Friday, August 04, 2006

Google Code Hosting

Some time ago, while reading Scott Hanselman's blog I stumbled across a rather usefull utility called SlickRun. For a long time, even though SlickRun was not quite everything I wanted or needed, it was close enough and worked well so I used it a lot.
Then something changed on the machines at work and my machine became very, very unstable with crashes and slow-downs and all manner of unacceptable behaviour. I'm not going to blame SlickRun for that, it's more likely that something else on my machine was conflicting with it and causinf the crappy behaviour. However, without knowing what that other thing was, it was easier to just stop using SlickRun than try and find the real culprit, which I almost certainly could have done nothing about anyway.
So I removed SlickRun and got my system back but I was not happy with the situation. The spoiled kid in me kept whining "where's my SlickRun, I wan't my SlickRun!" The analyst in me would reply "No, you can't have it. We need a stable system at work."
Finally, the Dad part of me got sick of the squabling and said "why don't we try and make our own?" So I am. Apart from keeping the spoiled kid and the analyst parts of me quiet, it also lets me scratch a huge geek-itch.

So what, you may be asking, does that have to do with the title of the post? Well, I needed to be able to store the code off-site, so I could get to it from home or work and I figured that I may as well try and get source control while I'm at it. So I looked into a couple of solutions:

  • SourceForge has many projects on it and lots of them seem to be very happy to be there. But I've heard some real horror stories about SF recently and descided to keep on looking.

  • CodePlex looked interesting, but at the moment still seems to be in beta and requires that each project is screened by an administrator. I needed to be up and running quicker than that, so also no-go.

  • GotDotNet was a no-go from the start. I tried creating a project there a while ago and it was just too much hassle, with plug-ins and pages that would never finish loading. Also, it seems to suffer from load-problems and other "unspecified" ailments which block people from downloading the code or binaries.

  • Google Code Hosting looked interesting. More, it looked very promising. So I set up a project there: QuickRun. It uses SVN for versioning so I can use the very good tools that alredy exist for that, such as AnkhSVN or TortoiseSVN. There are loads of others here for those who don't use Windows or Visual Studio, but those two do me just fine. It also has a built-in issue tracking system.

I'm very happy with Google Code Hosting so far. It took less than ten minutes to create the project repository, another twenty minutes for me to remember how SVN works (I use VSS at work usually) and a few minutes to upload the code through to the server. And that's it! All sorted, all done. Cool.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Office 2007 Beta 2 Language Settings

OK, so it turns out that Office 2007 Beta 2 won't just not install on my Vista Beta 2 test box, it won't install on my XP Service Pack 2 machine either. Apparently, "The language of this installation package is not supported by your system." WTF!!!

Well, alright, by Redmond's standards I may have a "non-standard" installation in that my language settings are UK English not US English. But EN-UK and EN-US are really not that different from each other. Maybe the ISO file I downloaded from the Microsoft Beta Experience site is cooked. Actually, that's probably the case because the Beta 2 image I have from a PC Plus coverdisc seems to work better. But it still doesn't work right with Vista Beta 2. I think I'm gonna pull the plug on Vista for now. It's just too much effort for too little reward.

Maybe I'll do some testing of ReactOS or AROS on my dev/scratch machine, instead. I may even look into a *nix instead if I can be bothered. My current favourties run to Ubuntu and OpenSuse but I'm always open to new distros. The only major drawback with those is that they generally don't have particularly good development tools.

Oh well, guess I'd better start looking through my OS discs to see what I'm gonna be testing next.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Vista Beta Testing

I'm currently testing a build of Windows Vista on my scratch/development machine. First impressions: not particularly impressed. I think I'll be sticking with Windows XP for the forseeable future.
The main problems are that it's horribly slow and seriously annoying with all the breaks in workflow that the default settings impose on me, even in an admin account. I think that I'll be switching off a lot of the "safety features" and other fluff which are turned on by default to see if that makes any kind of difference.

The other big problems: I can't install the Beta 2 edition of Office that I have on Vista because I have "non US" settings. Well pardon me for having a UK setup! Oddly enough, I also can't install Visual Studio 2005 for similar reasons. WTF!!! And this is supposed to be close to shippable code (Beta 2 build). God knows what kind of chance someone with non Roman-based languages, such as Korean or Japanese stands of getting anything out of Vista. How could something so fundamental as language options be broken? Isn't this code supposed to be based on the XP code-base?
Maybe I'll try re-installing it using non UK settings and see how things go with that.

More opinions later, once I've done some more testing...