Adobe DW subversion guides – please don’t forget deletion!

Wishing those at Adobe writing about DreamWeaver’s wonderful subversion integration would not keep omitting Deletion. Perhaps it is because deletion is not implemented in any automated sense (link) in DreamWeaver’s subversion client and the only sensible way to manage deletions or indeed renames (which as far as subversion is concerned is delete old file and add new file) is to use a 3rd party client. In my opinion this is all the more reason to mention this in articles like that in December’s EDGE “A guide to Subversion integration in Adobe Dreamweaver CS4”. Failing to provide notes on file deletions and file renames is going to leave newbie subversion users in a bit of a mess, with old files hanging around, or being restored when not expected following a revert.

My earlier notes related: Dreamweaver CS4, Subversion and site Synchronize. Two cautions.

Dreamweaver CS4, Subversion and site Synchronize. Two cautions.

The following notes assume three file sets: A: the remote site; B: The local site; C: The repository.

We are linked to the repository using  the SVN+SSH method I discussed yesterday.

Caution 1

In this particular site, I have a folder within which server-side code generates and deletes server-side text files and modifications to MS Access databases. It is therefore necessary to sync from the server to the local copy.  This is done using the settings: Get newer files from remote, and delete local files not on remote server. As in the following dialogue.sync

However in my particular site my preview list of files appeared as follows. Can you spot what’s wrong?!

preview

By linking your local site to a subversion repository, you make that local site folder a working copy. This creates a host of hidden files within your local site folder which are used to coordinate synchronisation with the repository. These files should only ever be touched by Subversion. Dreamweaver however has decided in its synchronisation process to check to see if each of these files are on the remote server. Of course they are not – nor ever should be. Dreamweaver has then listed them for deletion!

Important: DO NOT ALLOW ANY OF THESE FILES TO BE DELETED as part of this sync-down. Doing so will break your working copy and break your local site’s sync with the repository.

Of course in the preview list you can go through and set the files you wish not to be afftected to be skipped as I have in the following snapshot…

skip

Clearly from the above Dreamweaver has not only given me a huge list to work through, but in doing so has wasted a whole load of time – the FTP commands for checking 900 files are quite time consuming.

I’m not sure why Dreamweaver is including .svn files in this particular synchronisation effort. I can think of no use-case where this would be desired. Dreamweaver is smart enough not to attempt to sync .svn files when updating to the remote server rather than from the remote server.Therefore I suspect this is an over-sight, and I have logged it as a bug via the Adobe Bug Report Form.

There is a quicker safer way to avoid .svn files being sync’d in this way, and that is to use cloaking. For each site at issue, right-click the site’s root folder and choose  Cloaking > Settings…, then enable cloaking and add .svn to the file list…

Cloaking

Caution 2

Deleted site files, either deleted via a sync operation or direct deletion in the Files window, do not get committed to the repository on your next ‘check-in’. In fact so far I have not seen any way for Dreamweaver to inform the repository of deletions and I am currently relying on 3rd party tools to undertake the commit. In my case I use SCPlugin and commit the site folder, at which point it will list the deleted files as ‘missing’. Selecting those and hitting commit records them as deleted to the repository.

Maybe I’m missing something as this seems a major omission of basic functionality. It is quite dangerous for deletions not to get properly recorded to the repository, running the risk that the deleted files may be inadvertently restored to the local copy and eventually to the live site.

Update (4 November 2008):

Having found the documentation, it is clear that Dreamweaver’s subversion integration really does not extend to committing deletions to the repository. They need to be done either manually or through a 3rd party tool as I describe above. Pretty unfriendly for anyone new to subversion and quite different from the workflows used within dreamweavers for sunchronistion between local and remote sites for instance. Personally I think the documentation should explain this fact much far prominently as well as describing in more detail how manage deletion and renaming if connected to subversion.

migrate from file to svn+ssh for Dreamweaver CS4 on Mac

I’ve been using subversion for a few years now. Initially used through subclipse within Eclipse/Flex Builder then later also used with Dreamweaver sites using tools such as svnX and scplugin along with the “Cloak SCM directories” command. In most cases to date, I have used the “file:///” protocol as this provides direct and efficient access to repositories which are available within the local system or local area network. I had been looking forward to subversion integration in Dreamweaver and when the CS4 public beta was released I had a bit of a moan about the absence of the file protocol. Despite my efforts in the beta’s forum and the Dreamweaver wish-list, it remains absent. So now to look to using a different protocol.

