Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

July 30, 2003

MyCroft Plugins

Bored with Google? Want to search for domain specific knowledge? Using a Mozilla based browser? Then allow me to point you in the direction of mycroft. A directory of search plugins.

This really does cater to every need, you can very easily install plugins that will allow you to search, amongst others; the British Museum, eBay, Amazon, Jobserve, Multimap, CDDB and my personal favourite Q. Believe me when I say I've only scratched the surface. Go and have a look for yourself.

Even better, if the site you wish to search isn't there you can write your own plugin.

Posted by Andy Todd at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003

Eclipse, Python and Vi

I've gone and done it now, even though I've made it to the late twentieth century and am using a graphical environment, I can still use all of my old key presses, thanks to the Eclipse viPlugin. Sweet.

The Eclipse framework is very impressive. To add Python and Vi support took me no more than three minutes, and two and a half of those were waiting for the jar files to download.

Posted by Andy Todd at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Eclipse and Python

Shock, horror, I've been using an IDE. Its not VIM, but the TruStudio
plugin for Eclipse is easy to install and works. I'm particularly interested in using the integration with CVS and the fact that I can dabble in Java within the same tool.

I'm still not convinced about these new fangled pointy-clicky tools but this may drag me away from the command line for a while.

All this thanks to a posting on C.L.P, the non-corporate well of Python knowledge.

Posted by Andy Todd at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

Oracle Tools

Anthony Tuininga has just announced the first release of cx_OracleDBATools and cx_OracleTools.

I've got a variety of Python, SQL and shell scripts which together form my Oracle toolbox but these look much more polished. I was going to re-work my existing hodge podge into something similar to these tools but now I don't need to. Although I will contribute anything I have that he doesn't,. <update> I notice, for instance, that there isn't an explain utility, which I've got and will gladly chuck into the pot. </update>

Scratch one thing off my todo list, along with a big thank you to Anthony of course.

Posted by Andy Todd at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2003

Captain Bollocks

I've just discovered a new favourite word, courtesy of the kings of the TLA, the nice people at IBM. The word? Its the spectacular "timeron" which is an arbitrary unit of measure for how long a query will take to execute. From the DB2 manual;

A timeron does not directly equate to any actual elapsed time, but gives a rough relative estimate of the resources (cost) required by the database manager to execute two plans for the same query.

I just don't know why they didn't use the perfectly acceptable "widget" it makes about as much sense.

FYI, an ex-colleague who once had the privilege of working for Big Blue somewhere on the south coast of England reliably informed me that they even had a TLA for the humble desk fan. They called it an AMD. Because that is obviously quicker to type than its actual name, you know "FAN"

Posted by Andy Todd at 04:15 PM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2003

RSS Aggregators

There is a new kid on the block, and its called Bloglines. Its a server based aggregator which will be funded by sponsorship and advertising.

I've been trying various aggregators for a while now and haven't found a desktop solution that suits me. Bloglines looks good and I'm currently trying it out. Apart from usability its major benefit is its blogger friendliness. Instead of thousands of desktop aggregators coming to your site and downloading your feed they get it once and make it available to all of their users.

Here endeth the obligatory six monthly meta-blogging post.

Posted by Andy Todd at 10:26 AM | Comments (1)

July 11, 2003

More Quixote Love

I'm still playing with Quixote, its an interesting counterpoint to my PHP dabbling. A great source of information is AMK's new tutorial.
Its a work in progress, but a fount of useful information that has already had me revisiting my initial experiments.

Posted by Andy Todd at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2003

Essential Laptop Tools

Does anyone know where I can buy one of these sleevecases in the UK? If I can source one I can carry my laptop around in my backpack rather than having to put it in a seperate bag like I do at the moment.

Posted by Andy Todd at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2003

No Ternary Operator

Its official, there will be no ternary operator in Python.

Feel free to take the streets to celebrate, or whatever activity you feel is appropriate.

Posted by Andy Todd at 10:18 AM | Comments (4)

A Desktop in XUL

Take a look at Robin, as long as you are using Mozilla, Firebird or Netscape (6 or 7). A whole desktop in a browser window.

Whats spooky is that a friend was demonstrating his flash application at the same time. The difference being that you don't need a plugin for Robin - just a specific browser. Whilst its not perfect it does show the potential of the Mozilla framework, which was the whole point of the four year re-write. But we won't go there apart from to say that I'm a Firebird user and I wouldn't use IE for all of the tea in china.

Courtesy of Asa Dotzler

Posted by Andy Todd at 09:42 AM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2003

CVS Trauma

At work we have our CVS repository on a Windows2000 machine (running CVSNT).

Being hardcore I don't use WinCVS but prove my manliness with the command line client that comes with Cygwin. Except it stopped working yesterday when I did my latest refresh of Cygwin.

It transpires that the problem was in my definition of CVSROOT. I don't think the validation rules have changed, rather that the updated version of CVS I picked up yesterday enforces them more effectively.

Anyway, I looked and looked and couldn't find any reference to the correct way to connect to a CVSNT repository from a Unix client. Until I stumbled across this mailing list posting.

To connect to a CVSNT repository on a Windows server from an ordinary CVS client the form is;

cvs -d:pserver:[username]@[server name]:/c//[directory name] [command]

The important thing to note is the use of the single / between the : and the drive letter and the double / between the drive letter and the directory name.

Posted by Andy Todd at 05:46 PM | Comments (4)

Switch to Python

For those that don't read AMK's diary, here is a little bit of information from Guido -Mac OSX 10.3 is going to ship with Python 2.3

Blimey. Now all they need to do is drop the price by about 33% and maybe I'll think about buying one.

Posted by Andy Todd at 03:14 PM | Comments (2)