Monday, February 25, 2013

A few notes from the field on git

Any time a source code management system gets in your way it's not doing its job. It's really something you should have to think about as little as possible. One thing I found out by doing it the wrong way the other day is that of you create a pull request on bitbucket or github, you really need to do it on a topic branch created just for the purpose. After the upstream repo you have sent the pull request to has merged your changes you can delete the branch. Cleaning up after I unthinkingly sent a pull request for the node-postgres driver from a long-lived branch was rather ugly.

I also wish it were possibly to exclude certain files (e.g. regression test result files) from having trailing whitespace colored. But if it is possible I have yet to find that way.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Learning new technology

One of my oldest clients is switching to a new technology stack. After many years of using AOLServer, OpenACS and Postgres as their preferred basis for applications they have switched to using nginx, Redis, node.js and Postgres with plv8.

I'll be talking about some of this, especially the use of Redis with Postgres, at pgcon. in May.

I can't say I really like the node.js style of programming, but needs must when the devil drives. One thing worth noting is that there is quite a good node.js driver for Postgres, and that the maintainer was very responsive in merging in a patch I sent. I've sent in another one (to fix a bug connecting to Unix domain sockets) and I hope it too will be picked up very promptly.

Friday, February 15, 2013

PostgreSQL doc epub

The other day Peter Eisentraut made a small commit that was probably little noticed, but I think is very useful. He added a few lines to the documentation system to enable building the Postgres documentation as an epub document. This is really quite nice. The great advantage of epub documents over things like PDFs is that they are reflowable, so that they are adaptable to devices with a wide range of form factors. They are also typically much smaller than PDFs. So now I can put the PostgreSQL docs on my Ebook device. I can scale the font up if necessary and still have it look sane. And I can put the same file on an Android device, or an iPhone or iPad. There are free epub readers for almost every smart mobile device around. It won't work on a Kindle but you can convert it to Kindle format using some free software. There is also an epub plugin for Firefox. So this is cool.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Binding keys in psql

The psql client has a nasty habit of being a bit over-aggressive about when it routes output through the pager. So I oten find myself typing \pset pager to turn it off or on. Or I did up to today, when I finally got tired of it and added these lines to my .inputrc file:
$if psql
"\e[24~": "\\pset pager\n"
This binds the command to my F12 key, so now I can turn the pager on or off with a single key stroke.