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Room Allocation

More wedding planning this evening. I now have a new hatred of smokers—they are “special cases” because only certain rooms in the hotel have easy access to somewhere you can actually smoke.

Even with that aside it’s incredibly difficult deciding where to put everybody. We’ve just spent an hour and a half sorting this mess out. It’s done now though. That means we have to sort out the table seating next…

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Citation Sources

One of the useful things about blockquotes is that you can specify where you’re quoting by adding a cite attribute. But current browsers don’t offer you an interface to use this information. Sounds like a job for greasemonkey! So I wrote cite.user.js to get around it.

Unfortunately, I should have looked around first—I might have seen Citeable Blockquotes, which does what my script does, but more and better. Ah well. It was an interesting learning experience; it took only minutes to put together.

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FireFox Extensions

Firefox is a fine web browser. But one of the best features is the ability to add in extensions. These are a few of the extensions that I have to install.

  • AdBlock. Lets you switch off the annoying flashing adverts.
  • Web Developer. If you’re developing web sites, you need this to understand how your web pages really work.
  • View Cookies. A simple but useful tool if you’re developing web sites.
  • Live HTTP Headers. Shows you what really happened under the hood. Again, more useful for web site developers.
  • GreaseMonkey. This should be installed by default. It lets you use JavaScript to alter any web page in any way. Very handy for fixing up those little “broken” things lying around the web.
  • Show Anchors. Really handy for linking to some particular piece of a web page instead of the page as a whole.

The other extremely handy extension is the DOM Inspector, but that’s more of a builtin thing than an extension.

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Crash

Last night on my way home, I managed to cycle into a pedestrian who walked out in front of me. Thankfully, neither of us were hurt that much; just a little dazed. Unfortunately, this morning I found that my hip is bruised on the bone from falling off the bike. That means this evening’s walk is probably off. Whilst I can walk, I can’t walk fast or long distance.

Still, at least I didn’t manage to injure myself more seriously!

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IMAP server

Last night I got very irritated with IMAP. Well in fairness, I got irritated at evolution because it insisted on showing me a prefix of Mail/ to all my folders. Every other mail client in existence can be configured to ignore this prefix as there’s no reason for the physical layout of your mail store to be reflected in how it’s conceptually layed out.

Anyway, I thought I’d try a new IMAP server to make things better. I switched from uw-imap to dovecot. I chose that because it works ok with mbox format. I’m not ready to switch all my mail to Maildir format yet. Installation was a breeze thanks to the port. I ran it alongside the existing server for a short while to confirm that everything worked ok. Thankfully, there are good migration instructions. I would have made better progress if I’d read them first. 🙂

So after upgrading the mail server, I went back to evolution. Unfortunately, after all that effort, I found that I didn’t like it terribly much. It seems to have much of the same functionality as thunderbird, but the interface is a lot more cluttered. Also, the folder subscription mechanism doesn’t appear to work for me, so I end up with lots of folders that I don’t want to see…

I think I’ll come back to it when I upgrade to Ubuntu Hoary, which has gnome 2.10 and should include a newer version of Evolution. For now, I’ll stick with thunderbird.

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Walking in Snow

The chilly weather is still bringing us more snow even when it seemed like it was over. Today it’s been wet, slushy snow, but somebody still managed to make a snowman. We managed to grit the driveway instead.

Anyway, it being wet and cold, we had to go for a walk. We walked to Devil’s Dyke which turned out to be further than we thought (previously we had only cycled) and extremely chilly in certain exposed parts of the walk. But the sheer joy of tramping through fresh snow was worth it.

At Devils Dyke, the pub was closed, which is a Good Thing considering the quality of that particular establishment. There were several cars present having a very hard time keeping control in the slush.

Last Sunday we went walking up Mount Caburn near Lewes. The snow was much better there. More powdery and it was a lovely sunny day (well, when the snow wasn’t falling). It would have been perfect ski resort snow.

Despite all the walking, I’m rearing to get back on my bicycle; it’s been far too long already.

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XML::Genx Exceptions

I came across an interesting situation today. The exception thrown by XML::Genx showed up in completely the wrong place. I suspect that this is due to the fact that I’ve made it a dual valued scalar and Perl doesn’t want to overwrite by appending “at Foo.pm line 23” to the end of it. More investigation required.

Further investigation shows that it’s because I was using the “object” form of croak(), so Perl didn’t dare touch what I was doing. Doh. So I’ve now simplified things so that it works correctly. XML::Genx 0.12 is now up.

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Flickr Feeds

Everybody else has probably known about this for ages, but I’ve just seen it in a link from boingboing. Flickr, one of the online photo album people supports feeds for search queries. What this means is that any newly tagged photos uploaded to flickr that might interest you instantly pop up in your feed reader.

For example, I’ve just subscribed to all photos of brighton. So any new shots of Brighton should get delivered straight to me. Lovely!

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win32 build environment

I’m pleased to see that microsoft have made available Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003. It’s just the C compiler, include files and libraries. Just what I’d expect as standard under Linux. This finally means that I should be able to test XML::Genx under win32.

Oh. According to these instructions, I also need the Platform SDK and bits of .net too. Darn. I’ll have to download them and try again.

Hmm, there are further instructions. This is beginning to look like a hassle.

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Easier Porting

I’ve been updating all my FreeBSD ports recently and one continuing pain is the gerenation fo the plist file. Looking the Porters Handbook gave me the answer though. There’s a script you can use to make a plist. It needs a bit of editing afterwards, but it’s a good start.

The only problem is that you have to install the port to a temporary area first. This appears to be the best way to do it as an ordinary user instead of root.

% make install PREFIX=/tmp/myport INSTALL_AS_USER=yes NO_PKG_REGISTER=yes

After that, just run the magic script.

/usr/ports/Tools/scripts/plist -Md -m /etc/mtree/BSD.local.dist /tmp/myport > pkg-plist