Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


last update:


So it seems that a lot of usual friends are going away for a while. I'm mostly concerned with BSG season 4. I mean, its the last season, it would suck big time if it didn't get back to production.

I don't need no stinking branches

A friend of mine was teasing me last week about my recent posts about Git, and wondered why am I using distributed Source Code Management (SCM) system for all my projects, even those where I'm the sole developer. He is not the first and I tend to have the same conversation with all of the ones who ask me about it. Usually I start by telling them about offline-mode and the fact that I spend a lot of time off-the-net, which ends up being the least important reason.

Learning Git

I'll be talking a lot about Git in the coming weeks. I'll update this post with the best references I can find about understanding, using, and maintaining Git and Git repos. Understanding Git Git for computer scientists: by far, the best Git internals explanation I could find. Definitively start here;The index and what is it: the index is something that most other systems don't have, so you need to understand it.

Google Charts

The new Google Charts API is very very nice. I still prefer Open Flash Chart for back-office use, but for front-end sites, this might be much better, given that it works everywhere. One thing to take notice: there is a daily limit of charts that you can ask directly from Google, so if you think you'll use more than those, use a reverse-proxy with cache (like Varnish or Squid) or even have your code call Google API and cache the image locally.

It's dead, Jim...

So after 6+ years of faithful service, my TiBook died just now, with a buzzing sound (not hard drive, somewhere in the upper right-hand corner of the logic board under the keyboard). I'll have to search around to see if this is something recoverable or not. I didn't have any important data on it, but he was the box that powered my third screen, as described previously. Must... Resist... Buy.

Catalyst Advent Calendar

It's back! The new and improved 2007 Catalyst Advent Calendar. (Un)Fortunately its not a swim-suit edition yet. The entry for today is about using the Open Flash Chart component, my favorite Flash-based chart component. It also uses the recent OFC::Chart module. I just wish that the Calendar had a title attribute on each daily link. Finding the correct article can be painful without that.


URI Fragment Identifiers for the text/plain Media Type: hope this gets approved. It would make source-code linking easy.

Favorite Leopard feature

If I had to choose one, it would be the support for message: URIs in It allows you to: send a link to a message to a friend: if he also got that message but "lost" it somehow, he can just click and let find it;you can store URIs to important messages on any other Mac application, and in a Cocoa app, just right-click to jump to it;it allows interesting integration between web applications and your local mail client: it should be pretty simple for someone to write a "Open in Mail.

Git vs Mercurial

I've been talking about Git in the last posts, and Bär asked if I tried Mercurial. I did try Mercurial, but very superficially. I used it with a project shared with Rui, who uses Mercurial and he seems to be very happy with it. Whatever you choose, I would stick with either Mercurial or Git. CVS is dead, and Subversion is not good enough. And right now, all non-personal projects I work on use Subversion, so I have some experience with it.