Wednesday, December 21, 2016

GNUstep PDFKit update to xpdf 3.04

After many years, I was finally able to update PDFKit, GNUstep's PDF Framework which is based on xpdf. The update to 3.03 and 3.04 required updates to the internal APIs.

This brings a lot of  improvements (and also all the security fixes) of the newer xpdf.

Important new fixes are flowing in too, compared to the last release.

CropSize instead of MediaSize is now used to determine the NSSize of the image, thus fixing a strange scale issue that affected certain PDFs (The view was allocated for the MediaSize, but the rendering was done on the CropSize).

Furthermore, several static instances of classes were removed, so that multiple PDF documents can be opened in an application, this was a long undiscovered issue!

Workspace Content Inspector and ViewPDF

To all steppers who use PDFKit, please test... and report issues, especially new ones, a release is due soon! No regression known at the moment.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

DataBasin - object inspector and updates

First, the underlying DataBasinKit framework got an important update.
[DBSoap update] now supports setting fields to null. That was quite a major detail missing: you could reset to blank even string fields.
This required me to fiddle a bit to generate the fieldsToNull list. Every field passed with an empty string value is considered to null.

<update xmlns="...">
<sobject xsi:type="sf:Account">
<Name>New Name</Name>

The Object Inspector, the handy tool which allows you to inspect all field values of a record and knowing immediately their developer name given the Object Salesforce Id, how got update powers!

As the Screenshot (here on MacOS) shows, changed values show in a different color (non-updatable fields show in italics and their Cell is not editable). The total number of fields to be changed is summed up in the status field. Only fields marked as changed are updated when the Update button is pressed, other are left as-is and not overwritten for safety.

Further work has been done in the Inspector and full search filtering is now available!
Just entering a a sting will filter out the relevant rows. Both the Field Name or Developer Name are matched, as well as the content! It is thus super-easy to look for all fields (also fields not at layout) which have a certain Value. All fields false? easy as in the screenshot:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DataBasin and DataBasinKit 0.9 released

After more than a year of work, finally a new release of DataBasin and its associated framework. This version features a Framework that can be used in threads and the application itself is capable of having concurrent connection classes to

On Windows

On OpenBSD

Countless bug fixes (thanks to the bug reports of my colleagues Diego, Moustapha, Matteo + Matteo).

Major new features are:
  • threadable DataBasinKit framework
  • concurrent, interruptible operations (e.g. select vs. update)
  • handle multiple errors as a result of update
  • filter new lines when writing CSVs
  • countless bugfixes, especially in select-identify corner cases

DataBasinKit allows you native connection to, allowing your application to integrate SOQL queries (SELECT, UPDATE similar operations), be it on Mac (Cocoa) or NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux or Solaris as well as Windows (MinGW).
DataBasin itself allows you to perform standard operations in a quick and agile interface: Extract accounts on Linux without the need of Java. Use the unique select-identify feature.

I am proud that Free Software can connect from a Free Software Operating System to a proprietary system and bridge the two worlds, enabling to do administrative work without being constrained to Java on Windows (read: DataLoader). Thanks to the many developers who continue supporting me in the development and keep these fine Operating Systems and tools alive.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ProjectCenter debugger changes (now even on windows!)

Behold ProjectCenter running on Windows with the debugger module open and GDB running in it.

GNUstep's ProjectCenter debugger module - something which was initiated by Greg and has always been quite experimental and unfinished - was based on running GDB via a virtual terminal by using openpty(). Sadly openpty() is not very portable and also.
I restructuured the debugger module to have a separation between the view handling the visualization and a delegate which handles the actual execution of the debugger and sending commands and receiving output.
Instead of using a terminal I implemented a std-in and std-out mechanism.
While some interactive editing properties get lost when using GDB this way (e.g. ability to answer y/n questions) it is the right way to the a machine interface. For example a stacktrace doesn't get paged but printed out fully. Different data sources now get nicely colored too!

And last but not least, it runs on Windows.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nasty DataBasin bug fixed

DataBasin's Select-Identify, an invaluable tool for many working with, showed erratic behaviour: extremely hard to reproduce even by sometimes re-running the same query on the same data set, the operation would just stop without any error in the console log, trapped exception or else.

After extensive debugging I found the problem in the queryMore method of the API implementation in DataBasinKit. If queryMore had to return just one record, it would malfunction.
Technically this happened because the size reported by in the queryMore is not the size of the objects of the queryMore, but of the original query.

The problem affects thus anything using queryMore: If you would select and had a batch size in download of 500, you would get a problem with 501, 1001, 1501 records and so on. 500 or 502 would just work fine. Combine this that the query size of the selectIdentify is dynamic and you get the idea on how difficult it was to reproduce.

Now it is fixed and the upcoming 0.9 version will have this fixed. All currently released DataBasin versions are affected by this bug.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

IRC client TalkSoup 1.1 released

I am pleased to announce that after months of work a new release of GNUstep's IRC client, TalkSoup, is ready!
Being essentially abandoned the last released sources (alpha version)have been  imported some time ago in GAP with Andrew's consent. I also merged in some enhancements from the GIT repository code.

This new release was really started because the original code was not working at all anymore, it did not compile on certain platforms and elsewhere it crashed really often.

  • Very important Crash fixes due to Strings vs AttributedStrings
  • Native XCode port to Mac (both PPC and x86 do work), no GNUstep makefiles necessary
  • Memory leaks and fixes as recognized by clang's static analyzer
  • Tweaks to the user interface
  • Import and addition of the IGNORE plugin
  • Fixes to work on current GNUstep runtime and on MacOS
  • Preference fields send action on end editing, not enter
  • Install plugins locally inside Application resources with .bundle extension
  • Fixed myriads of crashes due to code using "id" instead of an explicit type and thus picking up the wrong methods
  • 64bit fixes with NSInteger/NSUInteger

Due to the change of plugin placement, you may need to delete your defaults.

Check more on it's GNUstep Appliction Project page, where you can download it or go to the savannah project page and learn how to check out the SVN sources.

Here the most classic and nostalgic setup: my iBook running Debian (without evil systemd) and the classic GNUstep theme and WindowMaker. Works fine!

Here instead on my other iBook, still running MacOS. Do you see some similarity? Although TalkSoup did run in the past on Mac, this is a native XCode build. Having it run on my ol' clamshell makes me feel cozy.

And something less common too, to prove the enhanced portability: GNU/Hurd on Debian, with the Sleek theme from GAP:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Extirpating systemd from Debian

I found out that all my debian machines switched to systemd without my consent, with just a standard apt-get ugrading.
I despise that decision.

I did not follow the latest discussion about it, I was left with the impression that it would have been installed only if needed, but evidently I was wrong.

Can you get back? Time to toss Debian? I hoped not, I know of other fellow developers who switched  distribution, but Debian is Debian.

Remove systemd and sysvinit (which is now a transitional package) and put back sysvinit-core back. I had the fear that I bricked my laptops, but it still works. For how long? I don't know.

I'm very very sad about this. If I think of GNU/Linux I think of Debian, it has been with me since 68k times, when potato was cool. Debian made a very bad decision.

Something newer than ol' sysvinit? Something modern, fast, capable of parallelism. Yes.
But something portable, light, secure, which is not a dependency hell, which does one thing. In other words, something in line with the Unix philosophy.

Not the enormous pile of rotting shit which is systemd. When I removed it, I freed almost 13Mbytes from my system. I am relieved, but it shows also how big that pile of crap is.

So, for now, Debian can stay with me, I hope it will be for a long while. Long enough that debian will revert or systemd will go away.