Nov 28, 2008

My Mozilla Thunderbird add-on

I read TYPO3 mailing lists many times a day. I always use threaded view because it keeps conversations organized. There are lots of messages in he mailing lists and sometimes locating answers to old questions is not easy. Switching to "Threads with unread" view helps but doing it several times a day becomes annoyng because it requires at least three clicks in the Thunderbird menu.

I searched for the Thunderbord add–on that will let me to make such switch quickly. I found a very old add–on named nntpthreads, which worked for Thunderbird 1.5 (but not on Mac OS X). I tried to fix it but it still did not work.

So I just made my own add–on. It was easy when I found a tutorial about it on Mozilla Wiki. Now I use my own add–on to quickly switch between thread views. Here is how my Thunderbird toolbar looks now:

Nov 23, 2008

Never rush

There is one rule I started to follow recently. I found it to be universally usable and useful. It applies to any area of the life: programming, shopping, reading, repairing your house.

The rule is simple: never rush.

Rushing means you miss possibly more optimal alternatives. These could be alternative ways of doing the current task or alternatives to the task itself. In 100% of cases I find that waiting for a couple of hours either presents a much better solution or eleminates the problem completely. So even if something needs urgent fixing—never rush. Think first. Look outside the window. Never rush. You will see that your first obvious way of doing things was wrong.

Be calm. Thunk. Never rush.

Nov 14, 2008

TYPO3 certification launched

Today I got news about TYPO3 certification. Certification team seems to come with the first simple certification programme named "TYPO3 integrator".

The programme will certify people who build web sites using TYPO3. It does not cover physical file installation on the disk using *nix shell but it does cover the Install tool in 1-2-3 and normal modes, which is a good thing to certify. Many people lack knowledge of Install tool, which is essential when troubleshooting problems.

Also this certification is not for extension developers and it is specifically stated. To pass the exam, you do not need any extension programming knowledge but you must know TypoScript, TYPO3 access rights and other typical things that happen when you create a TYPO3–based web site. This is what certification team says:

Ghost item in mnoGoSearch configuration

Users, who tried to install and use mnoGoSearch TYPO3 extension could see two ghost items in the plugin's flexform configuration. Here is how it looks like:

I was sure that it is not a problem of the extension. So I took a deeper look and discovered a TYPO3 bug: TYPO3 will show ghost items in the multiple select control if that control has default values. However if you save the item, ghosts will magically materialize. Funny!

It is the first time I saw ghosts in TYPO3. Not very scary, heh?

Nov 13, 2008

Good VPN client for Mac

Sometimes when I work for the customer, I need to access their servers using VPN. Since I am on the Mac, my options were limited to two options:
  • Built–in Mac OS X VPN client, which does not work in many cases (it does not have OpenVPN support)
  • Tunnelblick, which is very unstable and often dies
Yesterday I discovered a very nice new VPN client for Mac named Viscosity. Viscosity has a very good user interface, it is rock stable and connects much faster than Tunnelblick.

Nov 11, 2008

Bad experience buying from

I am usually concerned about security. When I heard that whole disk encryption is finally available for Macs, I went to to buy it. I buy software regulary and it usually does not cause any problems. This time it was different.

When I entered all my usual information in the PGP web store (including credit card number), I was told that order was not authorized. This was strange. Typically it happens if there is a error in credit card data. So I tried again and got the same message. I gave up.

Next day I found that money are reserved twice on my credit card. I called european support. They had troubles finding orders. Finally they said they will forward it to another department. I asked to cancel one order and process another. Money are reserved, so why not to process the order?

Support promissed to process the order. PGP store conditions say that they resolve issues within 72 hours. I waited. I waited more than 72 hours. Money are still reserved, order status is still "on hold". I asked them if there are any problems and got "we are processing the order" response.

After a week of waiting I give up. I never had such problems before: PGP reserves money on the card and that's all, nothing moves. I cannot use the funds on the card. PGP does not process the order. PG does not send me the product. PGP does not tell what is going on. They keep my money locked and do not do anything.

I asked PGP to cancel the order. If they do not wish to have customers, they got one customer less now. I will never ever buy from PGP again.