jUploadr 1.1 Beta – My Extremely Lengthy Build Process

I finally managed to get jUploadr built. The instructions are short but it took me a long time.

Step One: Get a Java Development Kit

This was the easiest part. I didn’t have any problems but it went downhill from there.

Step Two: Get Ant

I didn’t have any trouble downloading ant, but I did have problems making it work. I had an error about not being able to find tools.jar, but I found the answer quickly. I added the apache-ant-1.6.5\bin directory to the path, set JAVA_HOME to the JDK I just installed, and set ANT_HOME to apache-ant-1.6.5. Everything seemed like it would be easy. Little did I know what was next.

Step Three: Get the Source Code AKA, My I-D-10-T Error of the Week

Now this one took me a long time. I tried WinCVS first. I thought I had it configured correctly, but it just wasn’t working and the error message didn’t mean anything to me. After half an hour, I uninstalled it and tried using TortoiseCVS. This time, I got a more useful error message. I saw that it couldn’t connect to the server which made absolutely no sense. I could ping it and I could browse the CVS tree, but Tortoise just didn’t work. After a few minutes of seeing this pointless error message, I finally realized that something else was getting in the way. It turns out that PeerGuardian2 was the culprit. I installed it earlier in the day and it was blocking the Tortoise. As soon as I stopped PG2, CVS worked perfectly. It took three minutes to download.

Step Four: Compile jUploadr

It took nine seconds to build and I finally had a compiled version of jUploadr. It was anticlimactic.

Once I have some time, I’ll try it out. I have plenty of pictures to test it with.

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Edit: Fixed the path names.


Thoughts on Zooomr so Far

I have been using Zooomr for just over a month now. Overall, the site is nice and it has some very interesting features. Portals were recently added and I really like the Geo-tagging feature. That’s how I managed to see some of the Sunflower Festival parade for the first time in many years (not that I haven’t seen a parade before).

There are many features that are not there yet but only two really bother me.

First of all, there is no bulk uploader to be found. Currently, photos can be uploaded in two ways, by e-mail and in an upload form. I have only tried e-mailing photos once, shortly after the 2.0 launch. Just two of the five pictures made it and it took two or three days. As for the form, it does work, but you can only upload a maximum of 10 pictures at once, selecting one file at a time and you can’t change the title at the same time. It’s a hassle. Now, having complained about the uploading process, I must add that jUploadr is currently in beta testing with Zooomr. I’m tempted to try building it from CVS.

And the second one? There is no batch editor. I would like to be able to update tags, titles, and descriptions without having to go to each individual photo. It is much quicker especially when you can’t set everything how you want during the upload process. I also have a tendency to decide how the photos should be tagged after the photos are uploaded. There are some people who have thousands of photos on Zooomr. They’re far more patient than I am.

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Pictures from the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, Manitoba

We were in Gimli for the Icelandic Festival, visiting with Tara’s family over the August Long Weekend. I finally posted some pictures of the fireworks and the parade on Zooomr today (I’m a little behind, I still have Nova Scotia pictures to post). The set from Gimli is here if you want to see more.

Fireworks 1

Fireworks 1 Hosted on Zooomr

After the Fireworks 1

After the Fireworks 1 Hosted on Zooomr

Parade 7

Parade 7 Hosted on Zooomr


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Drupal and TinyMCE with Spell checker

I have a Drupal (4.7.2) website on our intranet. It seems to be extremely flexible and has many features built in. However, it does not have a WYSIWYG editor. Not everyone needs one, but people think it’s important and it can be a barrier to use.

So I looked around a little bit on the Drupal website and found the TinyMCE plugin for Drupal. I downloaded it and went through the installation instructions. I also needed to download the editor itself from the TinyMCE website. While I was there, I also found some plugins on the download page, the compressor and the spell checker. The spell checker is capable of using many different sources of information. I decided I want to use Google, partly to avoid maintaining a dictionary.

I finish installing and configuring everying, finally, it’s time to test the plugin. And what do I find? Everything works except the spellchecker. I get the following error in IE and in Firefox, “Could not execute AJAX call, server didn’t return valid a xml.” (sigh)

A quick search turns up the following page on Moxiecode and this one at Drupal. I see that I’m not the only one with this problem. I followed the instructions at Moxiecode in comment #29 and I have ended up with a slightly different result. Now it says I don’t have spell checking enabled, and I should enable it in config.php. It is enabled, and if I comment out the check in tinyspell.php, I get the AJAX error message again. It just doesn’t seem to work. I believe I have everything configured correctly but I am not seeing any other error messages related to the spell checker. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right spot. I did see a suggestion that PHP error/warning/notice messages are being output with the XML and that patching should fix the problem. I guess I’ll try turning off the error messages next.

As an alternative, I could just use the spell checker built into the Google Toolbar, it works quite well. I could have people use something like BlogDesk or the Performancing plugin for Firefox. Ideally, I would just fix it, but I’m not knowledgable enough to troubleshoot it.
One thing that seems to be missing in these error reports is information about the servers. I am using XAMPP 1.4.16 for Windows on Windows XP SP2. It has Apache 2.0.something, PHP 5.0.5, MySQL 4.1.14 and more which probably isn’t relevant when speaking about Drupal. Well, I do have eAccelerator and the Zend Optimizer enabled, which may make a difference.