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Drupal 5.10 and MarsEdit

Now that I’ve upgraded to Drupal 5.10, I’ve discovered I can no longer post from MarsEdit. I get this error upon submitting a post via XML-RPC, via Drupal’s core Blog API module:

You either tried to edit somebody else’s blog or you don’t have permission to edit your own blog.

Annoying things like this happen all too often with Drupal. I’ve had enough problems with the core BlogAPI and (practically required) Pathauto modules that I should really consider whether the Drupal platform is worth it. It feels like updates for modules are never really tested before they are put out, and so problems like this slip through.

I haven’t figured out what the problem is yet, but hopefully I’ll get this fixed soon. I hate posting through Web interfaces if I can avoid it.

And, just to be clear, all I did was update to the current Drupal 5.10 via my normal routine. I kept my “settings.php” file and my “files” and “sites/all/modules” directories, but everything else is from Drupal 5.10. I ran the “update.php” script after the upgrade. No settings were changed in MarsEdit, which worked before the upgrade.

Update 9/20: I looked in the “Access control” page of my sites’ Drupal Administration section. The “administer content with blog api” had been turned off for my user role. I re-enabled it tentatively, and now posts from MarsEdit appear to work again. I’m not sure why the “administer content with blog api” permission would have been disabled in the Drupal 5.10 update, but that’s what appeared to happen to me.

Collecting important URLs for trips in Safari

I recently took a trip to Seattle, and reminded myself of a useful practice I’d developed a while ago. When I’m traveling, I collect import URLs for that trip in my browser — URLs for my organization’s travel booking/information system, airlines, hotels, maps, conference information, etc. — and put them in Safari’s Bookmarks Bar.

It’s pretty easy to collect them:

  1. Right-click on the Safari Bookmarks Bar. (If it’s not on, enable it with View > Show Bookmarks Bar.)
  2. Choose “New Folder” from the pop-up contextual menu.
  3. Enter the name of the folder in the sheet that slides down from the Safari browser window. I usually name it something short (because despite having widescreen displays, I want to conserve space in my Bookmarks Bar) that reminds me of the trip.SafariNameBookmark.png
  4. Visit a site that I want to bookmark for the trip.
  5. Add a bookmark for that site, either by:
    • clicking the “+” button in the Safari toolbar when I’m there, and then choosing which folder to put it in from the list of folders in the pop-up menu, or by
    • clicking the proxy icon in the URL field, and dragging it onto the folder in the Bookmarks Bar.
  6. Repeat the last two steps for each site relevant to the trip.

The resulting bookmarks can be rearranged, if necessary, in Safari’s bookmarks editor. (It’s the “open book” icon in the Bookmarks Bar.)

The entire group of pages can be opened all at once by clicking-and-holding on the folder in the Bookmarks Bar. When the menu drops down for the folder, choose the last command: “Open in Tabs.” This opens all of the sites bookmarked in the folder in separate tabs in the Safari window. I find that it’s useful to have them all open while I’m traveling to my destination, since that way I can see them even if I can’t get an Internet connection — free Wi-Fi is not always available.

When I’m done with the trip, I can delete the entire folder or just some of the bookmarks it contains. To delete the folder quickly, right-click on its name in the Bookmarks Bar and choose “Delete” from the contextual menu.

Compiling a five-way Universal Binary of Rsync 3 with LLVM-GCC on Leopard

The Xcode 3.1 Developer Tools install both the standard GNU compiler, gcc, and the LLVM compiler, llvm-gcc. I thought I’d try my hand at compiling something with [Bad link], so naturally I decided to update my instructions for compiling Rsync 3 as a Universal Binary for Leopard. Let’s try Rsync 3.0.3!

The following set of instructions, of course, requires that you have already installed the Xcode 3.1, [Bad link]. To choose LLVM as your C compiler temporarily for this compile, specify the CC=“/Developer/usr/bin/llvm-gcc” variable (as explained in [Bad link]).

