Pretty much since I got this Powerbook, I used an old, battered copy of BBEdit for my text-editing purposes. I quite liked it; I mean, the main thing I liked about it was the whole 9-point Monaco thing. Seriously, for me, text-editing on the Mac meant nine-point Monaco.

It integrated into FTP quite well, but sometimes its PHP syntax highlighting was wanting a little. I couldn’t afford to shell out the $100+ necessary for a copy of BBEdit 8, though.

A couple of weeks back, I realised that, now I was on Tiger, I could try out those text editors I was so interested in previously. The brief chance I had to use Textmate wasn’t enough to get familiar with it, and by the time I had the chance to spend serious time with it, my 28-day trial was up.

So I tried skEdit. And was pleasantly surprised. It has a “site” feature, for managing whole directories and subsequent SFTPing to mirror the structure on a server. It’s smart enough to auto-fill your classes and ids out if there’s a properly-linked CSS file in your site structure. It’s also got excellent code-hinting (wherein it reminds you of syntax for styles or functions), and the auto-completion, once you’re used to it, really speeds up the writing of code.

Add to that good snippet handling, good code tidying, and great auto-indentation, and it’s a really nice editor. The best bit? It’s $20 – for a lifetime licence. My demo ran out yesterday, so I bought myself a licence. I haven’t looked back – it’s been that pleasant an experience, and it’s already proved its worth over three seperate projects. It has some shortcomings – it is, after all, a text editor designed for web development, and doesn’t quite have the featuresets of Textmate or BBEdit. However, that’s all I need; I use a different text editor for note taking and writing, and the rest of my development is web-based. So with that caveat in mind, skEdit comes strongly recommended.

FlickrRSS pics

17 July 2005

Finally, six months after I commented the block out, I’ve got some Flickr pics in the sidebar. Which will hopefully make me updated it more. Scraping courtesy of the surprisingly good flickrRSS.

Doing the dirty

17 July 2005

I finally did it.

Today, I deleted all trace of Movable Type from my webserver. Specifically, MT 2.661 – don’t think I was, like, up-to-date or anything. I kept it on the server to run sideprojects with – and in case WordPress turned out to, like, suck (which it didn’t, though it was touch-and-go for a while).

Bye bye, 11mb comment database, full of adverts for casinos and illicit videos. Bye bye, another seven-odd mb of Perl cgi. I’ll miss you.

I really will. Just because I’m getting rid of it, doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I know that MT3 is streets ahead of the old junk I was running, and as an enterprise blogging/CMSlite application (with a decent templating language), it’s fantastic – and remarkably powerful. Despite the colossal overlap, WordPress serves a slightly different niche; a niche that I mainly fit into, but where I don’t, I’ve got the capability (thanks to new found PHP-fu) to make it fit me.

I moved to MT from Blogger, when I bought this domain, and it was a very good move; I spent the couple of days before my exams revising, and when not revising, trying to wrangle MT into my cgi-bin directory. I swore I’d do it after them, but it seemed so easy, you know?

Fortunately, both turned out OK. But now it’s time to say goodbye to an old friend. My hosting company told me I was over quota, and I needed that 20mb of diskspace gone; I need space for my own systems, projects, applications.

Still, you lasted two years, despite all the trend-hopping around you. That’s got to be good going for any install of a web-app. Right?

Fun with the local webserver this weekend. Having installed MySQL, I promptly set up a local install of WordPress (good) for hackery and tomfoolery. Then I installed myself a copy of Justin Vincent’s ezSQL (handy, even if some of his programming ideas are a little misguided IMHO), and Smarty, and got to work on something I’ve been meaning to work on for a while.

Development going very well. Smarty in particular is delightful – its approach to templating makes perfect sense now, and it has some lovely little functions and tools in it that have made knocking out templates really easy. Fun, fun.

OK, so I’m having two problems here, which I’ve discovered after installing a local version of MySQL (for development purposes).

Firstly: with MySQL, any user I create other than root can’t connect to the database. Well, they can through the mysql commandline program, but CocoaMySQL and PHPMyAdmin refuse to let them connect. Root, however, can via any means. Even though it’s only local and for testing purposes, I’d rather use a different user to root. But I’ve got no idea what’s going wrong. Any advice, anyone?

Secondly: my PATH variables don’t persist. I’m using tcsh as a shell, and when I add /usr/local/mysql/bin as a path, it works fine… until I close that terminal. And when I open the terminal, it hasn’t persisted – but it’s still listed in my .tcshrc file. I have no idea what the hell is going on, I’m not that advanced, and it’s a bit annoying.

So: does anyone have idea how to solve this? Lazyweb, do you have any ideas?


Update: solved the first problem. The trick is setting passwords with the old_password() function, as the clients are still using the old hashing algorithm.

In London; am OK.

07 July 2005

See the title. Still at work, staying put until the Met give further advice on how to get out of here. Just wanted to keep anyone reading this site up to date.

Still, it’s quite scary just being at the moment.

(This is what I’m talking about, if you’re not aware).

New-look Maniacal Rage

06 July 2005

Garrett redesigns Maniacal Rage and I’m rather taken. I’m very pleased with some aspects of this design… but something’s just not right. I think I’d like things a bit bigger, and with more space to breathe; it almost seems too cramped. This site’s gone into an inspiration folder, though; I like the comments layout, and the two-tone look. (I also quite like Garrett’s writing, even though it’s been thin on the ground recently, which always helps).

So, I’ve been contemplating a (slight) redesign of this site. And one think I’d like to do is get a selection of the links so lovingly stored in WordPress’ Link Manager. Unfortunately, I can show them all, all from a category, or none. What I’d really like to do is pull a few of them at random from the links database. There is at least one plugin out there that does this, but it requires a seperate text file of links. Given WordPress already stores the links in a table for you, there’s no point reduplicating.

So I wrote a plugin to do it. It’s the first plugin I’ve released publically, incidentally.

The plugin adds a new template function to display a user-specified number of links, optionally with their descriptions, in whatever format you desire. The links are pulled from the database randomly. It’s also possible to not have the links displayed in the browser, but simply returned as an associatve array – so you can process them yourself.

From my brief testing, I can see that it works pretty well, though I haven’t really tested the array-returning functionality. Anyhow, there’s more about the plugin on its dedicated page on this site. You can download it from there and read the full documentation. I hope you find it useful. If you’ve got any problems, bug reports – just drop an email to the usual (and obvious) address.

Consolevania 2.1

02 July 2005

Ah, my lovelies have come back to me: Consolevania season 2 has begun, with the release of episode 1 last night. You can find links to downloads or torrents on the CV site. It’s very good – really into its stride now, and balancing entertainment with something-approaching-information. For those of you who aren’t aware of it: four Glaswegians talk about videogames, and occasionally review them. They also do a series of skits with their alter egos. It’s very funny, and spot on. The Batman Begins review this month is a particularly highlight. Do go and download!