EasyGPS in Linux Using Wine - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

EasyGPS in Linux Using Wine

Update: Read my EasyGPS in Linux tutorial to get it working. This is for an older version of EasyGPS though.

I haven't posted as much lately because I've gotten into a side project. I am now the Wine AppDB maintainer for EasyGPS. EasyGPS is an application used to manage and transfer waypoints to and from GPSs. I use it all the time for Geocaching.

Unfortunately in Linux, there aren't any great solutions that I have found that are like EasyGPS. Linux has an assorted set of tools, the most useful and well known being gpsbabel, but I have not found an EasyGPS replacement. GPSBabel runs on Windows too by the way.

So I decided I would try EasyGPS out on wine. The latest version, 2.7.5, didn't work very well. It locked up and threw errors all over the place. There are definitely some implementations missing or wrong there. I was able to eventually ignore those problems, connect to my GPS and transfer waypoints from my GPS but then it threw errors again. I am guessing part of the problem is the use of the XML based GPX format and the incomplete msxml3 implementation. After downloading waypoints, nothing shows up except for error dialogs.

I also found an old version of EasyGPS that is the last supported version on Windows 98 or earlier. This version, 1.3.7, works great. Everything works except the crucial part of transferring waypoints to and from your GPS. This is because the code that finds the available serial ports always returns empty. I emailed support and had a very helpful email dialog with developer Dan Foster who clued me into some of the api calls that were breaking on me in both versions.

In my investigating, I haven't figured out exactly why no serial ports are showing up but I did figure out a great work around to get the older 1.3.7 version working almost perfectly. I plan to post detailed [EasyGPS 1.3.7 in Linux instructions] to that in a later post this week.

I also hope to get to working on getting all these issues resolved so Linux Geocachers can easily use the latest EasyGPS and its sister products ExpertGPS and GeoBuddy.

I've already installed git, gcc, flex, bison and several dozen -dev packages so that I can build wine myself. I was surprised how easy getting and building the latest wine was. Now all I have to do is figure out some of these little pieces of the Windows API.

And because I can, here are my Geocaching stats: View my Profile

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