Doctrine ORM and Symfony

I’ve recently started to follow (and slightly help with development) of Doctrine. It’s a fantastic alternative to propel, significantly faster and a lot lighter. I strongly advise you check it out. Documentation is a bit poor, but I’m always on the #doctrine IRC channel on freenode as is the lead developer zYne- and a few others – feel free to pop in and say hello!

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KDE – kwin and Xgl

I tried Xgl today – and whist it looks nice and supports my twinview setup (shocking!) I coudn’t get on with it. The reason I couldn’t get on with is it because you need to replace kwin with something else, as kwin doesn’t have support for it yet.

So… I went onto #kde and asked if there was going to be support for it in KDE4, apparently there will be, but this answer isn’t offical. Some kind person (PhilRod) pointed me to a digest , which in turn pointed me to the KDE svn repos showing commits to kwin that appear to be relevent. I’ll try to figure out who lunakl is, and ask him for an offical answer.

Update: Having mailed lunakl (Lobus Lunak) he pointed me to an article on On KWin wobbling and such stuff over on As it turns out, KDE is in need of graphics developers, and this was dgged about last month. So, it’s planned… but some code monkeys with ubergraphical skills are needed.

Apple iSight camera under linux

Yes, it’s possible. You can even use it for webcam chat under Kopete IM (and other probably).

Firstly, the camera doens’t present itself as a v4l (video 4 linux) device, so you need vloopback kernel module. This kernel module will create 2 v4l devices, usually /dev/video0 (input) and /dev/video1 (output).

You’ll want to install coriander and libdc1394, probably the latest versions.

Plug your camera in, insert vloopback, and start up coriander. Click ‘v4l’ button so that coriander will start to export your camera via the vloopback module, and that’s it, you can now use your iSight as a v4l device. Fantastic.

I’m far from an expert in this field, so if you have questions about this setup, you’re best taking them elsewhere 😉

Update: If you’re finding that your colours are messed up and green and purple, you’ll need to make a change to the coriander source (effects versions of at least up to coriander-2.0.0-rc1)

Thanks to Marc Roberts who pointed this out to me…

I have fixed the color problem that I had with Coriander. In conversions.c, I changed the enumeration in line 32 from



Seems my blog software doesn’t allow HTML in the comments, so here are some useful links.

Using Domi to install Ubuntu

Domi is a tool for building Xen domains. It’s usage is covered in HOWTO Xen and Gentoo hosted on the gentoo wiki site. It says you can use it to install Ubuntu, but no where actaully tells you how. So.. here’s how!

Yes, I do know the DOMI_DISTRO is set to debian, but ubuntu is based on the debian package manager, so that’s correct.

Note that you have to setup the /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts after.

mail clients – why is there no decent mail clients?

Well, I’ve moved from Kmail (randomly deletes mails, no IDLED support) to thunderbird. Thunderbird is nearly working, but there’s a few bugs which I’m listing here mostly for myself to track.

bug #23394
– really old bug – reply to quoting just selected text

bug #116075
– quicksearch including threads

bug #345040
– imap messages don’t get marked as read if you move to the next before it finishes loading

bug #345089
– editable ‘from’ field

bug #345102
– ability to assign an identity to a mailbox

bug #253853
– thunderbird stupidly assumes that if I want to view mail in plain text I’ll also want to do the same with RSS. Crazy 🙂

bug #345092
– Asks for password for each feed that needs it each time you open thunderbird, despite having told it to remember the password (it remembers it, I just have to click ok)

bug #206408
– thunderbird reports ‘Copying message to Sent folder’ until you click cancel, upon which it tells you it has not sent the mail, but it has – it has also copied the message to the sent mail folder, so it’s lying and just being stupid

bug #179033
– the inability to watch threads in email, although.. you can do it in news, madness

Note to anyone writing a mail client (please please, someone do this before I have to do it myself) I honestly think that there’s a hell of a market yet to be fully tapped, e-mail is becoming such an important part of life, people need the tools to deal with it with ease

It’s amazing how there’s such a lack of decent, cross platform, powerful, GUI based (yes, I’ve tried mutt and pine too, both suck, mutt less then pine – but I still have my issues with it).

UPDATE 14/03/2007: Seems I’m not the only one in despair about mail clients being annoying. Over on Mysql Performance Blog there is a post about mail clients and how they should be using a database to store mail. It’s a good point – I think mail clients are missing a trick here – not only would it be quicker to search on headers, but imagine having a full text index on your mail – a bit like google mail. I can’t be the only one that spends ages searching for specific messages in my mailbox?

ftp issues with symlinks and directories with dots in their name

I’ve found that certain windows FTP clients like cuteFTP in their default configuration have issues with directory names wiht dots in (such as ~/sites/ where the file is actaully a symlink somewhere else.

In one of my setups, I do this…

~user/sites/ -> symlink to -> /var/www/

This was causing issues, to work around it, I had 2 options…..

~user/sites/domain_com -> symlink to -> /var/www/


~user/sites/ -> symlink to -> /var/www/

Some windows software really does suck.

Dynamic HTML_QuickForm Example

Recently I created a dynamically changing HTML_QuickForm (aka HTML_QF, the PEAR module). I have posted it on my site for others to see, as it might come in useful for someone some day.

Please note – this is not final working code, this is an example only. Anyone looking for a RADIUS frontend, this won’t do what you need.