Archive for the 'opensource' Category

Goodbye Flickr and hello new domain

March 25, 2007

Well it looks like the time has finally come, Flickr has been getting more and more bloated and I’ve been using it less and less; the time has come to say goodbye.

The initial plan was to create a photo called flickr dump in my home folder and put all the images in there, then delete my account. The new plan is to combine the new domain I’m getting (hopefully be finalised in the next few days) with a hosting package, an open source image management application and then do the migration. Should be alot of fun!

I’ve been going through a bunch of images on my computer lately and sorting them to try and get some order. I was making good progress until I wanted to put files with the same name in the same directory. The solution to this is to write a script that will add a date time prefix to each photo and then retain the filename afterwards. This should also make searching easier if required at a later date.

I’m going to have a go at this tomorow night as it’s getting late, may be a good time to have a go at phyton!

News on new domain and image re naming script tomorow.

I should also add that doing the migration is a very low priority at the moment so will be keeping my Flickr account fot the time being. I don’t want to loose any of the linked images as they are there to be shared.

Another up comming project is to get a media center going in our lounge, this is something I’m really looking forward to and I’m leaning towards a Linux box with a media center app (havn’t had a good look at whats out) or an XBOX 360. Beauty of the Linux box is I can set up a DNS server as well, then again XBOX 360 is a rather nice console 😀

Also going to have a good sort through my categories tomorow, I’ve decided to use more generic ones to ease usability.

On the (sort of) subject on usability I’m working with a usability expert at work in the next couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing what methodologies and techniques are used as I think It’ll be qutie useful. Regular readers of my blog will know I have a keen interest in GUI design and techniques. See my GUI category for previous posts.


Sun Opens Java

November 14, 2006

The day has finally come :), Today Sun has released Java under the GPL open source license. Combined with the new JDK 6 I expect we will be seeing some great things coming out of the Java shops, very exciting!

This is one of the best steps Sun has done since changing their licensing to allow Linux distributions to ship with a JDK.

Sun Opens Java

Adobe contributes Flash Player Scripting Engine

November 8, 2006

Tamarin , the latest Mozilla project addition, is the result of Adobe contributing their Flash Player Scripting engine to the Mozilla team, A move Brendan Eich, chief technology officer of Mozilla Corporation, and creator of JavaScript said to be “the largest contribution to the Mozilla Foundation since its inception,”.
Personally I don’t feel this is all too suprising. As I have said in my post GUI toolkits for web apps? (proberly in need of an update) the Adobe Flex IDE looked to be (at the time of writing) a high candidate for the creation of interactive web applications. If the Flash support on Linux based operating systems (or anything else FireFox has been ported to) gains momentum Adobe will be in a very desirable place.

A very appreciated gesture, thaks Adobe! – Please bring us Photoshop!

Java Community News – Adobe Contributes Flash VM Code to Mozilla

Mozilla – Adobe and Mozilla Foundation to Open Source Flash Player Scripting Engine

DBMS for basic application data storage

August 19, 2006

An application I am making requires a basic DBMS and it would be ideal if I could have this as a standalone file without having to install mySQL or another service based DBMS on a users computer when it is not necessary. Microsoft Access files definately do the job but I’d like an alternative. All the file needs to do is store the SQL data and provide a DBMS engine. I don’t need any of the visual functions (form creation, etc).

I’ll proberly end up going with OO.o Base 2 due to the simplicity. The other alternatives include: looking for or implementing an XML based storage solution, using an object database to directly save objects, using an API based database engine or as mentioned installing mySQL on the client.

For quick and easy implementation it is much easier to use a datafile, ODBC, and SQL. I’ll install OO.o Base 2 and see what I come up with, still have assignments that I need to get done at the moment though!

Java based RSS reader

August 12, 2006

As regular viewers will know I have been wanting to make a RSS reader for some time, mostly because it is something that interests and will be a great learning experience.

I have decided that I will do it in Java/Swing, and not delphi as originally intended. I want it to be as portable as possible and want to extend my java knowledge as this is the type of job I will be looking for next year.

That plan of attack is to use a JEditorPane and send a ‘chunk’ of xml (parsed) to it via a stylesheet to be viewed. For example I will have a tree on the left with the subscribed feeds, expanding a feed will display each topic in the feed, clicking that topic will then display the contents for that topic in the JEditorPane, as html via XML/XSL conversion.

This is somewhat to compensate for Java Swing’s embarrassingly lacking HTML/XML rendering components.

I read the article: Sun should Open Source Swing: what is bad for Gosling is good for propaganda over at O’REILLY, which echos my view. Very well written and informative article.

