Category Archives: Development

February Update

Hey All,

*edit*

So turns out I missed my 1 year anniversary for my blog…..I’ve never been able to keep a blog up and going for more than a month or two so this is definitely an accomplishment for me! The anniversary of the Robert Report was actually on Feb 14th, 2008…..go figure!

For reference, here is a link to the first post: Clicky!

*/edit*

Well again, I haven’t been keeping up with my blog….sorry about that! So this post should be fairly large in length in order to get up to speed on what’s been going on as of late.

Presidents Day Weekend – 2/14/09
I went snowboarding with some buddies of mine: Jared, Tuan and Diego. We went to mountain high…that was fun. The weather was perfect and there actually weren’t that many people! I hope to go again some time really soon especially since Jared got all new gear…I want to try that stuff out! =)

Random Ride – 2/21/09

So I finally managed to get back on my bike and head out for another motorcycle ride. Man was that way overdue! It was amazingly awesome by the way…..the ride started off a little chilly, but once I got up into the mountains and onto the other side (not overcast anymore) the weather was great, took off the jacket and strapped it to my backpack. As I started to get higher the snow from the previous rain started to emerge….that was exciting! I’ve never ridden in the snow, it was quite slippery but definitely fun! Hopefully I can get out on a long ride over Spring Break…..*crosses fingers*

Quarter Ending

So Winter quarter here at UCSB is drawing to a close and all my classes project due dates are approaching fast. I have a midterm later today that I should be studying for….hopefully that goes ok. I have a project due tomorrow that I totally forgot about, hopefully its not too long! I have another group project due next Tuesday, that should be ok….my group members are smart and responsible. Although I need to get a haircut on Friday to make myself somewhat presentable for the presentation I need to give for that….

SCO3

So with the Quarter drawing to a close the deadline for my project, now aptly named SCO3 or Service Center Online version 3, is approaching as well. I’m supposed to have this bad boy done before everyone comes back from spring break so I guess I’ll be doing some coding over the break. I am now experimenting with various AJAX requests and making it more Web 2.0-ey……but that might have to be put on hold for the next release while I polish up the interface and make it more usable/intuitive.

I think that’s it for now, as usual I’ll try to keep this updated more often….but hey I’ve had this thing for almost a year….holy crap I just realized I’ve had this for a year….*edit*

Phiivo? What’s that?

So based on a lot of thinking and a great deal of “mulling” as my friend Matt would say…..I’ve decided to step down as VP of eFireHost.com Limited, Inc. Instead I will be pursuing my own venture….Phiivo What that you might ask? Well as of right now….it’s just a registered domain name….however I have plans to turn it into a site that is dedicated to my web development work, OSS and Commercial. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for some time now…so we’ll see how it plays out! Any suggestions or comments are definately appreciated!

Until next time….Later!

Followup: Dev Hosting? What gives?

Hey All,

Well this post is going to be all about the response to this post. It’s kinda late actually, I’ve had this solution for a few weeks already but I wanted to test it out.

So I realize that I was sorely over thinking the whole development bug/issue tracker dilemma. I stopped and cleared my mind and started to tackle the issue from another angle. Why did I need/want a fancy web 2.0 front end? Why did I need to host my repositories in 3 separate places? Why was I making it so hard for myself?

Well turns out the solution I ended up going with was posted in my previous rant. I finally decided to go with RedMine and what a great decision that was! However there were a few issues that needed to be handled before moving to RedMine:

  • I need a mongrel/rails environment
  • I don’t want to spend gobs of money

The first, well both issues were actually handled at the same time. (Kill two birds with one stone theory?) While I did indeed enjoy my brief time at MediaTemple I definitely could not justify ANOTHER $20/mo on top of the already $20/mo for a mongrel/ruby environment. I’m a college student, sorry MediaTemple.

My answer to this was actually right under my nose. My previous host, JaguarPC, was a superb host. I had been with them for almost a year before trying MediaTemple and moving. (I was with MediaTemple for two months before moving back!) My only real gripes with JaguarPC at the time (when I moved away) were:

  • No custom DNS without opening a ticket (unless I had a reseller account)
  • The server I was on was slow and unreliable.

I wasn’t able to get them to open up a WHM panel for my shared account, but as often as I change DNS I decided it wasn’t a deal breaker. As for the reliability? I opted for one of the semi-dedicated plans, sure it only saves me $10/mo over MediaTemple but from what I’ve heard/read JaguarPCs semi-dedicated plans are rock solid. They even offer a fail-over plan for the semi-dedicated servers, but I decided I didn’t need that.

