Installing wikiCalc on Mac OS X

The wikiCalc program is written in the Perl computer language. In order to run, it requires a copy of the Perl language system which is usually installed on computers running Mac OS X. This page tells you how to run it as a normal Perl program under OS X. You run it using the Terminal program that gives access to a Unix "shell" window. This method of operation is oriented towards users with technical experience who are comfortable downloading a program file and running programs from the command line in the Terminal program. It only requires minimal experience with Unix.

Once started, you interact with the program through a web browser.

The system requirements are: Mac OS X version 10.3 and later (it may run on other versions, but these instructions only cover 10.3), Apple Safari web browser or equivalent (Internet Explorer sometimes has problems), Internet connection if uploading by FTP, 600KB+ disk space, Perl language system that includes the library modules: LWP::UserAgent, Net::FTP, and Time::Local (see below for installing the packages).


Follow these instructions to install and run this version:
  • Make sure that you have Perl and that you have the correct packages installed. See the ListGarden Mac OS X 10.3 Setup page (link below) for step-by-step instructions. Once you have Perl installed, then you can run Perl programs from the command line in a Terminal program window by executing "perl programname" (or just by executing the ".pl" program directly if the file permissions include "execute").
  • Download and install the Perl Version of wikiCalc. Follow the instructions for "local execution".
  • Run the program in a Terminal window. Access with Safari or a similar browser. There are known problems with Internet Explorer on the Mac. Sometimes it will stop when accessing the local HTTP serving done by wikCalc, displaying an error such as "The attempt to load 'Accessing URL:' failed." You can dismiss the error message with "OK" and click again on the button or link that brought up the error to continue.
  • If the program displays an error message in the Terminal window when run complaining about a missing module, such as LWP, or LWP::UserAgent, see the ListGarden Mac OS X 10.3 Perl Setup page for documentation about getting the correct Perl packages. You may also need to add on OS X 10.4. Some versions of 10.4 make Safari have periodic problems accessing wikiCalc -- upgrading to the latest seems to fix it.
  • To make it easier to run the program, you can create a shell script to execute it and invoke that. Run the script by double-clicking on it or set it up to run whenever you restart the computer (for example, by having the script in your System Preferences / Accounts / Startup Items list). For example, the script could contain:
cd directory with program and files

For information about using setting up wikiCalc when first run and then using it, see Starting to use wikiCalc.
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