Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Photo of a week 11

I somewhat failed last week to take a photo because I was too busy with other things. However to stay on track I decided to publish about one month old photo from Charles bridge in Prague.

Gull on Vltava

GPL violation - getting more sources

It has been some time since I updated information about Gammu usage in proprietary software, so here it comes (see other posts tagged with gpl for more information).

I still have troubles to explain Anwsoft what they are supposed to release. The good news is that they are still communicating and even providing some updated sources (see git repository), unfortunately they still construct fake projects rather than providing real sources of the application.

Anyway if anybody is interested in digging in the sources and finding bits which might be interesting for porting to current Gammu code base, please go ahead, I probably won't have time for that in near future.

phpMyAdmin translation status

Last weekend we've released phpMyAdmin 3.4.0-beta4, hopefully last beta and there are still lot of translations missing. The only new complete translation compared to last week is German, so we now have 13 translations at 100%:

There are still lot of translations which would need some love, for example:

I'm happy that not only translation status is improving, but some translators also reviewed older translations, so that it is more consistent. The great work in this area was done in Russian. And of course there is still great ongoing effort on Urdu translation.

You can help make translation to your language better! If your language is missing just let me know (either in comments or by email).

Photo of a week 10

Tenth week and I'm still in. Honestly I did not expect to keep up that long. Last week there was a carneval at Žižkov (part of Prague) and the picture comes from it.

Žižkov carneval

Contributing to phpMyAdmin and GSoC 2011

It looks like questions about contributing to phpMyAdmin are more and more frequent with upcoming GSoC. The fact that is still time for organizations to apply and it's not yet decided whether we will be accepted or not does not change anything.

But before asking, please try to look up existing resources. We have lot of information available on wiki, with entry point being contribution page on website. You should find there all basic information how project works.

Should you specifically ask for GSoC, we have an applicant guide, which tells you what to do if you want to apply. After last year experiences, we will be even stricter on previous contributions, because it turned out to be good filter for people who would have problems with contributing during GSoC as well.

In case you don't know where to start, there is list of junior jobs which should not be that complicated and then there is of course GSoC ideas list with things primarily targeted on GSoC.

phpMyAdmin translation status

Another week is over and it's time to spam^W look again at state of translations for phpMyAdmin 3.4. There are no changes to list of complete translations, so we still have 12 translations at 100%:

There are still lot of translations which would need some love:

And I'm really happy to see progress of some exotic languages (at least for me) such as Urdu.

You can help make translation to your language better! If your language is missing just let me know (either in comments or by email).

Fun with MinGW64 and ODBC

The test suite for recently added ODBC support in Gammu was consistently failing on Win64 platform (all others were just fine). It took me some time to figure out why. The reason is SQLLEN type, which is in some sort special, that generated code for it is broken.

All started with pretty much standard retrieving value from ODBC result:

SQLLEN size;

/* Figure out string length */
ret = SQLGetData(res->odbc, 1, SQL_C_CHAR, NULL, 0, &size);
if (!SQL_SUCCEEDED(ret)) {
    return NULL;

/* Did not we get NULL? */
if (size == SQL_NULL_DATA) {
    return NULL;

/* Allocate buffer for string */
out = reallocate(out, size + 1);

The first problem was comparing of size against SQL_NULL_DATA. It simply always failed even if size did contain -1 (what is actually value of SQL_NULL_DATA). Yesterday, I've come out with typecasting magic that worked fine for this case.

However what I've missed is that even reallocate is failing with this parameter. No matter what the size would be, it would return NULL. Typecasting again did help here. Hey, should not be compiler clever enough to typecast this for me? It turns out that in case of MinGW64 it is not. Anybody has suggestion why?

At the end I ended up with pretty ugly duplicating of the variable just to avoid mixing it up in future changes (as would happen with typecasting everywhere).

I'd really like to know why my assumptions are wrong in this case.

Gammu has ODBC support

One of features for Gammu SMSD which was for quite a long time in my head was ODBC support. With unified SQL backend we have right now it should be pretty easy to add support for it so I gave it a try.

It really did not take to long and the ODBC driver is committed to git and will be part of next release. The great benefit of this is that we get native database support on Windows without need to linking against database libraries, which is always painful.

The ODBC driver behaves like any other SQL based driver for SMSD, so if you are familiar with it, the configuration won't surprise you:

service = sql
driver = odbc
host = dsn_of_your_database
user = username
password = password

All important information about the driver should be available in the manual.

Bloating dependencies

It looks like many peoples decided it is right time to bloat my system with stuff I don't use.

The first think I did not like when squeeze went out was libpcsclite1 pulling pcsd and hal into my system. This is being solved on two fronts - porting pcsd to udev (in #612971) and disabling libpcslite1 support in wpasupplicant. Both of them being good ideas.

What actually drove me to writing this post is today's update, where aptitude suddenly wanted to install whole latex and thus using about 760MiB of extra disk space. I know disk space is supposed to be cheap these days, but it's not that cheap with SSD in notebook. The culprit turned out to be doxygen, which up to now happily lived without single bit of latex, but now needs it (though temporarily according to changelog).

I know it is tempting to enable every possible feature in your package, but in same cases it is really not something what most of people would appreciate.