Jun - 09


French people generally “try to speak englisch”!

Posted in Tourism on June 14th, 2009 by Nicolas


Traveling around the Toulouse region, in a path directed by hunger and satisfaction, I came across the most sincere door label I’d ever seen :)

The sign is displayed on the door to a “boulangerie” (bakery) and obviously is a call for the hungry tourist to come in and enjoy the region’s specialty. Although you can also find “calissons” which are not specially typical of the region in there too.

Anyway, I think the sing says it all.

Jun - 09


Trac : A great project management tool !

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on June 14th, 2009 by Nicolas


@Work, I’ve worked on several software projects. First, I was a plain programmer not caring for the “where are we now?” question but rater quickly, I was assigned managerial responsibilities and the only thing that I had on my mind was “where are we now!?”. I’ve found the Trac project to be just what I needed in order to successfully calm my stress by providing a constant answer to the big question.

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May - 09


F-Spot photos on remote SFTP broken in Ubuntu Jaunty

Posted in Linux on May 25th, 2009 by Nicolas

After upgrading to Ubuntu Jaunty yesterday, I found that none of the pictures I had in F-Spot worked anymore. Ok, I have my pictures stored on a remote machine and I access them through SFTP but that shouldn’t be a reason for it to break so easily.

It appears that between Intrepid and Jaunty, the GVFS mounts done through the Places->Connect to Server… have changed mountpoint. Ideed, when they used to be mounted to /home/nicolas/.gvfs/sftp on someserver/ they are now mounted to /home/nicolas/.gvfs/sftp for nicolas on someserver/ and this broke F-Spot’s database.

In order to fix that, I went through the following:

1. Backed up /home/nicolas/.gnome2/f-spot in case I messed it up. 
2. sudo apt-get install sqlitebrowser 
3. sqlitebrowser /home/nicolas/.gnome2/f-spot/photos.db 
4. File-> Export -> Database to SQL file (data.sql in my case) 
5. Replaced all occurences of /home/nicolas/.gvfs/sftp on someserver/ 
with /home/nicolas/.gvfs/sftp for nicolas on someserver/ using 
a text editor

Removed two lines that would not allow me to restore the database:

CREATE TABLE sqlite_sequence(name,seq); 
INSERT INTO sqlite_sequence VALUES('photos',3306);

Restored the database:

sqlite3 -init data.sql data.db

Finally, overwrote photos.db with data.db

mv data.db photos.db

This fixed it and I got my photos back ;) In order to be able to import new photos however, I had to change the default location which was not found anymore as it still refered to /home/nicolas/.gvfs/sftp on someserver. This was done in the preferences window!

Happy F-Spotting

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Dec - 08


Toulouse’s metro, who had this great idea?

Posted in General, Tourism on December 3rd, 2008 by Nicolas

Inside each of the wagons of the Toulouse’s metro, two network maps are displayed so you can easily spot the station names, order and BUS/Metro connections as you ride. However, since the opening of line “B” in June 2007, some BUS lines have been re-organized in order to cope with the “new and unpredictable” affluence that has been noticed at some stations. This lead to a change in the connections map.


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Apr - 08


Subversion Permissions using pre-commit hook

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on April 14th, 2008 by Nicolas

Subversion does not allow fine grained permission management natively through svnserve. For example, it is not possible to disable read/write access to a certain SVN directory for a given user.

However, you generally don’t want all your users to be able to write changes anywhere else than the branch they’re working on until they finish their work and prove that they’re able to “not screw everything up” ;)

This can be achieved by using pre-commit hooks in subversion that will make transactions fail in directory where users don’t have permissions.

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Apr - 08


Belgium – Geraardsbergen/Grammont : Patisserie Confiserie De Clercq

Posted in Eating out, Tourism on April 13th, 2008 by Nicolas

declerq Geraardsbergen (Grammont in french) is a very interesting city in Belgium. Located not far from Brussels (40 minutes car ride), it is the host of one of the most famous Belgian history statues: Manneken Pis.