$ cd /tmp
$ curl -O curl -O
$ tar -xzvf rsync-3.0.3.tar.gz
$ rm rsync-3.0.3.tar.gz
$ curl -O
$ tar -xzvf rsync-patches-3.0.3.tar.gz
$ rm rsync-patches-3.0.3.tar.gz
$ cd rsync-3.0.3
$ patch -p1 <patches/fileflags.diff
$ patch -p1 <patches/crtimes.diff
$ ./prepare-source
$ env CFLAGS="-O -g -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk -arch i386 \
-arch ppc7400 -arch ppc970 -arch ppc64 -arch x86_64" LDFLAGS="-arch i386 \
-arch ppc7400 -arch ppc970 -arch ppc64 -arch x86_64" \
CC="/Developer/usr/bin/llvm-gcc" \
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --disable-dependency-tracking

$ make
$ ./rsync --version
rsync version 3.0.3 protocol version 30
Copyright (C) 1996-2008 by Andrew Tridgell, Wayne Davison, and others.
Web site:
64-bit files, 32-bit inums, 64-bit timestamps, 64-bit long ints,
socketpairs, hardlinks, symlinks, IPv6, batchfiles, inplace,
append, ACLs, xattrs, no iconv, symtimes, file-flags
rsync comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you
are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions. See the GNU
General Public Licence for details.
$ file ./rsync
./rsync: Mach-O universal binary with 5 architectures
./rsync (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
./rsync (for architecture ppc7400): Mach-O executable ppc
./rsync (for architecture ppc970): Mach-O executable ppc
./rsync (for architecture ppc64): Mach-O 64-bit executable ppc64
./rsync (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
$ lipo -info ./rsync
Architectures in the fat file: ./rsync are: i386 ppc7400 ppc970 ppc64 x86_64
$ sudo make install

Warning: I have not tested Rsync 3 compiled with LLVM to ensure that it operates at all or is compatible with Rsync compiled by GCC. I haven’t compared the compilation speed against GCC’s performance, determined whether the files are larger/smaller, or have produced a more optimized binary. You use the software compiled with these instructions at your own risk.

Most of the original instructions were [Bad link]. My contributions are simply:

  • Universal Binary support: four- or five-way, depending on whether you want to use “-arch i386 -arch ppc7400 -arch ppc970 -arch ppc64 -arch x86_64” (which gives specific optimized binaries for PowerPC G4 and G5 systems in 32-bit mode) or “-arch i386 -arch ppc -arch ppc64 -arch x86_64” (for more general 32-bit PowerPC support, as I did in my previous article).
  • LLVM compilation: use of the llvm-gcc front end, which hopefully produces a working Rsync 3.

Finding and viewing the Test Print document in Mac OS X Leopard

When you have the print queue window open for a printer in Mac OS X Leopard, the Printer menu > Print Test Page command is active. That command sends the CUPS test page to the selected print queue.

The test page file itself is a PostScript document located at this path:


Since Leopard — like Mac OS X versions since Panther, has a built-in PostScript interpreter — you can open up this PostScript document and have it rendered as a PDF. By default, it will be sent to the Preview application.

It’s helpful to be able to view this document on-screen, so you can see what it is supposed to look like, in case your printer is not working as intended. You can compare the on-screen results with the printed output to verify how well your printer is working.

Start Directory Service debug logging automatically after the next restart on Mac OS X

There can be times when you need to troubleshoot Directory Services in Mac OS X during system starts up. Directory Services apparently sits above and below the kernel — depending on what each of those components needs to do — so having debugging capability early on in the boot process can help you hone in on problems.

To enable debug logging at startup, run the following at the command line:

$ sudo touch /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService/.DSLogDebugAtStart

… and then, on the next restart, debug logging will be enabled. This is equivalent to running:

$ sudo killall -USR1 DirectoryService

… but the advantage is is that debug logging begins at startup, rather than whenever you can log in and start it manually.

Remove the file from the path above when you want to disable the logging for the subsequent restart. As a file whose name starts with a dot, you won’t see it listed by default in the Finder. (The Finder hides dot files by default.)

$ sudo rm /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService/.DSLogDebugAtStart

For more details, see the Apple article on [Bad link]. (Note that directory service logging works on the workstation version of Mac OS X, not just Mac OS X Server.)

Is that site running Drupal, curl edition

The [Bad link] Web site has a clever way to help answer the question of “[Bad link]” Angie Byron mentions that the HTTP “Expires” header returned by Drupal corresponds to a specific default date. Look for that date in the HTTP headers, and you can make a reasonable guess that a site is a Drupal site — or at least one that hasn’t modified one of the core files.

Some commenters posted notes about how to do the same thing with wget and then curl. I expanded on the curl instructions to make them a little more robust (especially in the case of redirects or URL rewriting), and here’s the result:

$ curl -fsIL 2>&1 | grep -q -m 1 "Expires: Sun, 19 Nov 1978 05:00:00 GMT" && echo "Yes, this appears to be a Drupal site." || echo "No, this does not appear to be a Drupal site."
Yes, this appears to be a Drupal site.