As per suggested in the article I may look for an opensouce XML rendering component at JavaDesktop instead of using the JEditorPane.
Either way, I’m looking forward to getting this up and running!

XML logging

August 9, 2006

I was thinking lastnight of projects I’d like to do and one of them was to make an XML parser that will take logs of common files such as from messenging applications, parse the file and write it to a database. I like the idea of all my logs being searchable and more secure and it also means only a very recent copy of a log needs to be stored (the old log can be removed once it’s added to the database).

I found an application on called IM Sniffer that seems to do something similar, but I havn’t tired it. This application is written in Visual Basic and I’m after something more configurable, for example not just messenger logs.

I’d like to start with a (ruby? python?) script that takes a log from its default directory, parses the file and populates a database. The program I will start with is GAIM. This brought me to my next idea, what about adding XML logging to GAIM itself? This would be a very large learning curve but would give a lot of experience, what did I find?

GAIM already have a google summer of code project for this! as well as for storing logs in a database! The projects have been taken up which is fine as I don’t think I’m quite ready to take on such a project.

Will stick to the text file parsing for now 🙂 Though my instant messenging isn’t really worth logging! Maby Apache?

OSC Inventory

August 8, 2006

I saw the OSC Inventory application over at OSC Inventory keeps a database of a computers configuration (applications / hardware installed) will run on Windows or Linux and supports clients running: Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP/2003, Linux, Mac OS X,Sun Solaris, and IBM AIX. It is also released under the GPL license.

Their website also includes a very good explanation of the GPL license for people unfamiliar with it.

Open Computer and Software Inventory Next Generation

Essential Software

July 22, 2006

I’m still yet to format my hard-drive , but I’ve made a list of my most commonly used Windows applications. Mostly so I know what to reinstall as well as to see what I may be missing and to share the apps I find most useful. Here they are (in no order): Read the rest of this entry »

WordPress install

July 9, 2006

Well I’m definately on my way to a new theme, I have installed all the development tools and have them working together (apache, mysql, php and wordpress). My install went something like this:

Apache 2.2.x didnt like php4 and was not loading the module dll, I understand this is a common problem and came across some solutions based on php5. I wanted to run php4 so I installed Apache 2.0.x.

I did come across XAMPP, a cross platform easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. Looked like the perfect solution but I’d like to learn how to do it manually.

I Changed the default folder public_html by editing DocumentRoot pram and edited the various other settings to work in with the directory structure I created (%roo%/www/…)

I also installed mysql from a zip archive and changed the ini file to point to my non default install location and set my windows classpath. After setup I gave the root user a password, created a user account and removed the anonymous accounts.

I extracted the wordpress install to a folder named blog in my public_html directory

I came accross a small error in setting up a user for the wp-config file. MySQL 5 uses a new password encryption format that is not supported currently by wordpress this is fixed by starting up the mysql server with the –old-passwords pram:

mysqld –console –old-passwords (I don’t have mysql installed as a service)

Or by creating a new user in the following way:

GRANT ALL ON *.* to ‘user’@’localhost’;
SET PASSWORD FOR ‘user’@’localhost’=OLD_PASSWORD(‘password’);

Note the OLD_PASSWORD function.

From the website:

[UPDATE: MySQL 4.1.7 uses a new password encryption system that is incompatible with prior methods. If you want to get WordPress working with a 4.1.7 database, you need to make sure your user password is set as an old-style password (password-old instead of password, if you’re using mysqladmin). — Nabil] Note : The above are actual user comments, and may be subjective in their content. It is hoped that it will be of help to some users who face the specific problems that are addressed by this question..

Once wordpress could work with my passwords the installation was extremely straight forward and my blog was up in no time! Now time to find/create a theme!


Ruby On Rails

July 4, 2006

I’ve spent the last few days reading up on Ruby and the Ruby on Rails framework. I must say I was surprised to see what it actually is and I can see why PHP/Java web developers are loving it. This post isn’t intended to be any sort of explanation on ruby or how it works as there are plenty of well written posts on this subject. One thing that is different with ruby is how it interacts with databases, convention over configuration is one of rubys biggest time savers. Provided your database tables are named in a certain way this is all ruby needs to know to establish links and relationships to a database, great for small databases but less appealing to more complex databases or connecting to legacy databases.

Ruby on rails also simplifies CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on the database by generating the webpages and allowing them to be fully customised. This is a huge time saver and is especially good for those simple applications that are based on these simple database operations.

On top of that the Ruby language is incredibly powerful and has a lot of potential.

Ruby supports database transactions (rollback/commit style) which is a feature I liked about JADE.

I’m going to spend a little more time getting familiar with the language and framework and start builidng a bug tracking system with an RSS feed to learn how everything fits together.

I hope to have something in development soon 🙂