Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category.

Planet updates

The DAIMI Planet has been updated once again! Changes/fixes include

  • Some of the timestamps were not formatted in the GMT+1 timezone. This should have been fixed now.

  • Several of the faces have been color corrected by my super fiancée! Compare this row of before and after images:

    Fitzi Gabi Martin Rune Mirka Peter

    Fitzi Gabi Martin Rune Mirka Peter

  • The faces (new and old) have now been moved to a box in the right margin. The faces are sorted by the last modification date of the feed. If you can come up with a good algorithm for sorting and/or resizing the faces, then please let me know. I’ll then tell you how to checkout the source from Subversion :-)

  • The error handling has been vastly improved: if a parse error is found deep within the HTML, then the output will be aborted and all open tags will be closed correctly. Before a single stray <i> tag could turn half the Planet into italic…

  • Caching works again. This should speed up the execution of and will hopefully make the Planet display all comments for the posts instead of just the 10 most recent comments.

As always, please tell me if you find any problems with the Planet or if you have suggestions for improvements!

DreamHost Fun (Madness)!

The hosting company behind Stéphanie’s blog is DreamHost and they’re a crazy bunch of people! :-)

Today they announced on their company blog that they would begin lowering the amount of available disk space and bandwidth for new customers!? This is absurd and never heard of before… they claim to be doing this to regain the reputation they lost during 2006 where people started saying that they were overselling their services.

DreamHost provides 200 GiB of space so I don’t think it should matter the least if they lower it by 0.5 GiB a day… I think it’s super hilarious! :-) Besides, the disk quota increase weekly by 1 GiB, so unless you plan on expanding your site very quickly, then you should never have to worry about disk space at DreamHost.

If you want, then feel free to sign up with DreamHost using this link (which will earn me $97 for referring you) or enter the promo-code MG97 to get the $97 off yourself(!) when signing up. You decide, but $97 off is the maximum saving available.

(If you insist, then use one of MG90, MG80, MG70, MG60, MG50 to save progressively less, from $90 to $50.)


What a nice start of the year! I’ve just received news from SourceForge and Paypal that a happy user of PHP Shell has donated $50 to me. Very cool!

A simple GNU I’ve already used the money… for another donation: I’m now a member of the Free Software Foundation, better known as FSF. I registered to pay $60 a year since I’m still a student, and in return I get a book from RMS and a good conscience :-) If you use this button: [FSF Associate Member] to register, then I will get credit. When three people have registered through me, then I get to choose a personal greeting which RMS himself will record for me to use on an answering machine! How weird is that?! :-)

PEL Version 0.9.1

Finally, a new version of PEL — get it before your neighbor! Pick your favorite:

The release notes follow:

Added setExif(), getExif(), and clearExif() methods as a convenient and recommended way of manipulating the Exif data in a PelJpeg object. Improved PelEntryTime to deal with timestamps in the full range from year 0 to year 9999. Removed PelTag::getDescription() because the descriptions were out of context. A new example demonstrates how to resize images while keeping the Exif data intact. Added a Japanese and updated the French and Danish translations.

That was the executive summary, there’s a bit more detail about the changes below:

  • The constructors of PelJpeg and PelTiff can now take an argument which is used for initialization. This can be a filename (equivalent to calling loadFromFile()), a PelDataWindow (equivalent to load()). The PelJpeg constructor will also accept an image resource.

  • Added PelJpeg::setExif(). This method should always be used in preference to PelJpeg::insertSection() and PelJpeg::appendSection(). One should actually not be using appendSection() unless one is very sure that the image has not been ended by a EOI marker.

  • Added PelJpeg::getExif(). This method is the new preferred way of obtaining the PelExif object from a PelJpeg object. Updated the examples and code to make use of it.

  • An example of how to resize images while keeping the Exif data intact is given in resize.php.

  • The PelTag::getDescription() method is no more. The descriptions were taken directly from the Exif specification and they were often impossible to translate in a meaningful out of context because they had references to figures and tables from said specification.

  • Fixed bug in edit-description.php which still called the constructor of PelIfd in the old pre-0.9 way.

  • Updated documentation of PelIfd to make it clearer that it can be used as an array because it implements the ArrayAccess SPL (Standard PHP Library) interface.

  • Added Japanese translation by Tadashi Jokagi.

  • Update by David Lesieur of the French translation.

  • Rewrote entry for version 0.9 in NEWS to highlight the API incompatible changes made from version 0.8.

  • Renamed test.php to run-tests.php and implemented a simple search functionality for finding the SimpleTest installation.

  • Rewrote script to work with Subversion.

Finally, if you insist, then go read the full ChangeLog, there’s lots of good stuff in this release :-)

Closing tabs in Firefox 2

Thomas recently compiled Firefox 2 here on DAIMI, so I gave it a go. My impressions so far have been good overall: switching between tabs is significantly faster than before as is scrolling through, say, The Planet. The machines here only have 512 MiB of RAM, and Firefox 2 seems to handle that better than before. The built-in spell checker is also very nice, but why did we have to wait until 2006 (almost 2007) before browsers shipped with a spell checker by default? That’s just ridiculous!

There is one change in Firefox 2 which I don’t like at all — they changed the close buttons on the tabs. Now there are individual close buttons on each tab. This is apparently a great achievement, they even mention is as one of the new great features of Firefox?! I find it truly annoying to have to search for the button I want to push when I want to close a tab. With Firefox 1.5 the button was always in the same spot so I could click it several times in a row to close several tabs quickly. With Firefox 2 I have to move the mouse around when closing multiple tabs.

Luckily it’s easy to change: open the URL about:config and find the setting browser.tabs.closeButtons. Change the value to 3 and you’re back to the sane pre-Firefox 2 setting.