So for the past almost month now I’ve been happily hosted by JaguarPC again! I miss their support and fun forums. When I was getting setup and moving all my stuff over the support team really bent over backwards for me. I told them that I wanted to install RedMine and they enabled the RoRs support for my account and helped debug any issues that I was having on setup (outside of their scope of support mind you!)

It also turns out that JaguarPC offers SVN repositories from within shell accounts. So I can connect to my repo’s via ssh+svn, this is good but I’m not completely satisfied. At one point or another I’m going to want to have public repo’s that people can just checkout anonymously, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Now that I’m up and running with my new RedMine install I do have a few gripes, well one really (will I ever be happy? Nah…) I want more granular control over user/account permissions for the application as a whole. I wanted the ability for the SVN viewing option of a project to be locked to certain users but the rest of the project open to all. One option that some members on the IRC chat offered was to create two projects, one locked down with Repo access and the other open and free. I haven’t implemented that idea yet but it is definitely on my todo list.

Oh yeah…..here is the link to my RedMine install:

http://dev.crshman.info

That’s it for now!

Laterz….Roberrr

Dev Hosting? What gives?

Ok watch out….this post is most likely going to be an epic rant….you’ve been forewarned…..

Why in the HECK is it so difficult to find a pretty, simple, elegant and above all FUNCTIONAL source code management and bug/ticket tracking system????

I have tried unfuddle, assembla, 16bugs, the now defunct porchlight, beanstalk, sifter, codebase, fogbugz, bugja and have yet to find a system that I *truly* like.

Unfuddle almost took the cake, but they don’t allow for the public to submit tickets only team members….what’s that about!?

Assembla was great too, but they also didn’t allow for public submission of tickets. Assembla got REALLY close though, people can view the “Dashboard” of one of your projects and sign in to submit a ticket. Seems close to what I want right? The catch…..in order for a user to submit a ticket they need to have “edit” rights to the ENTIRE project…which means they can edit the wiki, all the ticket information, etc. Why can’t you make a permission set for public users to just create/comment on tickets??

Right now i’m trying to cobble something together using Lighthouse, my MediaTemple SVN account and a simple WebSVN page.

I did stumble upon github which is a pretty cool concept, it also integrates with Lighthouse. This is essentially the same as my above configuration (slightly more integrated because github combines my WebSVN page and a Git account) However going this route brings with it other issues:

  • Need to learn Git Source Versioning
  • The Git eclipse plugin leaves much to be desired

The two apps I did find that can do this are ironically free, trac and redmine. At this stage i’m not sure if redmine can do the public ticket submission, but it does handle multiple projects.

Trac:

Cons

  • Ugly as hell
  • Requires an account with Mongrel support
  • Doesn’t manage multiple projects

Pros

  • It’s free!
  • It essentially works for what I need

Redmine:

Cons

  • Not sure if it even supports public ticket submission
  • Requires RoRs/Mongrel support

Pros

  • It’s Free!
  • It can handle multiple projects

The problem with these two is that my MediaTemple account requires me to pay and ADDITIONAL $20/mo to simply add Ruby/Mongrel support….grr….I’m not really too exicted to change hosts at this point in time because that’s a lot of work (R&D plus the actual migration)

Some might ask, why not SourceForge or GoogleCode or any other free project management setup?

The problem with this is that I have projects that are not potentially opensource, they are private. I cannot host private projects on sites such as SF or GoogleCode. This is problematic for me. Sure I can create and host all my OSS projects at sites like these, but I would MUCH rather have a centralized project management system in which I can overview all my projects and what’s going on with them in one area rather than all over the internetz.

My Needs:

  • Bug/Ticket Tracking System
  • The aforementioned system MUST allow for public submission of tickets (and not allow the public to edit the whole dang site!)
  • Source Control system that integrates with SVN/Git/CVS/etc.
  • I would like the above so that I can link code to tickets
  • Also I would like to have the public able to see all my code revisions and edits (along with myself)
  • Support for multiple projects
  • I plan on doing many projects in my life time, I don’t want to have 10 different places where they are hosted. I want it centralized.

I’m seriously thinking about brewing up an app to fit this niche market because from my google-ing I found that a lot of small developers have very similar, if not the same needs as me.

*phew* /Rant

Until Next Time…..~RN

SiriusMCE

Well I have begun coding my latest application, SiriusMCE. It’s going to be an addon for VMC (Vista Media Center) that will allow people to play Sirius Satellite radio streams from withing VMC.

I have been doing a lot of readin on the matter, I need to get back up to speed on the whole C# and MCML (Basically Microsofts version of XML for Media Center). I haven’t touched C# in AGES, so it’s taking some time. Luckily most languages these days are OOP so it’s not too much of a switch over from PHP (My favorite! =D).

I’ll Post updates as I make progress….maybe…