Building notes, projects, and ocasional rants


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Textmate goodness

Well, after three weeks inside TextMate, I must say I'm hooked. I knew it existed and it was cool and stuff, but until you read the TextMate manual, you don't know half of the power it packs. If you want to see if it is for you, I would recommend that you try and read through the fine manual. Around our corner of the world, I count five converts already, and given that we had abused the local mac users group mailing list with TextMate stuff in the last couple of days, I went ahead and created a TextMate Portuguese User mailing list.

Windows zero day exploit

The vast majority of software has bugs. The ones that haven't are either two small to do something useful, or written with rigid rules, during long years. We can argue the fine points of this, but it's rare the software that doesn't have them. The issue with bugs is not that they exist, it's how long you have to wait until they get fixed. It seems that we now have active exploits roaming around for the latest Windows bug.

Housekeeping stuff

Just a quick post to note some things: I had problems with my upgrade to MT 3.2. I decided to reinstall from scratch. Everything seems much better now. Comments seem to work, and all the feeds validate;During the upgrade, I forgot to include two feeds I had previously: rss-full.xml and index.rdf. They are back but they are not announced anywhere. My recommendation is to use the Atom feed, or the RSS 2.

Tip: use TextMate and Ecto

Quick tip for those who are using ecto and Textmate: you can edit your drafts using Textmate directly from ecto. In case you use Markdown to write your posts, this is great. The Markdown bundle in Textmate is very good. Just choose Edit > Edit with > TextMate and you're done. The text updates in ecto after you save in Textmate. For more information, see this article on the ecto blog.

Trac and Lighty

I'm moving this and other sites to Lighty. My main motivation was memory usage and the fact that I'm starting to use Trac a lot, and using that as a CGI is painful. I wanted to use fastcgi and Lighty is high-rated in that area. After reading some articles about Trac and fastcgi, I settled on this config: $HTTP["host"] == "" { server.document-root = "/servers/sites/" accesslog.filename = "/servers/logs/lighty/sites/projects.simplicidade.org_access_log" server.indexfiles = ( "index.

TextMate: cool stuff so far

In my quest to implement my 2006 Resolutions, I decided to start early and I've switched to TextMate already. I will not dump all the links to the documentation on you. I will only point to some "Wow, cool"-type of things I found in the last couple hours browsing stuff. Some of the links are from the Macromates blog, a resource I would recommend you to, if you are also switching to Textmate.

utf-8 and DBD::mysql

After an afternoon trying to understand why some of my output from a utf8 table in MySQL was coming out garbled, I finally realize that: even if your tables and database are all created with utf8 charset;even if you set your connection charset to utf8 with SET NAMES 'utf8';your scalar results in perl will not have the utf8 flag set, so any print, concatenation or XML generation further on will result in a mess, when finally printed out to a XMPP stream, for example.

The quest for fastcgi MT setup

After successfully placing Trac under fastcgi with Lighty, I'm now targeting Moveable Type. It's not as important as Trac was, I'm pretty happy doing it via CGI, I'm very low traffic. One of the caveats with this approach is that some plugins might not work correctly, due to the persistent nature of fastcgi processes. But, hey, this is the way Yahoo! is doing it, so if that is really a problem, I think they will be corrected shortly.

Wake up and smell the fastcgi

You might have noticed that fastcgi has been getting a lot of momentum in the past few months. The biggest deployment I know is Yahoo! Small Bussiness Web Hosting service using Moveable Type under fastcgi. Most rails apps are deployed using it, Catalyst also has support out of the box, and even PHP works very well with it. The main advantages I see with it is that it splits the application from the webserver.

Resolutions for 2006

I've never written down my new year resolutions before, but I want to keep track of them this time, so here they are. I thing my friends already have sufficient ammo to embarrass me on a daily basis, but I want to make their life even easier, one year from now. The first thing I want to do is to change my main text editor. I've been using vi and/or vim since 1991/92.