🍺 Homebrew formula for auto-multiple-choice πŸ“–
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🍺 Brew formula for auto-multiple-choice πŸ“–

capture d ecran 2018-10-06 a 11 31 01 capture d ecran 2018-10-06 a 11 23 47

Install Version
brew install maelvalais/amc/auto-multiple-choice Stable bottle
brew install maelvalais/amc/auto-multiple-choice-devel Devel bottle
  • To run it: open terminal and run auto-multiple-choice
  • For switching between the devel and stable: see below

This tap aims to bring AMC (homepage, gitlab) to Homebrew, an alternative to Macports (portfile for AMC). This tap also features precompiled binaries (called bottle) built on Travis CI. As for testing, a cron job runs tests the installation of the bottle on Travis CI every night (as well as brew linkage auto-mutiple-choice) in order to check that the bottle is still working.

Build Status


Jan. 5th, 2019: opencv4 breaks things fixed βœ…

AMC-detect and AMC-buildpdf rely on opencv3. When Homebrew moved to opencv4, it broke the dynamic library linkages as well as makfiles (now -std=c++11 is needed and the header path is a bit different).

I'll fix that asap. Fixed on Jan. 6th, 2019 with version 1.4.0_1! If you still have the 1.4.0 version, just brew upgrade auto-multiple-choice. You can do brew info auto-multiple-choice to check the installed version.

Dec. 30th, 2018: 1.4.0 released 🍾

Note that the auto-multiple-choice-devel will have the same version number as auto-multiple-choice probably for the next few months; I'll update devel as soon as new tags are created.

Oct. 4th, 2018: 1.4.0-rc2 and auto-multiple-choice-devel formula

I was kind of frustrated at the fact that using --devel was taking a LOT of time, and updating it was thus a pain. I decided to create a real formula called auto-multiple-choice-devel that replaces the use of --devel. What's nice is that you will get precompiled: way less waiting when installing!!!

To sum up:

  1. --devel won't work anymore,
  2. instead, use brew install auto-multiple-choice-devel.
  3. auto-multiple-choice and auto-multiple-choice-devel cannot be linked at simultanously (obviously).

July 5th, 2018: 1.4.0-rc1

I updated the --devel version with the latest release candidate.

May 17th, 2018: try the coming 1.4.0-beta version!

You can enable the development version using:

brew install maelvalais/amc/auto-multiple-choice --devel

It will install the latest beta available. Note that due to Homebrew limitations, bottles cannot be built for devel versions, resulting in a longer installation time (it will need to download and install all the Perl dependencies).

March 19th, 2018: Scan detection works again!

We fixed the above bug (see PR53). Everything should be back to normal in Note that bottles won't be available for a couple of days, but it only means that the installation will be slightly longer in the meantime! done!

March 15th, 2018: Fixed: OpenCV breaks scan detection

Homebrew updated OpenCV from 3.4.0 to 3.4.1. In 3.4.0, the C headers of OpenCV used in AMC were fine (athough they have been deprecated for a long time now) but in 3.4.1 the function cvLoadImage() breaks. I'll see if we can move away from the C bindings in AMC-detect.cc (which is the culprit, see the issue) but that will take some days and even more time for pushing that upstream.

March 14th, 2018: build from source until March 17th

Homebrew has a bug that prevents me from creating bottles for a few days. I'll re-enable the bottles as soon as brew releases version 1.5.11. Until then, we must build from source, meaning that many perl packages will be downloaded and built during installation. Sorry for that!

Febrary 3rd, 2018: brew update thows 'rebase' errors

⚠️ If you get the following error when Homebrew updates: ⚠️

Recorded preimage for 'auto-multiple-choice.rb'
error: Failed to merge in the changes.
Patch failed at 0001 amc: use the fork bitbucket.org/maelvalais/auto-multiple-choice
The copy of the patch that failed is found in: .git/rebase-apply/patch

Sorry for that, I am really dumb on this one. I force-pushed homebrew-amc in order to revert the 2166 version. This is because I had created a fork with a different version numbering; later, the commits in my fork were merged into the main AMC repo and the version was 2161. brew audit would tell me not to have a version number lower than the previous ones... Solution:

git -C $(brew --repo maelvalais/amc) reset --hard origin/master


  • How to switch between the devel and stable version? As both formulas are mutually exclusive, one must be uninstalled or unlinked before the other can be used. For example, from stable to devel:

    brew unlink auto-multiple-choice
    brew install auto-multiple-choice-devel

    Remember that for both formulas, the command is the same: auto-multiple-choice. IMPORTANT: You will need to run latex-link when switching versions:

    sudo auto-multiple-choice latex-link remove
    sudo auto-multiple-choice latex-link
  • Why is the reduce button not working? This issue is discussed here. In short, it is related to the Glade UI toolkit which doesn't seem to be great with the Quartz (macOS) backend of Gtk3. The same issue appears when using Glade itself. Can't fix it from the AMC project itself πŸ˜”

  • How can I uninstall in a clean way? If you want to go back to Macport's auto-multiple-choice or you want to simply get rid or brew's installation, Β you can uninstall using brew uninstall auto-multiple-choice (see uninstall-brew for uninstalling homebrew totally). If anything went wrong (bugs, errors), I would be pleased to see an issue opened on Github (or contact me by email at Β mael.valais@gmail.com, but I would prefer that an issue is opened 😊).

  • What are the dependencies? For the installation, only Xquartz is required. For running it, you need a latex distribution installed. If you already have Mactex or Basic Tex installed (for example Β the one you installed using MacTeX.pkg), you are ready to go!! You don't need to install a specific Homebrew version of Mactex. But if you don't have latex installed at all, you can install it using brew cask install mactex.

