Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

phpMyAdmin GSoC 2010 summary

GSoC 2010 is over for some time and I should write some summary how students projects ended up. The very short summary is that all five students were successful and their work got merged. Follows description of the project in no particular order.

Thanks to Martynas Mickevicius you can now get charts out of various parts of phpMyAdmin. They are used on server status pages or you can get query results in form of several charts. It seems to work pretty well at least what I've tried so far.

Ankit Gupta was working on Visual Query Builder for phpMyAdmin. Unfortunately this is only project which is not yet merged to master branch, mostly because some UI things were not yet finished. But hopefully it will be merged soon.

Adnan Mughal was converting our schema export feature from PDF to support multiple formats. You can now get the schema as SVG, DIA or even Visio formats, some of them will require a little bit of tuning still, because the scaling is not perfect.

Ninad Pundalik did a lot of work on AJAXifying phpMyAdmin. His changes touched quite a lot of places and there are still some rough edges (as you can see in our bug tracker), but this is definitely welcome improvement and I hope it will get stable soon.

Piotr Przybylski basically continued in his effort two years ago when he had reimplemented setup script and now he had focused on user configuration. It can be stored in session, browser local storage (HTML 5 feature) or in separate table in phpMyAdmin configuration storage (that's new name for pmadb). This is something what people were requesting for very long time and I'm happy we can finally bring this feature.

And last but not least is Lorikeet Lee, who spend lot of time on tuning user interface of phpMyAdmin. The most visible changes are on export and import pages, which now should be less scaring for new users, but there are other changes in lot of other places, for example the main page.

Generally it was a great summer and I hope we will be so successful also next year.

PS: You can try all these features on http://demo.phpmyadmin.net/.

Great things on providing web based translation

Quite recently (just when migrating to gettext), it is possible to translate phpMyAdmin using web interface, which is powered by great software called Pootle. Thanks to this new interface, we've attracted quite a lot of translators and lot of languages are now much improved. Yesterday I also implemented way to backport these translations to old PHP based translation system which is still being used in 3.3 branch, so that even upcoming releases from this branch will benefit from this translation boost.

Yet another great think which happened thanks to l10n.cihar.com, is availability of German version of Wammu website, where enormous amount of work has happened in last few days.

Kudos to all people who are working there.

Playing with numbers and social networks

I'we just launched website (well it's quite pretentious name for few pages), which shows debts for politics when they were in government in Czech Republic. We're still not in situation like in Greece, but it can quite easily happen that we would be in few years and it's good to show some numbers describing what was happening in past.

It took just few hours of coding yesterday evening using Django. Domain has been registered and it is online now.

While doing such thing, I decided to make more fun for me and publish the link just on social networks (Identi.ca, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and follow if (and how) the link will spread. So no, you will not find link in this blog post :-).

Let the fun begin

We've yesterday announced students accepted this year to Google Summer of Code. The number of our projects is increasing every year and the number of applications grows even more. So it was hard to choose this year knowing that we can mentor only limited amount of students (we would happily do two or three more projects, but we simply lack manpower to mentor them).

So the students are chosen and I hope they will produce good results and all phpMyAdmin users will benefit from their contributions. If you want to follow the projects more closely, Planet phpMyAdmin is the right place, first student blog posts are already appearing there.

FOSDEM todo list for phpMyAdmin completed

On FOSDEM 2010 we agreed on several bigger changes in phpMyAdmin. The two of them were my proposals and I had to take care of them - migration to Git and start to use Gettext based system for translating phpMyAdmin.

The migration to Git was quite straightforward and went alive on 11th of March. There were few tiny issues afterwards, but I think everything went quite smoothly and we can happily use it right now (I especially enjoy using feature branches). I've also written little guideline to document best practices to use in our repository

After we went to Git, I immediately started on another big transition - the goal is to use standard po files for translations. The obvious solution is to use gettext for that, however the one in PHP is not really in good shape to use, so we went with php-gettext. Today I just merged gettext branch to master so it is also done (see information for developers and translators for more details regarding this).

So now these big tasks are done and I can focus on daily issues connected with GSoC and other areas.

Summer of Code is almost here

It looks like being separate organisation in GSoC definitely brings more attention than last years where we were under MySQL. Hopefully this will allow us to choose really enthusiastic students who will do their work properly and without much kicking.

So if you are interested in participation in GSoC 2010 with phpMyAdmin, please take care filling up the proposal and showing us some previous contributions (see student checklist for more hints) in order to be selected.

The dark side of this is enormous increase of mails on our devel mailing list and combined with my illness last week and vacation few days before, it makes constant volume of 50 unread mails there for me :-).

phpMyAdmin moving to Gettext

For ages, we've been using PHP variables to do the localisation. It was not really easy to maintain, but it worked quite well. However impossibility of using standard tools for translations was still annoying. So I really wanted to move to some standard, what seems to be Gettext.

Once I've played with Gettext in PHP, I realised how broken it is and that it is not a good idea to use it. However it is not that hard to implement in PHP and some people already did that. From these findings it was just a small step to implement it.

Well not really small step, because at first I've chosen the more complicated way and tried to create sed magic to move all strings to places where they belong. But this turned out to be nearly impossible and at FOSDEM I realised that there is also much easier way to just keep the messages in one file and migrate them as needed. This way the migration is really fast and not touching most of the code.

So here we are. Currently it is in separate branch (called gettext), however I hope to merge it soon, because I'm not aware of any problems right now.

The nice benefit this gives to us is web based interface for translations.

phpMyAdmin uses Git

Yesterday I finally implemented what we agreed on FOSDEM - to use Git as a version control system for phpMyAdmin.

The migration itself required just a little bit of magic, fixing other tools which were relying on Subversion was a little more work, but hopefully I did not forget anything and all pieces are now fixed (if you spot something still referring to Subversion, please drop me an email).

Immediately after completing this task, I focused on another one - move from our custom translation system to Gettext. This is almost done in gettext branch and also web interface for translations is set up, but there are still some minor issues to fix (some messages are fuzzy even when they should not be). But anyway your translations won't be lost, so feel free to contribute there.

Gammu is getting new documentation for developers

During last weeks I finally got upset with state of developer documentation for Gammu and python-gammu. Not that it would be non existing, but it was spread over various places in various formats and partially outdated.

I decided to write all documentation in Shpinx as I know this tool and it seems to fit quite well in mixed C/Python environment.

The first step was to migrate existing docs into same format (reStructuredText) and create documentation structure. I believe this is now completed and you can check results here.

Yes there are still lot of rough edges and lot of work to do, but I anyway think that current state is better then mess we used to have before.

Blog breakage

Hmm, it looks like upgrading markdown was not clever idea, it seems to have broken lot of posts on the blog.

Hopefully it is correct now.