Man, I’ve been neglecting my regular blog lately. 🙂
Coming soon: MOBILE MADNESS!
- Heads-up on StatusNet’s upcoming desktop and mobile clients
- iPad review
- Nexus One / Android 2.1 review
- Where’s that damn roaming plan, anyway?
Man, I’ve been neglecting my regular blog lately. 🙂
Coming soon: MOBILE MADNESS!
I’m here in the city of lights for Wikimedia’s big Multimedia Usability meeting. We’ve got a fair chunk of our MediaWiki devs and folks with more of the media & communications organization end in one place to hash out some of the key issues and see what we can really accomplish in the short and medium term, including long-needed reworking of the upload interface and the workflow of manually tidying up metadata for newly uploaded files — sometimes coming in batches of many thousands!
Since my free time’s pretty low these next couple months I’m trying to keep my own commitments to where I can pack the most punch…
Things to do proof of concept coding to confirm our implementation theory:
Things to ponder specs on:
Other things to peek at and give some directional advice on:
Update: Also want to poke XMPP RC test setup per Duesentrieb. 😀
As a guy who spends a lot of time in remote Linux shells from a laptop, I’m looking for better integration between my terminal emulators and screen sessions.
Linux & Mac clients both welcome… Anybody know something down this road already available?
We finally replaced my fiancée’s ancient PC with a shiny new Dell laptop. While ordering, I couldn’t help myself and tossed in a Inspiron Mini 9 for myself:
This little cutie weighs in at just 2.26 pounds, less than half of my MacBook’s hefty 5 pounds. I’ve found that the Mini is much more back-friendly than my MacBook; I can painlessly lug it to the office with my laptop bag slung over my shoulder (easier for getting on and off the subway) instead of nerding it up in backpack mode.
The top-end model I picked packs 16GB storage and 1GB RAM running on a 1.6 GHz Atom processor — far more powerful than the computer I took with me to college in 1997. Admittedly, my iPhone also beats that computer at 8GB/128MB/300MHz vs 6.4GB/64MB/266MHz. 😛
The compact form factor does have some impact on usability, though. The 1024×600 screen sometimes feels too tight for vertical space, but they include a handy full-screen zoom hotkey for the window manager which opens things up.
The keyboard feels a bit cramped, and some of the keys are in surprising places (the apostrophe and hyphen are frequent offenders), but it’s still a lot easier to type serious notes or emails on than the iPhone. I had to disable the trackpad’s click and scrolling options to keep from accidentally pasting random text with my palms while typing…
The machine shipped with a customized Ubuntu distribution which is fully functional; they include a “friendly” launcher app which can be easily disabled, and even the launcher doesn’t interfere too badly. The desktop launch bar that’s crept into Gnome nicely handles my “I need Spotlight to launch stuff with the keyboard” fix. 🙂 Firefox works fine (after uninstalling lots of Yahoo! extensions), Thunderbird installed easily enough, and I even got Skype to work with my USB headset! (AT&T’s international roaming charges can bite me…)
The biggest obstacle for me to use this machine every day is my Yojimbo addiction. I use Yojimbo for darn near everything — random notes, travel plans, budgeting, grocery lists, recipes, encrypted password stores, saving articles and documentation for future references. It’s insanely easy to use, the search works, I don’t have to remember where I saved anything, and it syncs across all my Macs. But… it’s Mac-only. 🙁
I’m trying out WebJimbo, which provides an AJAX-y web interface for remotely accessing your Yojimbo notes. It’s very impressive for what it does, but I’m hitting some nasty brick walls: editing a note with formatting drops all the formatting, but I use embedded screen shots and coloring extensively in my notes.
I’ve seen some reports of people hacking Mac OS X onto the Dell Mini — very tempting to avoid OS switching overhead. 🙂 But I think if I really want that, eventually I should just suck it up and buy a MacBook Air. The form factor is the same as my MacBook (full keyboard, roomier 1280×800 screen), but at 3 pounds it’s much closer to the Mini than to my regular MacBook in weight, so should be about as back-friendly for the subway commute and air travel.
Of course, the Air costs $1799 and I got my tricked-out Mini for about $400, so… I’ll save my pennies and see. 😉
We had a post come in this morning on mediawiki-l about an extension for adding a hash-based duplicate file check on upload.
A similar check had been recently added to MediaWiki core, but only on the file description page — it wouldn’t stop your upload while you were in the process. Since all the required backend was there I’ve gone ahead and added it in as a built-in feature for MediaWiki 1.13:
(Note that since we can’t get the file content hash until you upload, there’s still no way to give the warning before you actually upload it. But at least now it lets you cancel at that point instead of having to ask a sysop to come delete your file!)
Ok, so we finally got the FlaggedRevs for German Wikipedia config set up… then turned it off after a few minutes.
We did, alas, encounter a few problems, which didn’t come up as much in earlier testing, but came up *hard* in a few minutes around 3am at Wikipedia. 🙂
The nice small versioning marker is really nice, but that’s way too disruptive, and we’ll need to get it worked out one way or another.
Second, some of the reporting pages weren’t working, in part due to some last-minute tweaks to the DB layout to make it easier to deploy. (This should be fixed now.)
Third, the “redirected from” subtitles are being broken, which’ll disrupt some general editing functionality in an unpleasant way. An example on de.labs test wiki.
Once the UI bits are fixed up, we’ll give it another test run… und FlaggedRevs kommt wieder!
I did a quick look last night through our database error logs for the last week or so, breaking them down by function and error type. Here’s the top ten function-err loci:
|620||Article::updateCategoryCounts||1213||Deadlock found when trying to get lock; Try restarting transaction|
|240||Article::insertOn||1062||Duplicate entry ‘N-XXX’ for key 2|
|41||Article::doDeleteArticle||1213||Deadlock found when trying to get lock; Try restarting transaction|
|26||LinksUpdate::incrTableUpdate||1213||Deadlock found when trying to get lock; Try restarting transaction|
|19||TitleKey::prefixSearch||1030||Got error 28 from table handler|
|9||Title::invalidateCache||1213||Deadlock found when trying to get lock; Try restarting transaction|
|9||2013||Lost connection to MySQL server during query|
|8||User::saveSettings||1205||Lock wait timeout exceeded; Try restarting transaction|
|8||TitleKey::prefixSearch||2003||Can’t connect to MySQL server on ‘XXX’|
|7||Job::pop||1213||Deadlock found when trying to get lock; Try restarting transaction|
A large chunk of our DB errors are from conflicting transactions; the number one spot is currently taken up by updates to category counts, which is often part of an expensive page deletion transaction.
We’re often pretty lazy about rerunning database transactions when they’re rolled back, throwing an error and making the end-user resubmit the change. This is kind of lame, but at least the transaction rollback theoretically keeps the database consistent.
The number two spot seems to be for conflicting page creations — possibly due to automatic resubmissions after a slow save operation.
There’s a few “disk full” errors, which were probably due to a transitory error on one DB box.
Is this dialog showing success or failure?
Wha? I’m still not sure what’s going on, and I still don’t seem to have a search index in the KDE Help Center. Sigh.
Update: htdig wasn’t installed, which it didn’t report very well. After installing I can apparently build the index, but search still fails.
Again, the error doesn’t get reported well in the UI — it just echoes the khc_htsearch.pl command line instead of explaining what went wrong:
$ khc_htsearch.pl –docbook –indexdir=/home/brion/.kde/share/apps/khelpcenter/index/ –config=kde_application_manuals –words=multi-file+search –method=and –maxnum=5 –lang=en
Can’t execute htsearch at ‘/srv/www/cgi-bin/htsearch’.