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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Repository "Hello world" (aka

This week I've worked the repository plugin for the audio services. Starting the plugin was easy. The documentation presents clearly the required first steps. Thei are not hard to follow.

Moving on and getting into more details proved harder, due to the gaps in the documentation. For answers to many questions I had to dig into the repository lib code and trace the control flow. I guess the code is still in working because there are many code comments left, some obsolete comments, and many non-documented functions (too many?).  Yeah, and the Ajax part did make the process harder in some places.

Anyway, I got a skeleton of the plugin in place :). I still have some unanswered questions (like is the link and ref_id return types treated diferently, and how?).

Another issue is missing information about the riffly premium features. I wrote them requesting details, but I haven't received an answer yet.

Netbeans vs Eclipse (for PHP)

All weekend I've tested Netbeans and Eclipse with my PHP projects, mainly Moodle (since it has the larger codebase).

I've been using Eclipse Europa with PDT 1.0.3 for almost an year now since Petr recomended it to me. I'm very happy with it, although on a few occations the workspace got corrupted and some of the features stopped working (code completion, code dereferencing, etc).

So this weekend I tested Eclipse Ganymade with PDT 2.0 and Netbeans 6.5. Ganymede was quickly out of race (for now) due to too much memory hogging. Netbeans was OK, but it felt like its PHP features are somehow behind PDT's: file parsing/opening was slower, code dereferecing worked incorrectly on a few occations, and after a few hours of working the memory consumption was also large. I liked it code completion speed and coding helps.

I was expecting more from Netbeans, but I guess it's still too much focused on Java. Eclipse seems more general. So for now, I'll keep my Eclipse.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Coding starts.... NOW!

Well, GSoC coding starts today. I finished the functional specification, but I still need to prepare some mockups to make it cleaner. Jerome suggested balsamiq. I'll give it a try.
Jerome gave me some very good advices about dealing with common stuff vs. specific issues in it:
the question to ask yourself is: What are the difference between java applet and web services for the final users (Moodle admin and the guy wanted to record a sound)? If the difference needs a few sentences to be explained, you can have one paragraph. If you need half a chapter to explain the difference, it probably needs distinct chapters/use cases.
On a separate issue, I think Elena has an easier project code-wise, but more challenging "inspirational-wise".

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Repository APIs

Finally, after long and frequent interruptions I was able to complete reading Moodle's Repository API & friends. The specification is still under construction, but it showcases an interesting and powerful concept with a very clean API.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eclipse says "Workspace in use or cannot be created"

Out of the blue, Eclipse is saying that the "Workspace in use or cannot be created". I say ok, probably a lock file was left behind and so I do:
rm ~/workspace/.metadata/.lock

No error (so the file was left behind), yet the problem is not solved. I tried clearing out the workspace path. Same problem.
Googleing, I found this post, so I ran:
sudo gedit /usr/share/eclipse/configuration/.settings/org.eclipse.ui.ide.prefs
removed the RECENT_WORKSPACES line. It works now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First entry

This is my first blog entry. As I write right now, I'm not a big fan of blogs. However, I started this in order to help me keep track of my progress while working on Moodle with Google Summer of Code and other projects I'm doing.
It might also prove useful helping me "bookmark" stuff I found useful once and I can't find it anymore (like USP).
I've added a task to my Google Calendar to see in one year from now if my impressions about blogs changed.