Archive for Development

ViewVC, a great tool for repository browsing

ViewVC, a great tool for repository browsing

A few days ago I installed ViewVC in one of the servers we work on, and we are very happy with it. I was looking for something to browse our CVS repositories and after a bit of research I decided to try it. It is written in Python and very easy to install, just run a installation script and a make a couple of changes in the config file. Ah, and it also works for Subversion repositories, although I haven’t tried it yet.


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Backing up MySQL databases


We all know how important it is to backup our servers and personal computers… but we all avoid doing it!! We just went through a major crisis in our servers and for some hours we thought we had lost all the info in them… and our last backup of the databases was a few weeks old!! The rest of the content of the server was recoverable (one of the many good things of using CVS is that you keep many copies of the code in different computers), but the databases are critical.

In the end we managed to solve the problem and everything is up and running now, with no data loss. But as you can imagine we are now setting up a backup system for our MySQL databases. Here’s how we did it, in case it may be helpful for anyone.
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Templates and pages

AppleWisdump raises a very good point in their post Building systems that let me design every page: most websites today use templates and as a result most of the pages in the site look very much the same. This is not necessarily bad, but as they point out sometimes some changes in design make the site much more attractive while keeping it usable and coherent.

The example they point is great, check out these three different pages from Apple’s website. They are different because they contain different kind of information, but they keep the same great design and look as part of the same site.

Point taken, from now on I will try not to use the same templates throughout the whole site.

Wisdump’s post is based on a very good post by Jeff Crot, Five things I’m doing to get better at web design. They’re actually four things, but I couldn’t agree more with all of them; especially with the second one, “Getting over web standards”: web standars are great but they’re only a mean to an ending, we should adhere to web standards as much as we can but if sometimes you don’t nothing happens.

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gotAPI search, a great tool to search programming documentation

If you are like me, I’m sure you find yourself many times trying to remember the exact order of the arguments for a given function or even trying to guess the name of a function (was it strupper? toupper? strup?). With so many languages, it’s easy to get confused.

A few days ago I found on digg a link to gotAPI search, a great tool that searches programming documentation. You can chose the languages to include in the search, including PHP, Perl, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, MySQL, etc.

The interface is very good (as usual today, with a bit Ajax) and it allows you to find the function you’re stuck with in just a few seconds, a great time saver.


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