Archive for the 'windows' Category

Joomla! 1.6 and WebPI

September 19th, 2010 | Category: joomla,microsoft,web,windows

Over this weekend (Friday evening and Saturday) while watching the AFL Finals I got to work building a script to convert the standard Joomla! 1.6 beta packages into a format that would work with Microsoft’s Web Package Installer (WebPI). Early Sunday morning I managed to get everything done to the point that a Joomla! 1.6 package is automatically converted, stripping out the install and sample data scripts on the fly and reprocessing them as well as updating a WebPI feed XML file that you can use.

The long and the short is if you want to test out the latest Joomla! 1.6 beta release (beta 9 at the moment), all you have to do is add our own custom feed to the Web Platform Installer!
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The concept of root

April 15th, 2010 | Category: accesscontrol,joomla,linux,windows

Looking through various access control systems, it is interesting to see the different concepts and features. The concept of root, a user with all privileges inalienably granted to it. So let’s have a look at how this works for Windows, Linux and Joomla!’s upcoming 1.6 version.
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Understanding versus Knowing

June 28th, 2009 | Category: filesystems,microsoft,windows

When I went through high school we had three segments for our maths and physics exams: we had the basic knowledge part that tested if we new a given fact and could apply it to a straight forward problem, we had the understanding part that tested if we could understand a fact and apply it to a slightly more complex problem and we had a complex reasoning section of the exam which tested a combination of the items we knew and took a large number of steps to get to the final answer. Today I’m hunting around to look for file system permissions and I’ve read something that makes me wonder if there should be that distinction.

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64-bit Hell and Eclipse

October 06th, 2007 | Category: 64bit,development,linux,mac,macosx,opensource,technology,windows

For many years now I’ve had an AMD box that was capable of running 64-bit. I wouldn’t say I’m an early adopter, it just happened to be capable of 64-bit and it didn’t bother me if it was a feature or not. At the time I tried out the 64-bit builds of Linux and Windows, found Windows woefully equipped to handle 64-bit and Linux a bit better (having all of the source code to recompile and fix things on a new word size does help things).

Fast forward to today and I have (again) a AMD AthlonX2 64-bit box now on my desk and I’m running SLED10 64-bit. To be honest I’m doing better than Helpdesk who has a similar test box and have been trying to get 64-bit Windows XP up and running on the machine. They’re still hunting for drivers for the thing and keep complaining they have to go halfway across the internet to get things. For myself I’ve only downloaded one driver for the ATI graphics card on it, more to get dual head mode working on the graphics card. So I’m up and running and I’m not really noticing any issues with applications. Everything I’ve thrown at this box has been handled perfectly, until I decided to upgrade Eclipse. Eclipse is a strange beast and the build I have is a 32-bit build. It worked fine by default, however the Java version that I have on my desktop is rather ancient (1.4.2, thank you SuSE). This meant that some things didn’t want to work properly. I tried to upgrade to the IBM provided 1.5 release which wanted to be 64-bit. Which is fine, until you realize that the Eclipse build has a 32-bit SWT support layer. Try again! So I ended up downloading the 32bit Linux Java off the Sun website and installing it. That got me up and running with 1.6 and Eclipse started and almost got me to where I wanted to be. Then Eclipse hanged itself. Eclipse does this from time to time, so I just let it sit there and do what ever it
does and it came good. I have a feeling its trying to go to the internet or some other network resource which is taking its sweet time to respond, or for the internet, being blocked by a firewall somewhere.So this brings to light an issue with any system that indulges in dynamic linking. One of the issues here was Eclipse’s SWT library being 32-bit (there are 64-bit builds so that is fixable though I know not how) and at one point using a 64-bit build of Java. Funnily enough this isn’t as big an issue on my platform of choice, Mac OS X. As I pointed out in a Slashdot comment Apple has done a great job of shifting architectures for their operating system and let alone the 32-bit/64-bit transition. They’ve had to move from their original Motorolla m68k powered machines to PowerPC based machines and now from PowerPC on to Intel, and they’ve used emulation both times swapping from the m68k to PPC and then from PPC to Intel to make the transition lighter, and utilizing “Universal Binaries” similar to the “fat binaries” they used previously to get things up and running. The only other element of note is providing the “Classic” interface to ease the transition from the nanokernel that powered Mac OS 9 and earlier to OS X’s new XNU microkernel. The system is in effect emulating a Classic machine, though it isn’t complete. Though of most note Apple announced the toolchain to make the PPC to Intel switch all possible ahead of time and integrated it directly into their primary developer tool, XCode.Perhaps this is why Apple’s transitions are so much smoother than that of either Microsoft or Linux.

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mod_rewrite equivalent for IIS

September 06th, 2007 | Category: technology,web,windows

I was having a look around for a way to get bulk redirects for IIS. You can specify it one by one but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to bulk redirect things. However I do seem to have found a page with some alternatives that provide mod_rewrite style solutions (some free, some paid): Looks interesting enough for those stuck with the limited web server. 


