled. That is not a proper solution for AppImage.

I keep wondering if there isn't a way to slim down freepats, even if it is opinionated, to reduce the download size. I know very little about MIDI, but how I understand it, freepats allows for multiple different synthesizers, where we in fact only need one, really. It would just mean we pick which one that is, instead of allowing to user to pick one. For packages like this and for example emscripten that is totally acceptable to me, but your-miles-may-vary.

This more as a braindump, as I keep seeing this PR, reading up on it, coming to this same conclusion a few times now :D

@azubieta
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@azubieta azubieta commented Jan 14, 2021

I the AppImage can use the "freepats" installation from the system. So if it's too big you can remove it and ship that. But being honest I don't care to give away even 30mb for a complete gaming experience (with sounds).

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@TrueBrain TrueBrain commented Jan 14, 2021

Well, I mention freepats as I know that from other platforms being an issue, but I was digging through the AppImage, and there are many more things that could be reduced in size:

  • Lot of "changelog.gz" files, which sum up to a nice sum of bytes
  • Lot of other unneeded files, bits and pieces
  • The full ICU data package (which is as big as freepats).

So I take it back, the problem is not with freepats on its own; it is a bit bigger :) And if I remember similar talks with snap and flatpack, we had similar issues there.

In general, I don't mind things like AppImage, but I do not see a way that we can distribute it with our current infrastructure; which means it cannot be part of our release workflow. It might be better if these files are distributed by third-party, as that is already the case with snap and flatpack (and even Docker images, for that matter).

For me what it comes down to: our goals here don't align. We cannot handle such big files for releases, and these images are, possibly by definition, fat.

This needs some more consideration on my end :)

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@azubieta azubieta commented Jan 14, 2021

If your issue is the infrastructure, you can use Github Workflows to build the packages and Github Releases to store the final binaries. This is already done by many others.

The idea is that the users don't have to trust or depend on a third party to run your software.

- libsdl1.2debian
- libsdl2-2.0-0
Comment on lines +32 to +33

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@LordAro

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having both of these is redundant

- libpng16-16
- libsdl1.2debian
- libsdl2-2.0-0
- libxdg-basedir1

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can be removed now

- libsdl1.2debian
- libsdl2-2.0-0
- libxdg-basedir1
- timidity

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LordAro Jan 14, 2021
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I'd probably want to prefer fluidsynth over timidity

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@TrueBrain TrueBrain commented Feb 18, 2021

As promised, I was going to come back to this.

For our Steam release, we had to invent a linux-generic, which we have been pushing out as nightly for the last 2 weeks. This is a bundle that contains the executable + .so files you are most likely missing. We create this for amd64, based on CentOS7, which means that most modern Linux installs can run it (+/- 10 years or younger). For us, this is a much easier thing to maintain, and is a relative small download size.

So for us, there is no direct reason to have AppImage, other than giving people options. But I think this is better left for 3rd parties to do so. Similar that we do not publish "official" Docker images, flatpaks, snaps, etc. We leave this, for now at least, to other people do run this. We might reconsider this in the future, but for now, we are fine with this. (and if we change this, we most likely will do it for all these targets, so AppImage, Docker, flatpak, ..).

In general, we removed most other ways we published for Linux, and reduced it to: what-ever CPack can produce. We noticed this is much less likely to break, and at least is a lot easier for us to maintain (read: it requires no maintenance from our side). So there is also no more rpm etc in our repo. These all moved downstream, and I am really happy people picked that up and are now maintaining them (seriously, if you are reading this and maintain rpm, flatpak, ..., thank you!)

So that leads me to a conclusion: I am going to close this Pull Request for now. Not, as I made clear in earlier comments, because I don't like this, but more because currently OpenTTD is not ready for this. And this is also why it took so long to come to this result ... because we are a bit conflicted about it :D

Sorry about this, and really thank you for your effort here. Who knows in a few months we get back to this :) Cheers!

@TrueBrain TrueBrain closed this Feb 18, 2021
@azubieta
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@azubieta azubieta commented Feb 18, 2021

Sorry to hear that, I'll setup some regular CI build to keep the binaries up to date.
If you like you can reference the following page as a source for getting the AppImages:
https://www.appimagehub.com/p/1425360/

@TrueBrain TrueBrain mentioned this pull request Feb 22, 2021
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