Of course; you’ll say that the Manneken Pis is located near the Grand Place of Brussels and you’d be right on this remark but there is also a statue in Geraardsbergen. This is the oldest one known in Belgium and is located in a much more quiet place in Belgium where you can enjoy the nice city “ambiance”.

While you visit the city, you might want to go into the De Clerq bakery! The place is charming and well decorated, the food is great and there are some tables on which you can accommodate in order to quietly enjoy the afternoon.

Patisserie Confiserie De Clercq 
Grotestraat 21 
Tel: 054-412505
Nov - 07


Keeping your Java Coding standards up using CheckStyle

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on November 25th, 2007 by Nicolas

In some circumstances it is useful to follow some coding guidelines. Most companies that produce software have such guidelines defined and enforced. But how do we check that these guidelines are all being followed? Opening all the source files one by one to check them visually by reading code is a time consuming task not many people would accept doing. Even if a developer accepts such practice, he’ll certainly not enjoy its job if he has to correct all the errors he sees there!

Thankfully, a nice little tool exists for automating such job. Let me introduce CheckStyle, a nice utility that takes a coding style guidelines’ file described in XML and then runs through your sources in order to generate reports on what needs to be changed to be compliant to the rules. As an example, the Sun’s Java developer standard coding guidelines are included in an example XML file.

It gets even nicer as this tool can be included in your ant build script and integrated with cruisecontrol’s automated build system generating graphs of your CheckStyle performances in order to have you forced to keep coding standards up! A plugin exists for the eclipse IDE so each developer can check its source before commiting.

Moreover, it is possible to have an SVN pre-commit hook setup so that no developer can commit code that does not comply to the coding guidelines that you’ve decided upon!

Nov - 07


Automating software compilation, test, packaging and delivery with Ant

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on November 25th, 2007 by Nicolas

Ant is a great tool for working with Java projects.project-logo

In fact, maybe the need for it does not come as an evidence to you if you’ve been using an IDE like eclipse which does all the path resolution and compilation by some kind of magic! However, when not all developers on a project use the same IDE or if you want to have your source on an automated build system, you’ll find ant very powerfull. With ant, I’m able to have an automated build system compile all my sources, run all my jUnit tests, generate Javadoc, several JARs (with javadoc, with source, without javadoc, …) and run a CheckStyle utility on the source ! Moreover, I can run all this by typing a single command: ant

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Nov - 07


Eclipse Mylyn : Context-centric approach to integrating bug reports, tickets and eclipse

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on November 25th, 2007 by Nicolas

The Mylyn plugin for eclipse is a rename of the Mylar eclipse plugin. It has become so popular that it is now shipped in the main distribution of Eclipse for the Java developper.

Mylyn provides a context-centered approach to task management. It can be coupled with most of the popular task management (bug report) systems available such as Trac and Bugzilla which which it can be fully integrated.

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Nov - 07


Cruisecontrol & Continuum : Setting up a continuous build for java projects

Posted in Java & Eclipse, Work on November 25th, 2007 by Nicolas

cruisecontrolIn Agile software development, unit testing and trying to have software that “works” at all times is one of the central goals. In order to help you doing this, several systems exist in order to perform “continuous integration”. What those systems basically do is that they check your repository (SVN, CVS, bazaar, …) for changes and each time that it is required, perform a build of the system using the build system that you’ve decided (Ant, Maven, Shell Scripts, Makefile, etc….). The results of the Unit testing, and style checks performed by your build system can then be merged and transformed into a nice website so you can check on what is happening, get detailed build reports, download the latest JARs, etc…

CruiseControl has several hooks that allow you to have a mail go out when a build fails, then have another one go out when the problem is fixed. This is perfect for keeping an overall view of your software projects and knowing their “administrative health” at all times.

continuum_logo_75Continuum Continuum is the Apache software foundation’s response to CruiseControl, it basically does all that CruiseControl does, however, it requires a J2EE Application Container (Tomcat of J2ES 5) in order to be deployed. CruiseControl comes with a bundled Jitty (lightweight tomcat) which is lighter and easier to deploy if you don’t already have the infrastructure setup.