andre's blog

clog - add colours to your log life (and files)

Developers often have to look at log files. This is sometimes boring, sometimes tedious, but it's a fact of life. It would really help if some special lines, such as errors, warnings etc. could stand out. One way to do it is to use the clog utility.

To make clog usage more streamlined from a terminal, you can define this bash function:

Cmake FindMySQL script

Cmake is a great build tool. It takes care of generating build system files, targeting, among others, Unix makefile, MS Visual Studio, ninja, XCode etc. There are various extra modules available for Cmake. One in particular allows the discovery of MySQL development files, such as headers and libraries. It can be found here. Unfortunately, it has a few issues: it doesn't work for Windows, and it has a bug towards the end. Other alternatives I found on the web were even worse.

TeamCity and publishing NUGet packages to private repositories

Recently I had to figure out how to publish a NUGet package to a private password-protected repository as part of a TeamCity CI build process. NUGet, for those who are not aware, is a tool for managing .NET software in a convenient manner. It is similar in its purpose to Maven, the Java packaging framework. The implementation details are, of course, quite different.

Scrapy and persistent cookie manager middleware

Scrapy is a nice python environment for web scraping, i.e. extracting information from web sites automatically by crawling them. It works best with anonymous data discovery, but nothing stops you from having active sessions as well. In fact, scrapy transparently manages cookies, which are usually used to track user sessions. Unfortunately, the sessions don't survive between runs. This, however, can be fixed quite easily by adding custom cookie middleware. Here is an example:


No more Mr JavaScript guy?

After doing some web development work recently, I have clearly remembered why I hate JavaScript so much. Not only is it ugly as a language, lacking in type checking or even decent syntax for inheritance (actually faking it with various workarounds), but the actual fact of having effectively two separate code bases - front end and back end forces you to repeat quite a bit of code. And hunting for missing variables and fields or mismatching types is the favourite pastime of JavaScript developers.

Ubuntu 15.04 freezing

I use Ubuntu (a modern Linux distribution) as my main work station. Everything worked fine until I upgraded from version 14.10 to 15.04 of the OS. At this point strange things started to happen. After working for an hour or two my environment would freeze and stop responding altogether. Neither Ctrl-Alt-Del nor Ctrl-Alt-Backspace would produce any reaction. I couldn't connect to the machine remotely as well. Only hard reset would take me out of this state.

Google's Inbox

Earlier I wrote about issues with the new offer from Google - the "Inbox" mail service. Recently Google released updates for its Inbox web and Android clients. As a result, it works almost perfectly. In particular: