Automatic Upgrade and Subversion

I have been using Subversion to manage WordPress upgrades for two years now. When WordPress 2.7 appeared, it came with an Automatic Upgrade feature that made one click upgrade possible. Unfortunately, for those of us who have been using Subversion to switch from one WordPress version to another, the Automatic Upgrade feature breaks Subversion. The .svn directories that are essential for tracking and version control are no longer available.

But, I am happy to say the WordPress upgrade went without a hitch. The WordPress 2.8 files were installed and the database upgrade worked as well. This means only one thing: Automatic Upgrade and Subversion can’t co-exist. You either have to use one or the other. Although nothing could be easier than a one click upgrade, I still feel comfortable using Subversion when upgrading WordPress. Maybe, it’s because I know exactly what happens inside the Subversion upgrade.

In addition, I also have multiple blogs to upgrade each time a new WordPress version comes out. To make life easier, I run a small shell script to upgrade all of my WordPress instances at once. Here’s a sample of the shell script below:

#!/bin/sh

# A script to upgrade several WordPress instances using Subversion.

wpv=http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.8 
 
echo "Upgrading domain.com"
cd /home/user/domain.com/
svn switch $wpv
 
echo "Upgrading domain2.com"
cd /home/user/domain2.com/
svn switch $wpv

As you can see, the shell script is quite simple. I just have to make one minor change to the script every time an upgrade is needed, and that is, to assign the latest tag to the $wpv variable.

Opera Unite

Opera Software is offering Opera Unite, a web browser with a built-in small web server. Opera will allow users to share files, photos and music using Unite along with a half a dozen optional services. The services offered are file sharing, media player, photo sharing and a Facebook type of wall called Fridge. Users will have the ability to secure and password-protect a site, make it public or private. Only music with no pirate protection can be shared. Opera Unite is still in Alpha. It’s an interesting tack for Opera Software because while companies are betting on cloud services, Opera’s vision is to ditch the middleman, the so called third party services. Opera currently has 0.72% market share in the browser market. Will Unite make Opera gain a respectable market share?

Mono Controversy

There is a raging debate at the moment in the Linux community whether Mono applications should be removed from Linux distributions. Supporters from both sides of the camp have been quick to point out the merits and the dangers of leaving Mono in Linux distributions.

What exactly is Mono? Mono is the open source development platform based on the Microsoft .NET framework. It allows developers to build Linux and cross-platform applications with improved developer productivity. Mono can run on Linux, BSD, UNIX, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows operating systems.

The Mono project is led by Novell. The project was formerly owned by Ximian. To some Linux users, a simple mention of Novell sends chills down their spine mainly because they thought Novell slept with the enemy. Novell and Microsoft reached an agreement in 2006 to collaborate on technologies, mainly Novell’s eDirectory and Microsoft’s Active Directory.

But there is another part of the agreement that made Linux users more upset. Novell has signed an agreement with Microsoft that guarantees them safety if legal action is taken by Microsoft for patent infringements against Linux. Despite the threat, Microsoft still hasn’t given any details as to which Linux code violates its patents.

The hatred for Mono runs deep in the Linux community mainly because Mono is a platform that spreads its seed. Mono, by nature, create programs that run in Linux. In fact, Mono footprints are all over Gnome and Linux. Tomboy Notes, F-Spot Manager and Banshee are just a few applications that are developed in Mono.

To Linux purists, Mono applications should be stripped from all of Linux. There are other open-source alternatives that can take its place. If Mono is allowed to roam freely in Linux, the potential for legal action is ever present. It just a matter of time whether Microsoft exercises it or not.

Are the Mono concerns well-founded?

Tetris Turns 25

Tetris is one of my favorite games way back when. So simple, addicting, easy, but yet, it can be difficult. Russian mathematician Alexey Pajitnov designed the game back in 1984. Tetris is available in every imaginable gaming console, computer, PDA and smartphone. It’s still popular to this day. Pajitnov used shapes made up of four squares, hence Tetris which comes from the Greek word Tetra meaning four. Tetris is just one of those games that seems to be ageless. Tetris is 25 years old. For real. I still can’t believe it.

Analog TV is no more

static

If you’re old school and you turned on your TV this morning and all you got was this black and white static screen, well, you’ve probably been hiding in a cave or just woke up from a long sleep. Today marks the day TV stations across the United States have turned off all their analog signals. Despite the long warning and a delay of the switch, originally it was set for February 17, still a million households across the United States do not have digital converters. Neilsen says the figure is closer to 5.8 million. The government has been giving away digital converters for free, but some areas have run out. The government is still accepting coupon requests and offering technical support at 1-888-CALL-FCC. One thing about digital signal, it either on or off. Either you get it or you don’t. You won’t get the ghostly images you saw on analog TVs like in the old days when the signal is weak. So, who benefits from this switch? The government does to a tune of $19.6 billion. I didn’t know the US government was in the electronics business.