  • How come there has never been an official formula for Homebrew? This is mainly because of the complexity of auto-multiple-choice. It has an insane number of Perl dependencies (~70 packages). Perl dependencies are not handled by Homebrew (Macports does handle them), so I have to 'vendor' them (= install them only for auto-multiple-choice, not system-wide). The bad side is that it makes it a long formula (678 loc) that you can compare to the ansible.rb formula (557 lines, but for vendoring python packages).

  • When building from source, why are there so many Perl download/make/make install? This is because Homebrew is not able to handle Perl dependencies, so I have to vendor each of the dependencies (around 70 of them), which means there are MANY downloads during the build phase if it is built from source.

  • When running, there is a dylib/dydl error This is probably because it installed from a bottle and that the bottle was outdated. I run a daily cron script in order to check that the dylib links links are not broken. Two solutions: 1) try reinstalling with brew reinstall auto-multiple-choice, 2) build from source with brew install auto-multiple-choice --build-from-source. If you are still stuck, please run brew linkage auto-multiple-choice and submit an issue on Github in order to help me fix it.

  • How did you do it? I took the macports recipe, vendored perl packages and pdftk (also dblatex but it is only used during build). Nothing is installed outside of the Homebrew environment so you don't have to worry with messing your system. The only prerequisite is to have Mactex (if you don't have it: brew cask install mactex).

  • Can I use the latest version (--devel, --HEAD) from mercurial? At first, I had enabled the possibility for compiling using the --HEAD flag (so that it compiles using the latest sources from mercurial). But because it required latex during the build and that the compilation of the documentation and .sty was extremely cumbersome, I disabled it (allowing me to remove ~100 loc from the formula).

  • What are the next steps before publishing the formula to homebrew-core? Two main problems before the maintainers of Homebrew can accept this formula into the core formulas: I rely on a pre-built pdftk.pkg. It is not allowed in Homebrew core. A source-code-based PDFtk formula has existed for a while but the maintainer gave up as because of gcj-5 (from gcc@5 --with-java) 'hanging' during the build (Macports fixed gcc5 just in order to build PDFtk). This is because PDFtk relies on GCJ which is dead by now. We could replace pdftk if we knew a way to scrap filled forms from PDFs.


  • Why are the windows tabbed like in Safari tabs? because it is using Gtk3, pop-up windows (like Open project) are (weirdly) opening as tabbed windows. This is a work-in-progress on the GTK3 side; the workaround is to un-tab the window by dragging out the tab, or disable the feature (System preferences -> Dock -> Prefer tabs when opening documents).

  • automultiplechoice.sty is not found! This file cannot be installed to your Mactex distribution during installation as it requires sudo. You must run this after installing:

      sudo auto-multiple-choice latex-link
  • The font Linux Libertine is not found! Install Libertine using brew:

    brew cask install caskroom/fonts/font-linux-libertine

    Note that you must drop the ending 'O' in your AMC-TXT and tex files. The command to use in tex files is:

    \setmainfont{Linux Libertine}

    and in amc-tex files:

    Font: Linux Libertine
  • Why is x11 required by default but tex is not? This is because I am trying to comply to the Homebrew core repository practices in order to (eventually) merge the formula to the core repo. In the core repo, x11 is accepted as a default dependency (xquartz is installed on their testing/bottling infrastructure). In the contrary, tex is not accepted as a default dependency as Mactex is not installed during bottling. So we use the 'dist' tarballs from the Bitbucket's Downloads area which contain already compiled PDFs and documentation.

  • The application craches after closing a warning popup The error is:

    Gdk:ERROR:gdkeventloop-quartz.c:567:select_thread_collect_poll: assertion failed:
    (ufds[i].events == current_pollfds[i].events)

    This bug seems to be related to Gtk+3 and Quartz backend used on macOS. I tried to fix the issue but it does not seem easily reproducible so I gave up.

  • Why is there no nice icon nor AutoMultipleChoice.app? Unfortunately, only deb-related linux distributions can (today) have a real application feel with a clickable icon in the application menu. On macOS, it would require to create an .app and sign it (which costs $99 per year). This is why we can only run it from the terminal and we don't get a fancy icon in the dock.

Report issues

You can create an [issue] if you have any problem, question or if you think the whole idea of a formula that vendors everything is insane.

Maintainance details: vendoring the ~70 Perl dependencies

I went to http://deps.cpantesters.org and I copy-pasted the tree of dependencies (except for 'Core modules') into a Ruby array. For example:


I then gather all the ruby array with all dependencies (for example the previous example) into a file list_of_deps.

Then I run

./list_to_resources.pl < list_of_deps > resources

and I copy everything in resources to the formula.

Here is list_to_resources.pl:

#!/usr/bin/env perl
# Lines must be of form (spaces and the comma are ignored):
#     "XML::Simple",
use MetaCPAN::Client;
my $mcpan  = MetaCPAN::Client->new();
my %already_seen = ();
foreach $line ( <STDIN> ) {
    $line =~ s/^.*"([A-Za-z:0-9]*)".*$/\1/;
    my $package = $mcpan->package($line);
    if (! exists($already_seen{$line})) {
        $already_seen{$line} = 1;
        my $url = "https://cpan.metacpan.org/authors/id/".$package->file();
        chomp(my $sha256 = `curl -sSL $url | sha256sum | cut -d' ' -f1`);
        print "resource \"$line\" do\n";
        print "  url \"".$url."\"\n";
        print "  sha256 \"".$sha256."\"\n";
        print "end\n";