Using the livecode standalone engine to run script only stacks on a server

Years ago I set up a license key generator on our server to generate license keys for our products. I used a revolution standalone engine and a plain text LiveCode script that was processed using the engine. Recently, a server upgrade removed a file that was necessary for the old revolution engine to function so I was forced to update my setup. Below is a description of the solution I came up with after a few hours of trial and error.

LiveCode Community Standalone Engine

To process my plain text LiveCode script files I installed the 64-bit version of the community version of the Linux standalone engine on my server. I grabbed the file named Standalone from the Tools/Runtime/Linux/x86-64 folder of a LiveCode Community installation. I renamed the file to <code> on my server and made it executable (e.g. chmod 755).

Note that you need to use the community version as it doesn’t need to be licensed. If you grab the Standalone engine from an Indy or Business installation the engine won’t run because it is unlicensed. Licensing occurs when you build a standalone in LiveCode.

The Script

For the script I created a Script Only Stack which looks like this:

script "clarifykeygenerator"

on startup
   put generateKey(the commandArguments)
end startup

function generateKey pParams
   return tKey
end generateKey

The script generates the key, outputs it to STDOUT, and then quits. That’s it.

You can now test this setup on the command line. Assuming the lc-standalone-v8 engine and a keygenerator.livecode script are in the same directory the following call would work:

./lc-standalone-v8 -ui keygenerator.livecode theLicenseCount theLicenseName

Note that when processing parameters in your script, -ui and keygenerator.livecode would be the first two parameters. Actual parameters that your script is interested in processing would start with parameter number 3 in the commandArguments.

Calling The License Generator From PHP

The final thing I had to do was call the license generator from PHP. You can do that using the exec() function. Below is some sample code. Note that I am base64 encoding the name. If the name for the license has accented characters in it then PHP will throw an error if you try to include it in the exec() function. Just make sure you call base64decode in your LiveCode script that generates the license key.

$license_generator = '/usr/home/name/public_html/cgi-bin/';

$execStr = $license_generator . 'lc-standalone-v8 -ui ' . $license_generator .         'keygenerator.livecode ' . 
        escapeshellarg($license_count) . ' ' . 

$key = exec($execStr, $output, $return_var);

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