There is a helpful 3 part article on the Adobe site describing how to get started with dreamweaver CS4 and svn. In part 3, the author chooses to present how jump through the hoops to get Apache to serve and access a local repository over http. There are a number of reasons why this approach is not right for me:

  1. svn served using mod_dav_svn through Apache over http is less efficient than svnserve through ssh.
  2. I have multiple repositories, one per project and all stored on a separate project disc. To use the http method, I would need to edit httpd.conf to add a directory mapping and manage access rights for each repository.

By using svn+ssh, svnserve launches on demand (no need for a running daemon) and we have access to all the paths available to the ssh user logged in.

So, to get this going on Mac OS X 10.5…

Turn on ‘Remote Login’ in the ‘Sharing’ system preferences. Rather than using the default of allowing access for all users, I restricted access to only my user.

At this point you should be able to use sv+ssh urls from within terminal. e.g.

% svn info svn+ssh://[email protected]/Volumes/full/path/to/repository

However if you try to use the same connection in a tool such as svnX you are likely to get error : ssh_askpass: exec(/usr/libexec/ssh-askpass): No such file or directory

To get around this we really need to establish public key authentication, which also serves to avoid you having to use your user account’s name and password for the connection.  Based upon this article on OpenSSH, I did the following:

% cd
% cd .ssh
% ssh-keygen -q -f id_rsa -t rsa

If the .ssh directory doesn’t exist, then use mkdir to create it. ssh-keygen creates both public and private keys.

Update 16-Feb-2009: Since writing this and applying an number of mac system and security updates i today found that any attempt to ssh+svn would result in…

svnserve: Command not found.
svn: Connection closed unexpectedly
[exit=1]

To solve the issue (based on notes here and here) I prefixed line 1 of id_rsa.pub with:

command="/usr/bin/svnserve -t"

As this is my one and only public key, I simply uses the following line to copy the public key to a file called ‘authorized_keys’. However if you are dealing with more than one key, you should use the guaidance in the OpenSSH article to append the key to that file.
%  cp id_rsa.pub authorized_keys
Once this has been done, attempting to use your svn+ssh  url within svnX should now work. Note: you may get the error re-displayed, but it will dismiss to be replaced by a current view of the repository. Also the first time, you will be prompted for the password. Here you need to enter the passphrase you used when you created the rsa key. I chose for this to be remembered in my keychain to avoid having to retype it in future.

With this done, you are now ready to contemplate setting up Dreamweaver. You need to be aware that an subversion working copy knows the url to the repository from which it was checked out. If your existing DW local copies of sites are subversion working copies checked out like mine via the ‘file:///’ protocol, you need to migrate them to ‘svn+ssh://’ so:

  1. Firstly ensure that everything you need to retain from your working copy has been committed to the repository
  2. Drag your working copy to the trash
  3. Create a new folder to contain your local site
  4. In Dreamweaver create a new site and manage the settings accordingly, pointing the local site to the folder you just created.
  5. In the version control category of the site definition, choose ‘Access Subversion’
  6. Protocol SVN+SSH
  7. Server address is your local computer. i.e. ‘computername.local’
  8. Repository path is a full path to the repository then further on down to the folder containing the site. In my case, each repository is split into trunk, branches and tags folders, and my site folder named ‘webroot’ is a sub-directory of trunk. So my path will read:  /Volumes/full/path/to/repository/trunk/webroot
  9. Server port remains default
  10. Provide your user name
  11. Leave password blank. The connection will be authenticated using the RSA public key
  12. Click the test button and you should get the message “Server and project are accessible!”
  13. CLick ‘Ok’, to leave the site definition
  14. In the file view, right-click the site folder and choose Version control > Get latest versions
  15. The latest versions of the files in the repository will be checked out of the repository into your local folder which will now become a working copy.

Job done.