Feature evolution

July 08th, 2007 | Category: windows

I was working on a work project today that involved attempting to build a mail merge from a relational database using Word. To be honest I gave up trying, especially after I saw this:

What that page contains is these three facts:

  1. Wordperfect supported relational mail merging
  2. Word doesn’t support this.
  3. Don’t attempt it in Word.

Whilst it doesn’t explicitly say “don’t attempt it in Word” it gives you four options, the first three were really far too time consuming for the project so I tried the fourth option where Word uses a database field object to handle the relational part. Eventually through hacking things a bit and the support of importing the data into Access and creating a few queries in there I managed to get a product. The problem is that this database object seriously limits your flexibility and forces you into a table autoformat. The article comments that you have a lot of flexibility with the all of 5 check boxes and styles it presents for you to customise. The end result ended up that I managed to get my data set out with a whole heap of errors (some do not have valid entries in some other tables which caused Word to popup a warning box for those entries even though errors were supposed to be ignored) to the point that no matter the orientation the table ran across the page. What I really wanted was the equivalent of mysql’s \G command (vertical tabulation).

End result: I wrote something in PHP to output a PDF to do the same trick in less time than I wasted in building the bodgy Word solution. As I comment else where I don’t have Microsoft for doing what they’re doing, I hate Microsoft for doing what they’re doing _badly_. They copied things but they don’t do a good implementation. They copy things and omit useful features (relational mail merges are really the domain of Crystal Reports, and Microsoft is happy for it to be that way) along the way that users had under older packages. This is my gripe that things take a step forward for two step backwards.


JDiagnostic tech preview released

June 14th, 2007 | Category: activedirectory,authentication,joomla,ldap,windows

A lot of emails I get are with regards to deploying JAuthTools and Microsoft Active Directory (AD). AD doesn’t make things easy for users in the LDAP interface: its case sensitive, has everything in capitals, disallows anonymous searching (though users can bind anonymously and see,well, nothing) and has an interesting default layout (e.g. CN=Users instead of OU=Users). By default Joomla! 1.0.x doesn’t have the ability to log items which is a function of the system (e.g. there are very few functions that run purely in the ‘background’) which makes it hard to diagnose things that are going wrong. There is a small tool I use called JLogger which is basically a mambot API loader and a component to view the logs. Its pretty primitive and I haven’t ‘released’ it because it hasn’t had anywhere enough work done on it (it is available via Subversion, zip files together to create installable packages) but it was one of the first step towards diagnostic tools, and this is another step.

Recently I released JDiagnostic, a tech demo of a tool that I hope will evolve into a launching pad for a wide range of useful tools, tests and diagnostics. At present it solves the above stated problem: MSAD integration. Its a step by step wizard configurator for Active Directory, with tests along the way. At the end it configures the LDAP SSI and Joomla! LDAP mambots with as much details as it can (what you’ve supplied) leaving you hopefully with a consistent and working Active Directory setup, without the pain of having to read through logs to see what is happening.

You can check out JDiagnostic on the Pasamio’s Projects FRS page.


Indexing and Application Launching

June 11th, 2007 | Category: linux,mac,macosx,search,windows

Last night I was doing some work and I wanted to do some more research and knew that I had some files on the subject already on my hard drive, but I wanted to see what else was out there. As it happened Google didn’t really turn up much interesting beyond the obligatory Wikipedia article, but Google Desktop Search turned up a direct link to one of my local resources. Doing so saved me from using Spotlight to do the same thing. But that isn’t the only app indexing my hard drive, Quicksilver (my preferred app launcher) also runs in the background check the hard drive for new and interesting files that it can index and add to its database so that when I search for an application all I need to do is type its name and hit enter.

So my Mac has three different indexing tools: Google Desktop Search, Spotlight and Quicksilver. This is in contrast to my work PC (Windows XP) which has Google Desktop Search and Windows Indexing Service (which does poorly on large itemsets such as the contents of your hard drive…most of the useful items I find using this tool is not what I wanted originally but something else thrown up in the list for some reason, completely irrelevant, but interesting to read. There is another tool I use, RockIt Launcher, which is a Quicksilver equivalent for Windows except its catalog is limited in scope and usefulness, plus it has to be manually reindexed.

Linux by comparison seems quite poor, really only having Beagle desktop search, but that would discount the other options available. For example I do a few things differently on this platform: I launch terminals using my function keys (alt-f5 to f12 is bound to local and remote terminals (via ssh)) which means I get access to those applications. alt-f2 brings up the Linux equivalent of the ‘run’ dialog, except with completion. This is my equivalent for Quicksilver as I usually know the app name (as with quicksilver) to launch it. The last app launch/search is the deskbar I have on my lower panel, which has a list of commands run through it (could be desktop search, dictionary or app launch) so I can click that to quickly get to applications or type in the text box to get feature almost identical to Quicksilver. The last app launch point is my ‘drawers’. These are little panels that extend down with Quick Launch icons. They’re grouped so if I’m doing a particular task I know which drawer to go to so that I can launch multiple similar applictions. iIts also handy for eclipse, which has the same name but is three different installs.

So for me, my main use of search is application launching and occaisionally going to find the file I want. Mac has lead the way on the desktop, Google provides another awesome solution, Beagle is very nicely integrated into GNOME and now that Vista has (finally) shipped a few months ago it has search built in. So finally everything is getting indexed, making things easier to find for those of us who have too much information.