30 Sep 2004 rossigee   » (Journeyer)

Travelling

We left England on Saturday evening, just as the weather seems to have started taking a cold turn. Arrived home in Ban Krut after a fairly uneventful flight via Dubai to Bangkok (Sat/Sun), and a similarly uneventful train journey down to Ban Krut, in the Prachuap Kirikhan 'jungwut' (district/county). It's still rainy season, and although it has been mostly hot and muggy, we've had some pretty spectacular thunder and lightning storms and torrential rain.

We're staying with P'Chai at the train station. We're still looking for a house to rent. The owner of the land I'm buying showed me the extent of the land - it's a lot bigger than I first imagined! Looking forward to getting the sale completed so we can spend a day cutting down the overgrowth. Although it was nice to see everyone back in England, it's also nice to be back where I can continue building a future for Mee and I. Also looking forward to seeing the hordes of people who have promised they'll come over to visit (yeah!). At least my Mum and my Gran will be coming in February.

Work

My current work priority seems to be making fairly slow progress. Whilst I'm very happy (and proud etc) of the design, I'm struggling to bring it to completion due to various problems and distractions. I've had to do some technical support cover, fix a few problems with another customer's site (which I admittedly broke trying to fix something else), and my laptop battery has finally given up the ghost, leaving me with a laptop which dies whenever there is a power glitch. My main issue at the moment is that although it works great on PHP5 with the new DOM XML and XSL APIs, when run on PHP 4.3 (the platform it is expected to be hosted on), the crappo deprecated APIs don't seem to behave in the same way. I am wrapping all XML and XSL calls in the application program using the HDOMWrapper and HXSLTWrapper classes from my

As for the laptop, given all the problems I listed (on a previous Advogato post), I don't see much point in wasting money trying to fix it. Hopefully, by my birthday in a couple of months, I will be able to buy a PowerBook. I am looking forward to getting it to dual-boot MacOSX (which I was fairly impressed with when I saw it for the first time the other day - it has a shell!) and Ubuntu Linux (PPC). I managed to shoehorn Ubuntu Linux (i386) onto this machine (a long story in itself), and am fairly happy with it so far (glad I came back from the RPM-based Fedora for workstation use). However, having a few minor package dependency problems trying to install the correct set of libraries to compile PHP5, so have entered a world of pain trying to get it to work using the stock Ubuntu PHP 4.3 package. The problem boils down to the fact that, with the DOMXML API on PHP4, the XSLT processor does not look for the 'xsl:included' stylesheets in the right place. I rewrote part of the XSLT wrapper to use the actual 'XSLT' (Sablotron/Expat) module, but then that fails with invalid tokens when parsing the output from a libxml-based 'DOM-to-string' function (and gives a rather useless error message which means I still haven't tracked down why - bloody Sablotron!). I've decided to not let PHP4 problems from keeping developing going. We'll have to decide when it goes live whether to upgrade the server to PHP5, host it on another server with PHP5, or attempt to debug any outstanding PHP4 XSLT problems.

Due to the fact that I don't yet have a telephone line, I am having to work offline and spend a couple of hours a day at the local Internet shop, which is a bit of a pain. After using ADSL again back in the UK, the 56k dial-up is painful to use, especially when trying to sync large amounts of data, especially when others in the shop are doing stuff. I definitely need to find out when DSL is coming to Ban Krut, and see if there's anything I can do to bring it on.

Non-work

No time for any significant progress in any particular open source area, except for a dealing with a few very minor GNOME sysadmin issues. I attacked the Gtk2 version of Gnucash but found that there are problems with the Debian guile (f**king scripting languages in applications again!) dev libs mean that I can't compile it. No way am I going to start building Guile from source or fixing f**king Guile problems. If I'm going to do any work on GnuCash, the first thing will be to remove the dependency on any languages other than C, probably by rewriting the important bits in C and making anything else a compile-time dependency. Proper PITA that I'll have to install a shedload of GTK1 libraries just to keep my accounts up-to-date.

Apologies to anyone waiting for progress with gtranslator! I'll try to get my work on that finished, tested and released before I start digging into other stuff like GnuCash.

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