Elixir bass strings, six months later

Elixir bass set, after 6 months About six months ago, I started our spring concerts series with a brand new set of Elixir medium bass strings, based on the various recommendations I had found regarding these, centering notably on their long life span. In spite of the various warnings I had read about their peculiar tone, I thought I'd give them a chance to prove their worth.

Easier Lilypond coding with Context

A few months ago, I discovered the Lilypond music typesetting system, and thought I had stumbled upon some sort of holy grail: here was an open source system which, at last, allowed me to write music much like program code, and did not jump me through the hoops of a UI in order to create scores and the MIDI files representing them.

Formatting PHP code in Eclipse PDT and Zend Neon

By default, the current Eclipse-based PHP IDE (PDT) uses an indenting style based on One True Brace, and the upcoming Zend Neon version happens to be also Eclipse-based. For developers working with OSInet Drupal modules or PHP-GTK code, or anyone wishing to apply the OSInet coding style, or another form of Whitesmiths / Symbian PHP formatting, Eclipse allows for customizing the bracing/commenting style by hand-tuning, o

When Drupal 6.x dev always returns "page not found"... pages can still be found

A problem with the yet unreleased versions of Drupal 6 is that in some cases Drupal all of a sudden seems to lose all of its paths. In my case it happened when working on a port of an OSInet module from the Drupal 4.7 to Drupal 6 API.

A symptom of the problem can be seen by checking the menu_router table and finding it to be empty, although it should contain the default site navigation.

Testing Newsflash

2007-08-23: site updated to Newsflash 0.12 : the Helvetica selector is gone, which means some of the content of this post no longer applies.

newsflash screendump in Opera, Firefox and MSIEI've just given this blog a facelist using the Roople NewsFlash theme, and I'm somehow dubitative about it:

  • on the plus side
    • the 3 "user" blocks above content and the 3 other ones below content are a neat feature
    • the color balance feels good to me, in either of the 3 predefined colors
    • overall, it works way better than my "nested" theme a few months ago
  • on the minus side
    • although I tried various content layouts using the 3 user blocks, I couldn't get anything fit properly in them: it seems these will be specifically useful when a site has snippets of equivalent size to fill in them. This could probably be news (the theme isn't called Newsflash for nothing) or ads
    • on my screen at least, the text appears blurry, especially in Firefox
    • generally speaking, it seems bold font is used too much, with essentially the same character sizes for title, tags, and various links. I think some more gradation in font effects would be welcome
    • the site slogan is incorrectly positioned in MSIE
    • in Opera and Firefox, the site slogan ascenders collides with the site name descenders
    • the logo display code is wrong (relative URLs); I had to tweak it in page.tpl.php to accomodate the site folder structure
    • the logo setting doesn't apply properly

Downloading modules when drupal.org is offline

Drupal.org being unavailable quite frequently these days, some may find it hard to download the module of their choice.

Luckily, the downloads are static files served as public downloads outside Drupal itself: all it takes is knowing the proper URL, and they are all gathered on ftp://ftp.drupal.org/pub/drupal/files/projects, just waiting for your favorite FTP browser.

Creating Google Gadgets within Drupal

2009-05-24: UPDATE: now ported to D6

screendump showing the Drupal API google gadget Having recently discovered the Google Gadgets API, and being on vacation this week proved too much of a temptation: I had to build one using Drupal. Here is a way to do it, as a module creating a Google Gadget to directly search http://api.drupal.com/ from the iGoogle home page. User preferences allow searching the various versions of the API and default to Drupal 5.

First spammer working around captcha

After almost six months without abuse following the installation of the captcha module, a spammer found its way through it, to promote a ringtones site.

Not that it did him/her much good, since comments are premoderated anyway, but still...

Sheer luck, of astute pattern matching and module workaround ? Oh well, it's still six months of peace gained. Well worth the almost nonexistent hassle, it seems.