Archive for 2010

OS X Terminal slow to bring up a prompt?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Today I was in the middle of some tasks and needed a bash shell. Naturally, I fired up the from OS X and waited….. and waited….  The window popped up but the bash prompt didn’t come up, it just stayed there with one character blinking at me. It took forever for the prompt to appear, it seemed like a few minutes but was probably more like 20 seconds. You know how time scales depending on how busy you are. Fed up with that, I goggled [1][2][3] around to see what if anyone else has had similar problems.

It turns out there’s a well known solution to the problem:

sudo rm -f /private/var/log/asl/*.asl

The speculation is the that a build up of log files causes the terminal app to continually slow down when opening a new prompt. After deleting the log files and opening a new terminal window the prompt appears immediately. I hadn’t noticed this behavior before Snow Leopard so it looks like apple forgot to clear something out on a regular basis or added a new check. In either case, it’s annoying.


WordCamp Austin, 2010

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I was able to attend WordCamp Austin this past weekend. It was the first time I’d been to a WordPress conference so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. It turned out to be small but very well run conference with several interesting topics.  For this post I am going to review my notes from the conference and highlight the items or topics that I thought were interesting.

WordCamps are typically small 1-day conferences held all over the world focusing on WordPress related topics. For any given weekend there are likely several conferences being held. The big problem is that the camps almost always sellout before the first speaker is even scheduled. So you you either have to be ‘in the know’ about what are the good WordCamps or take your luck of the draw as to whether the camp will be right for you. I was afraid that the conference would be too flufy (i.e. topics like how to build a community, or just using WordPress) instead of technical topics. It turned out that most of the presentations were at least mildly technical with very few covering topics of just how to use WordPress. It seemed to be a direct match with the audience. I’d say that if you feel you’re a programmer you’re probably not going to get the most of out these conferences. Technical concepts are not covered in depth as you would expect from other communities.

With that said, I’m a newb to the WordPress community. I’ve built a few themes for my self (i.e. this blog) and a few others. So take what’s said here with a grain of salt from an outsider’s perspective.


Buying a domain from

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Sale signI recently found my self in a position of negotiating the purchase of a domain from a domain reseller (or “domainers” as they are commonly referred to as [1]). It is one of those outfits that buys up domains in bulk to resell them at a huge markup. Before I contacted HugeDomains I googled around [2] [3] and couldn’t find much in the way of specifics on how to negotiate with them. I wasn’t even sure if they negotiate at all for their domains. I am writing this article about my experience buying a domain from in the hope that it will help someone else buying a domain from them. My purpose is to try and document as much information as I can about the transaction.


First a bit of background about They are a relatively new outfit which started getting into the domain reselling business around 2006. The company behind is operated by Andrew Reberry[4]. Andrew’s company is also affiliated with the domain registrar[5]. All of these companies are located in Denver, Colorado. The company TurnCommerce has an A+ rating with the BBB (as of November 2010). While you can disagree with their business model, they seem to be a reputable business. I can state that my interactions with the company were entirely professional, and once a deal was reached the transaction was processed quickly. We had the domain in our possession, transferred to my preferred registrar within 3 days.


Make Tellurium / Selenium work with Firefox and Snow Leopard

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

TDL’s been playing around with Tellerium / Selenium for functional web-based tests for a little while now. Unfortunately everyone who’s been messing around with it has been running them on Ubuntu and the others of us on the team have OS X. When you run the Tellerium tests on a Mac with Snow Leopard they fail to start Firefox with the following output from the Selenium server:

Preparing Firefox profile...
dyld: Library not loaded: /usr/lib/libsqlite3.dylib
Referenced from: /System/Library/Frameworks/Security.framework/Versions/A/
Reason: Incompatible library version: Security requires version 9.0.0 or 
   later, but libsqlite3.dylib provides version 1.0.0

What is Wrong?

The problem Firefox is complaining about is the version of libsqllite3.dylib found. Snow Leopard ships with a version of libsqllite in /usr/lib and Firefox also provides it’s own version of libsqllite3. Unfortunately there is a bug in Selenium 1.0.1 with how it calls Firefox that was patched in next version 1.0.2, however because of other bugs Tellerium is staying with 1.0.1 for now. You can read more about that decision in the mailing list thread:

The actual problem, at least from an outside view point, is dirt simple. When Selenium calls Firefox it sets up a set of environmental variables, one of which is:


As you can probably see there’s a problem with the path with the “null” that snuck in there. So somewhere in Selenium there’s some place where they forgot to check for a null value. When Firefox starts up it’s not able to find it’s local copy of libsqllight because of the invalid path arguments. But Firefox will happily guess a good set of paths if you forget to set the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH, so a simple solution is to place a simple bash script in-between Selenium and Firefox that simple removes the corrupted path.


In-place SVN Import

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I discovered an SVN trick today: how to do an in-place import into SVN. Normally when you run “svn import” it will leave the file system alone creating a copy on the repository. Then you have to do an “svn checkout” to pull the files back down under version control.

The import/checkout process normally this is a pain. However there are a few instances where it’s a really big pain such as Unix’s etc/ directory. You can’t just delete etc/ and recheck it out from version control or lots of stuff will break.  The other place I’ve found this usefull is for Xcode when starting new projects. Use the in-place import instead of Apple’s suggestion of creating two projects.

The process is quite simple. First create an empty directory is the repository, then checkout the empty directory into your existing location. Finally, run add the new files and then commit them into the repository.

svn mkdir

svn checkout https//  .

svn add *

svn commit –m “Initial in-place import of directory”