Navigating through files with less

It’s taken about a decade but I finally read the man page for “less.” Here are some important keyboard commands for navigating through files with it that I wanted to note for my own future use. If someone else gets a benefit from this, great, but it’s already helping me jump through man pages with more ease. (And it gave me an opportunity to write a post with a really ambiguous title.)

Key Function
f Move forward one screen
b Move backward one screen
j Move forward one line
y Move backward one line
= Show the number of lines and your progress through the file
< Move to the beginning of the file
> Move to the end of the file
% Scroll to the position in the file represented by the number before the percent sign

These commands had eluded me for a long time, even though it would have been great to know them. After all, less is the default pager in Mac OS X. Thanks to the wonders of air travel, I had some time to read some off-line documentation.

Of course, I’ve long used “/” followed by some text to search through man pages, and that’s worth knowing if you don’t already. One useful trick I picked up was the search “/^EXAM” (props to [Bad link] for mentioning the caret and making my recipe one character longer, but more specific) to search for the examples section.

Hunting Snow Leopard

I’ve been thinking for a few months that Mac OS X 10.6 (or the like) would be introduced to developers at WWDC 2008. I’ve said as much to those unfortunate enough to be within earshot. I haven’t mentioned it here … and in recent days I’ve felt less confident about this gut feeling based on the public WWDC session schedule.

If Apple was trying to return to an 18-month release cycle for Mac OS X, my thought process went (after the CEO announced just such a push), a developer preview would almost have to be shown at this WWDC. That has lingered in the back of my mind. It also provided a reason to go to the conference if you were interested more in the Mac track than the iPhone.

Now there are rumors flying around, based on various strings in Apple software and from other sources, that there will be a preview release of Mac OS X 10.6 at WWDC. And it’s being referred to with the moniker, “Snow Leopard.”

If, as these rumors say, the upgrade will focus on reliability and security, then the general lack of room for schedules on it is more plausible. The name distinguishes it little from Leopard, but maybe just enough.

However, unless this release were more like the free-with-$20 shipping Mac OS X 10.1 update, who would buy it? Would Apple charge $129 retail for stability and security? It seems that there would have to be more.

I can definitely see that security could be enhanced by greater adoption of certain features — some reasonable candidates for further enhancement since Leopard — which are the focus of several sessions at WWDC, according to the published schedule.

Since I’m always watching for when old rumors swing back around, I’d guess that one additional change we could see is the mythical “Illuminous” user interface. (Assuming, of course, that this is not the unified interface style we already have in Leopard.) It usually takes two years for fun old rumors to become reality, if they ever do — that’s enough time for many to have forgotten about them and for actual development work to have taken place. A new interface with a new name would jack up the value of a new OS in some people’s minds. Moreso if it actually works better than the old one.

If the lack of PowerPC support were true, then this would be an astounding announcement. It would cut off upgrades for a large (but ever-decreasing) percentage of the Mac population. Already, Leopard itself was limited to G5s and the newest G4s. This could have an interesting effect on those institutional customers who bought G5s for their compute power. Let's recall that although the Intel Macs have been out since January 2006 and the transition was relatively quick, the high end Power Mac and Xserve systems were the last to be replaced. For a while yet, there can still be Apple PowerPC-based systems that are less than three years old.

Ah, we’ll see what happens Monday. You never know with rumors. I have no inside information and even I wouldn’t make any important decisions based on these musings.

Limit Launchd LaunchAgents to specific session types in Leopard

In Leopard, launchd has some options that can tailor your now-working LaunchAgents for specific circumstances. For example, if you want your LaunchAgent to run only when a user has logged in at the Aqua console — rather than SSH or other login sessions — you can use the “LimitLoadToSessionType” key:


Note that to find events that have been limited in this way, you must use launchctl’s “-S” flag to specify the session type. Otherwise, [Bad link], as per Levi Brown’s post.

I also found the “LimitLoadToHosts” and “LimitLoadFromHosts” keys when looking this topic up in the launchd.plist man page.

Thanks to James Bucanek for [Bad link].

WWDC 2008 iMix on iTunes Store

It’s that time of year again. My WWDC 2008 iMix has been posted.

It started as a gag but I’ve had occasional encouragement from others who thought it was a good idea. Plus, I generally like the music at the conference so it’s nice to save some record of it. It’s hard to find iMixes because you have to go into the iMix section of the store to search for them, so I wanted to help myself by linking to it here.

If you’re at the conference, feel free to send me submissions; information is in the iMix description itself.

Update: I had to replace the earlier iMix with a new version so I could add to it. It appears that if you create an iMix on one computer, you can't update it on another.

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