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Scribe v1.89 Test1 Release Notes
Date: 28/3/2006
Well it's done. I'm not making any promises on code quality or memory usage though. I've seen some problems in the few days of testing the final codebase but no bugs, just optimization issues. However thats mostly tied to the use of the new incremental bayesian word database updates. This feature is off by default, due to concerns about speed but you can turn it on in the bayesian settings dialog. It updates the word databases on the fly as you read your email and bin stuff as spam.

It's a little slow at times on older hardware, on my 1.4ghz/512mb machine it gets in the way of usability but on the 3.06ghz/2gb machine it's not noticable at all. The backend of the word DB's is currently a Btree but I'm thinking of playing with Sqlite as the backend and see what the performance is like.

Sometimes it uses upwards 40mb of memory too, but I havn't reproduced this yet. Usually it uses about 3-4mb. Let me know your experiences with the new bayesian filter.

You need to rebuild your word lists at least once with v1.89 to initialize the new format files, and then either use the incremental updates or the regular way of rebuilding the lists every so often.

There is also a number of API changes that have bubbled changes throughout the code base, and while it's been running well for me in the last month it could mean that rarely used functions are still broken. It's a monumental task to try every menu option, command, filter condition/action and type of email and connection available in the software. So I'm relying somewhat on the user base for feedback.

I ripped out the old XML parser which has a side effect of meaning the format of the lgi.conf has changed a little. All the lgi.conf options that had a "." in the element name should be converted to "-", so "font.fixed" becomes "font-fixed" etc.

Looking forward to your comments.
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PayPal Robots
Date: 27/3/2006
PayPal seem to be employing robots to do their support work. Their menus are displaying incorrectly in Firefox 1.5.0.1 so I thought I'd be a good net citizen and report the problem to them. Firstly there is no section in the support options for "website". Which was the first ominous sign that this wasn't going to go well. So I send off a brief but polite description of the problem and hope for the best:

Hello my name is Brian, I will be happy to assist you with your question.

In review you will want to clear cache and cookies and log in using 
www.paypal.com.au.

If you are experiencing problems with our website that have not been 
encountered before, it is likely that you have a corrupted cookie. The 
easiest way to clear cookies is to remove them from the PC rather than the 
browser. 

Follow these simple steps to clear your cookies:
[snip]


Yeah ok, just to placate you I'll do all that. So I clear the cache and all the cookies and re-login to PayPal. Unsurprisingly the same problem appears and I email them back:

I've cleared my cache and cookies and logged in again to www.paypal.com.au 
and I'm still getting the same issue.
Attached is a screen shot of the problem.
regards
--
Matthew



Then I get this back from them:

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

I was unable to open the attachment you had sent due to security 
precautions. Please contact PayPal in text form at 
https://www.paypal.com.au/wf/f=default and we will be happy to assist you 
further. 

Thank you for being part of the PayPal community.  

Community satisfaction and your experience with PayPal are very important 
to me. You may receive a survey from our third party vendor, Benchmark 
Portal, about the service you received.


Awesome! I will club them to death with my PNG of malware!

It was a PNG image file... it's not going to bite. PNG files can't have 
virus' or malicious payloads.
Screw this, if you don't want help fixing your own damn site then fine I 
can spend my time elsewhere.
--
Matthew


That reset the robot:

Hello my name is Mahak, I will be happy to assist you with your question 
regarding account problem.

I do apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing with this 
situation. To better assist you please be specific about any one of your 
transaction that you are looking for.

Thank you for being part of the PayPal community.  

Community satisfaction and your experience with PayPal are very important 
to me. You may receive a survey from our third party vendor, Benchmark 
Portal, about the service you received.


Haha. So I guess I should get used to the bustedness of PayPal.com.au, all I have to do is repeat to myself "I do not care. I do not care. I do not care."
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Scribe
Date: 23/3/2006
The bug in the Btree code that I was using valgrind to find wasn't there. It was merely some old debugging code that was getting in the way. Doh!

So now there is no reason not to release v1.89-test1. I just need to clean up some bits and peices and we're good to go.

The effort spent on valgrinding the bayesian code did turn up some bugs which I've fixed. So it wasn't a fruitless waste of time. But I'm sure it would've been nicer to have a release out last week eh?
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Cygwin/GCC
Date: 22/3/2006
Lgi now builds and runs on cygwin with GCC. I tested this by building the IDE with Visual C++ and then loading the XML project files that LgiIde uses, and building it again with gcc. After a while I got it to a point where the GCC version doesn't crash. It's not fully tested but at least something is working. Most of the issues were with using mis-matched DLL's, ie some that were compiled with VC and some were GCC. This obviously "Does Not Work(TM)".

A release of Lgi will be out shortly.
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Linux/Lgi
Date: 18/3/2006
It builds! After several months of inactivity, I used Kubuntu under Vmware to get Lgi + Scribe building again, mostly cause I need to valgrind the new Btree/Bayesian filtering code but nice to have it ready for the first v1.89 release "any time now".
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2 Steps Forward - 1 Step Back
Date: 17/3/2006
Well I got Scribe's bayesian rebuild memory footprint down to a mere 300mb instead of a whole 1gb this morning. Which is kinda on par to what it used to do. Still I think that is excessive and I'm going to play around with it some more when time permits. However it's no longer a big (pun intented) enough issue to prevent a v1.89 release. Just one little crash in the Btree code to sort out ;). I'm a little disappointed with how much I've got done in the months since v1.88 final but I guess all of you that emailed me questions and support issues are glad that I answered your mail, fixed your issues or at least had a look into whatever it was that was vexing you, right?

Notable blips on the support radar are non-functioning autozip plugin (partial fix is to more the DLL's into the Scribe.exe folder), more GPG relative path issues (ongoing) and the usual mix of "can't connect" type problems.

Not to mention in the meantime I've updated quite a few of my other apps (i.Mage and i.File come to mind) to fix annoying bugs (i.Ftp is next). And looked after my family and rested up a bit. And speaking of rest, tonight I'm taking off so that I can catch up with some of my friends and watch my new DVD:



Update: Well I was getting some screwy numbers out of the bayesian filter... and I tracked it back to case sensitivity in the Btree keys. E.g. adding 'This' to the Btree would delete the value stored for 'this'. So I made all the keys case-insensitive which suits my needs by changing all the calls to 'strcmp' to 'stricmp'. Now the filter is working as well as the old text file way of doing it. I still have that nagging crash I saw this morning and a memory overwrite this afternoon that worry me (probably the same thing). So I'll get it building on Linux and valgrind the sucker. That should be a few hours work but it'll show up the bug for sure. Then we're ready to roll with v1.89-test1.
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