I was looking for a way to play my music collection (which is primarily ogg and flac) from anywhere, preferably with some sort of automatic transcoding feature. In the past I’ve just mounted my music collection via sshfs (more about that here) and then played music with some heavyweight app like Amarok. This is fine, but flac files are too large to be streamed realistically.
So – along came Ampache – an open-source PHP app that is just CHOCK full of features. Just crazy. It’s got a responsive AJAX interface, creates many different types of playlists, can transcode on the fly to other formats / bitrates and was fairly easy to install. It’s just awesome, and pretty much any music player can read an Ampache stream.
THEN I discovered Ampache Mobile (google code page) - a FOSS Palm Pre app that hooks into your Ampache instance via XML-RPC. Amazing! I get flac/ogg files transcoded to 96kbps MP3 streams on-the-fly, allowing me to listen to all my music anywhere I have a Sprint network connection. The app is beautiful, functional, and has made my Pre even more indispensible than it was before.
If you’ve got a Pre and a home server with even moderate upload speed, GET THIS WORKING. Now.
Edit: Corrected Ampache Mobile link. Thanks, bjgeiser!
An interesting read that I think is spot-on.
I don’t see any statement that clearly says “this rant is mainly because I chose the wrong license for Mongrel”, but beyond that his points about the GPL fostering contributions is 100% correct.
I dunno. I tend to choose the “default license” of the language / framework I’m building in: maybe I’ll need to rethink that.
No sir, I don’t like it. Not at all.
The default mod_passenger “this app wouldn’t start” page includes an external CSS file:
which is odd, considering there’s a bunch of inline CSS. I guess it’s to include the images. . . but it also amounts to disclosing something unintentionally. Yuck.
I made an interesting discovery the other day between how “count” and “length” function with an ActiveRecord model, one that can be exploited effectively to speed up an app, as long as you understand the consequences.
- Invoking “count” on an array (or dependent relationship) will always hit the database, and do something similar to select count(id) as count_all from contacts every time you invoke it.
- Invoking “length” on an array (or dependent relationship) will only hit the database once. If the relationship has already been populated (say by :include-ing the dependent objects in your Model.find method), the database won’t get hit at all.
So – if you’re OK not getting a count that’s 100% accurate at the time of method invocation, “length” will do the right thing and run the necessary SQL statement the first time it’s run. Otherwise, it’ll give you the array count, which may be out of sync with the database.
This can have significant performance benefits if you’re iterating through many records and emitting counts of dependent objects. :include-ing the dependent objects and using “length” decreased the SQL expense of a page view 40 fold in one case.
Once again, it’s good to know your tools.
Frequently a tool crops up that makes me feel foolish for not using it – that tool today is Rails.vim. It rocks in so many ways I am seriously considering having Tim Pope’s babies – were such a thing possible.
- Automatic method completion!
- Automatic switching to fixtures, unit tests, and other context-sensitive actions!
- Excellent syntax highlighting!
- Hooks into your script/ directory!
And really too much stuff to articulate here. Just use it! Yay for IDEs that don’t slow you down – I’m looking at you, RadRails.
Getting it working under modern Ubuntus (ubunti?) is stupid easy (as a normal user):
sudo aptitude install vim-rails
If you’re using Postgresql with Rails 2.2, your testing database user needs to be a “superuser” for your tests to run. This is not a good thing. It’s the equivalent of running as root. But, if you’ve got a completely separate development/testing server it’s better than not being able to test at all.
If your postgres testing user isn’t a superuser, you’ll get errors like:
ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid: PGError: ERROR: permission \
denied: "RI_ConstraintTrigger_17866" is a system trigger
You can create a postgres superuser thusly:
> su - postgres
> psql template1
> template1=# create user your username superuser;
Update the testing stanza of your config/database.yml and you should be good to go.
My mind has been sufficiently blown.
Free software source code hosting with political resiliency baked right in – I guess you’re already immune to political strife when your code is “free as in speech.” This strikes me as fitting the “trust but verify” adage quite nicely.
The powers that be aren’t going to mess with my perfectly legal free software, but <caveats status=”applied”>restricting my ability to code what I want isn’t going to faze me when it’s replicated across a bajillion nodes. </caveats>