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Helix Player Needs More Cooking Time - page 2

Whence Helix?

  • March 8, 2004
  • By Kurt Wall

The options for downloading Helix Player are limited. You can obtain binary builds or grab the source and build it yourself. Although it hasn't been officially released, you can get a so-called "milestone build," which has a tightly-defined set of features and has undergone some testing. Three milestones are available, M1, dated 15 October 2003, M2, dated 15 January 2004, and MS2.1, dated 4 March 2004. For this review, I used MS2.1.

You can also avail yourself of nightlies (that is, nightly builds), but these are likely even more unreliable than the milestone releases (even the milestones are only receiving minimal testing at this time). For the true believers among you, you can also download source tarballs to build yourself. Indeed, if you want CVS access, you can get it if you register as a developer.

In order to download the binary builds, you have to create a Helix Community Account. The registration process isn't terribly odious, but be sure to uncheck the boxes at the bottom where they offer to send you "site update" information. Read the license, and decide if you want to agree to it, mash the "I AGREE" button at the bottom, and then check your email.

When I first started writing this article, the Helix Web site was in a state of disarray. Download links didn't work, the site itself was somewhat chaotic in terms of what worked and what didn't. I didn't even get my login information via email because the machine sending the email had an unknown host name (unknown to DNS, that is), which caused my Postfix mail daemon to reject the connection. Well, I fixed that, got the email and its precious cargo of login information, and, finally, two weeks after I started, successfully downloaded the player client.

You can download a self-installing binary or an RPM. The downloads are further divided into systems using GCC 2.95 or GCC 3.2. Because I run Slackware and don't use RPM, I downloaded the installer version and opted for the GCC 3.2 incarnation. Installation was a breeze:

  1. Make the .bin file executable:
    chmod 755 hxplay-0.2.1.10-linux-2.2-libc6-gcc32-i586.bin
    
  2. Execute the installer:
    ./hxplay-0.2.1.10-linux-2.2-libc6-gcc32-i586.bin
    

    The installation is strictly a text-mode affair: unappealing, but it gets the job done. If you don't have GTK2 and Pango installed, the installation will proceed, but you'll need to install libgtk, libpango, and libpangox before trying to run the player.

  3. After the the installation completes, copy the nphelix.so and nphelix.xpt files from the /mozilla directory to your mozilla plugins directory if you want to use the browser plugin.
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