Thursday, September 23, 2010

Subversion Edge

Subversion is an excellent version control system. It is mature enough to have all sorts of integration - with Apache and Python amongst others. This enables easy communication via the HTTP protocol and language bindings, such as python to form web interfaces for repositories.

With subversion being a server-client model the version of the server is the most important component as it determines what features you can actually use. No good having a 1.6 client if the server is 1.2 as only 1.2 features are available. Depressingly this was the situation I was in. Unsurprisingly, the good folk at CollabNet have added lots of useful new features, which I need to use.

Compiling subversion is actually dead easy (as I have discussed previously, plus lots of binaries are available). So what is Subversion Edge? Essentially a bundle of Apache, Subversion and ViewVC server in a convenient tarball. Then throw in a bonus admin web interface as well. Upgrading your server version becomes slightly more tricky when Apache and Python are tied to it. No worries with Subversion Edge as it has a built-in update mechanism. One of my pet peeves is multiple usernames/passwords. Another freebie from Subversion Edge is LDAP support so plug straight in your authentication system - nice. One less component to ensure you compile against.

I started using the beta over the summer and have had no problems. The 1.2.1 release is now happily serving many repositories for me.  If you run a very large and complicated setup you may find Subversion Edge is too restricted for you, but for a large number of users it will meet your needs.

If you maintain subversion repositories I strongly recommend you give Subversion Edge a go today. Did I mention it was free as well?

Useful links:

Monday, September 20, 2010

iOS apps for Science

I was going to list interesting iPhone/iPad apps months ago, but there is already an excellent list available here and I see no point in reinventing the wheel.

If you fancy hunting through the App Store, which isn't that great a search you'll generally find science apps under Books, Education, Reference or Utilities.

Now I have slightly more free time I might have a dabble with the iOS SDK.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blog spring clean

Admittedly this is late for a spring clean, but Blogger has introduced a host of updates since I last looked. One being this nifty new template.

Also, something I've wanted to try out is a decent syntax highlighter and this one looks good. See The instructions I followed for Blogger can be found here.

So now I can easily publish code like this:

    <title>Tutorial: HelloWorld</title>
    <h1>HelloWorld Tutorial</h1>

(You have escape angular brackets)

print "Hello, World!"

// Outputs "Hello, world!" and then exits
public class HelloWorld {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
       System.out.println("Hello world!");

Don't use the Blogger WYSIWYG editor for this, switch to HTML else it will get very confused. I have used the pre method over script. I imagine if you switch templates this may break, but a quick copy and paste should bring the functionality back.

Fingers crossed it comes out ok through RSS readers as well!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New content... part II

I've finally submitted my PhD thesis! Therefore, I now have spare time, it might take a while to get used to. I've neglected this blog because of writing up but will start to post new content soon.