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Refining Scribe
Date: 16/7/2004
I've been hard at work removing some of the more obsure yet damaging bugs in Scribe's back end code. You know the ones that cause weird "write errors" for no apparent reason. Well I'm trying to be diligent and not ignore those at the moment. Because I'd really like to be able to call the next release or 2 the new "stable" build for the next 6 months or so.

Basically the process for debugging these hard to track down bugs, that never happen on my machine, is to put debug output statements through the relevant code to dump information about the state of the program to a file while it runs. And then the user experiencing the problem runs this debug build and sends me the output text file. Which I pour over, wondering why the heck it's breaking. Then I go an stare at the code for hours, change some small thing and send off a new build. Get back a new text file and repeat. Often 4 or 5 times before it becomes obvious whats going on.

This is not the "fun" part of what I do. This is the least fun part. But for the user I do what I must... how noble of me. Ha.

Anyway, I hoping that I won't have to do much more in the short term and that Scribe will be nice and well behaved for everyone. New release soon...
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Date: 14/7/2004
You know it's hard not to feel smug as the latest wave of viruses and 'bounce' messages go mostly unnoticed due to the bayesian filtering in Scribe. It's like sitting in a nice warm castle while the unwashed hordes of Outlook users outside are ravaged by plague after plague.

So save an Outlook user today, install Scribe for them! ;)
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Date: 10/7/2004
In late 1998 I got so sick to death of Microsoft Outlook I went and wrote my own damn email client. So I find it hilariously ironic that in 2004 when Outlook mungs user's folders they get directed to MY tool to fix their busted up folder file. And of course the "non technical" segment of the Outlook user community ask really inane questions about how to use the said tool. So essentially their asking ME to support Outlook.



Just. Priceless. *sigh*
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Error Message Delight
Date: 1/7/2004
Well I feel silly don't I. I was poking around in Zeta trying to get some code in to run and just wasn't getting anywhere. So I thought:
$ ldd ./iftp
iftp : => /boot/beos/system/lib/ => /boot/beos/system/lib/ => /boot/beos/system/lib/ => /boot/beos/system/lib/ => NOT FOUND                                
Hmmm. That'd do it. So, what the? How... Huh?
$ set | grep LIBRARY_
Ok, so %A/add-ons isn't in the path anymore. Grumble.

So I've got i.Ftp running again. It needs some work but it's the normal sort of debugging now. I think Zeta needs a better error message than "" for when a library is missing.
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i.Ftp / BeOS-Zeta R3
Date: 30/6/2004
If your wondering what happened to the next i.Ftp release for BeOS, then here it is. Currently I've got R3 running (and connected to the net - w00t!) and when I build and run i.Ftp it crashes before it reaches the main function. This means that there is no easy / simple way to debug it. I've been going through my version control trying to find a version that runs but no luck so far. Which is very puzzling.

Anyway I'm very happy with Zeta R3, it's generally much faster and more polished than the previous releases. I'm particularly happy with the improvement in mounting and listing contents of non-BFS partitions. It used to take forever, and now it's really quick, maybe even faster than R5. Although I'm a little disappointed that ConvertToLf is no longer included in the base distro... I went to use it and had to install it. Oh well.

Btw if you have 2 network cards like me and are trying to get connected you should just save yourself the hassle and edit /etc/network.conf directly as the network preferences panel may not able to cope. It's being rewritten so I'm told so it's all good. If you do a:
In a terminal and get:
as your devices your in trouble. They should be:
And you'll have to edit the config file yourself to fix it. Just reboot afterwards and it then worked for me.
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Scribe Spell Checking
Date: 30/6/2004
It's come to my attention that the spell checker for Scribe is a bit flaky and crashes a bit or corrupts the message. From my investigations into this there is a memory corruption issue in the underlying Aspell library that the plugin uses. I've spoken to the author of the library and apparently it's fixed in their CVS but the current binaries still have the bug.

There may also be bugs in my code, but I would like to at least wait until I get the fixed build of Aspell on my machine before going on a witch hunt in my own code.

But in any case, treat the spell checker with due caution. Saving the email before sending/spell checking will garrentee that you don't lose data if it borks up and crashes on you. I'll post a note on the plugin page about this when there is some sort of solution. Most probably a new Aspell release.
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