Nautilus makes some nice thumbnails for media when viewed as icons. I got to like the feature but then I noticed it doesn't happen on Samba shared folders. To get the thumbnails to show, I had to go to Edit -> Preferences. This brings up the File Management Preferences dialog. On the Preview tab there are options that let you set previews such as thumbnails and audio previews for local files or all files. I'd like a few more options in there, like distinguishing between my LAN and the Internet, but so far we can choose between Never, Local and Always. Local will only make thumbnails for files on your computer. Always will make thumbnails for files on your computer or folders on Windows (SMB) shares. Never won't make thumbnails.
Early last year (2008) I listened to David Allen's Getting Things Done and started applying the practices he lays out (here's the original book) . The system works great for me in many cases. I've gotten caught up on some stuff at the dentist, I've taken care of a lot of really boring jobs that I've put off for a long time. I've been able to keep track of little bits of information that I have to follow up on or pass on to someone. I've also been able to decide to not do a lot of things that don't fit in with my long-term goals. The one bit of advice that I'll give to anyone trying GTD is to read the material or listen to it over and over. Each time I get a little more out of it and I refine my system. I haven't done it all and it's not perfect but the improvement in my ability to finish projects has been immense.
After you've got PHP5 and Apache running on your Ubuntu development server, the next thing you'll want is Eclipse PDT. Shortly after that you'll need a debugger.
On Ubuntu 8.10, I set up Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede) with the latest Release Candidate of PDT 2, it took forever because of some slow mirrors, but I'd recommend just buckling down and getting through it. Here's the step-by-step guide I found most useful. If Ubuntu someday gets PDT and Eclipse 3.4 in the repositories then just use that.
My OpenSuse 10.3 install was getting a little long in the tooth so I decided it was time for an upgrade. I installed Kubuntu 8.10 on a new drive a couple days ago. I ended up switching to Gnome from KDE so now I'm basically running plain Ubuntu. I've been doing non-stop configuring ever since. Today I wanted to get my cron jobs from my old install. I still have it on another drive so I'm able to see all the old files. I use crontab to set up cron jobs directly from the command-line. There's a text file that contains my crontab in each system. I found Suse 10.3 kept the file at
/var/spool/cron/tabs. The new system, Ubuntu 8.10, keeps the crontabs under
/var/spool/cron/crontabs. So I just copied the contents of the old one then ran
crontab -e. In the editor that comes up I paste the old lines and start tweaking.
It's important to keep track of changes to your software. I use Subversion for version control. One issue that's always been quirky for me is ignoring files. The authority on Subversion, the red-bean book, doesn't give a lot of depth on svn:ignore. It describes how to do what you may have done before in CVS and how to match groups of files. That's useful but I work on Drupal and I have the same set of files on multiple servers for development. These servers have the same files but different quirks with .htaccess and settings.php. So when I check in changes I don't want my settings.php from a development server overwriting the changes.
Suppose you've been backing up your hard drive to discs using K3b. Suppose you've been saving off each disc as a K3b project, and writing just the project name on the disc. Now suppose you want to get at the list of files in each of those projects (so you can eventually create a complete index for all those discs). You'd be just like me today ;-).
I've looking at Drupal theming for a while now. I just had an idea yesterday though. The theme I was analyzing uses an H1 tag for the site title and H2 tags for the headings over navigation. I tried to decide if this made sense for me or not. On many sites this may be appropriate. It's possible that the name of the site is the most important thing and the navigation includes a heirarchy of decreasing semantic importance. It's also possible that the site is like many sites. The site title is a random five letter word and the navigation has a title like "Navigation".
By default, Drupal adds the text "Not Verified" to comments from unregistered users. It also adds the rel="nofollow" attribute to the links they provide. I didn't like either one of those things so I set out looking where to fix it. It turns out that both these bits happen inside the function theme_username(). This function is hookable. That is to say, this function can be replaced by a custom function in a theme.
I should be happier about this. Gallery 2.3 was released on Saturday. I would be happier except that last week I finally decided to upgrade and went with 2.3RC2. My timing is amazing. I'll be upgrading shortly but this also gives me a chance to show off the much cleaner look of my photo albums now that I've set up the Drupal module that integrates Gallery2 with Drupal. It took a lot of work but I feel like it was worth it.
I've been working on rewriting my Wordpress SVG inlay plugin as a Drupal module. So far it works pretty well but I'm not ready to say it's secure or functional for most sites. The basic concept of the SVG inlay is that sometimes you just want to display an SVG image in a post or page. Not as a style element but as something that visitors want to look at which is relevant to the content. Like a chart, a graph, a network diagram, maybe even a little game.