CS4 betas

I’m not usually one for echoing release announcements. Herewith one minor exception. With the arrival of a number CS4 betas on labs I was please to see “Subversion integration” being a new feature of DreamWeaver CS4. After a history of making simple Zip snapshot backups, and more recently using subversion along with the “Cloak/Uncloak SCM directories” extention and client tools such as SvnX, and SCPlugin it will be interesting to see how well the integration has been done. Looking good from the description.

Update: Unfortunately looks like Subversion is only supported through a server in this release. I really need it to be able to use the “file:///” protocol to access repositories on my local system without having to set up a server. Here is my entry on the Dreamweaver Beta Forum, feel free to add to it if you have opinions one way or the other.

Flex / AIR / DataGrid / itemEditor bug?

If you are using DataGrid in a Flex/AIR application, the chances are you will at some stage hit the following RunTime error…

TypeError: Error #1010: A term is undefined and has no properties.

.. with a traceback indicating the error occurred within DataGrid.as. At which point you will stare at your own code for a while and wonder why.

In my circumstance I pinned this down to clearing the contents of the data provider and repopulating when there is an item renderer active on the DataGrid. A use-case that probably doesn’t come up that often in web-based Flex apps, since if the user clicks another control to trigger an update, the item renderer is exited at that point and the edit committed prior to the dataprovider changing.

In an AIR app, we have native menus available to us. When the user employs native menu selection, the item editor remains active. If that menu option triggers a repolpulation of the data provider (use-case example File>Open), we then get the error.

The workaround is pretty simple. A call needs to be made to destroyItemEditor() on the DataGrid instance before repopulating it’s data. In a simple application this is no great problem. But if you’ve gone to the effort of using something like the PureMVC framework to separate Data Object from View Components, the data object isn’t supposed to have any knowledge of the view. So in my case thefix is quite crude – when issuing the open command, a notification to destory item editors will be issued so any view component that uses them may destroy their editor prior to the repopulation.

My contention is that it should be the responsibilty of the DataGrid to destroy the item editor if the dataprovider updates.

I have this logged as a bug with Adobe (SDK-15280), along with sample code demonstrating the issue. Feel free to review and vote for the bug if you are in agreement with my point and comment further therein if you disagree or have better suggestions to offer.

sensible(ish) code print from flex builder (on MacOS X)

Continuing the theme of occasional Flex Builder hints and tips…

Occasionally I need to see code printed on paper. Unfortunately the printing capabilities of Flex Builder, or more specifically in this case, Eclipse, are a bit messy…

  • the font is huge, and only 49 lines fit on an A4 page
  • if you have a background colour set to your code window, it gets printed – decimating your ink-tanks
  • printing is a two dialogue process – you have to go through Page Setup each and every time.

Of course in the actual Print dialogue, you have the standard Mac ability to change the page layout, paper handling etc, and save that detail in a pre-set. However…

The key things I want to achieve is to print 2up full duplex black and white, which gives me four pages of code per sheet of A4, and with a slightly smaller font size I get a more respectable 68 lines of code per ‘page’.

However I’ve found the following approach, once set-up, a little more convenient, and becomes a one-click print…

The Mac has a GNU enscript installed which converts text files to PostScript to send directly to CUPS. In my case I had to update the old Gimp-Print drivers to the current Guten-Print drivers in order to achieve duplex printing.

More information on Guten-Print and access to the drivers on SourceForge. The DMG contains good documentation and a simple package installer.

Once the new drivers are installed, and I’d recommend a new, additional, print queue be set up with appropriate defaults for your code printing, you need to set Eclipse to run an external script to print the currently active code window. From the menu: Run > External Tools > External Tools…

  • Name: enscript
  • Location: /usr/bin/enscript
  • Arguments: -2rT4v -DDuplex:true -diP5000 ${container_loc}/${resource_name}

Obviously you’ll need to tweak the arguments according to your personal print configuration.

External Tools Dialogue

option up and down

Kicking myself for not finding these sooner so, posting in line with the current trend of highlighting little Flex time-savers. Two ActionScript editor short-cuts (and probably apply to any Eclipse code editor?)…

1. Select some code in the ActionScript editor and press Option-Up or Option-Down, and the selected block of code gets moved accordingly. Or just place the cursor on a line if you only wish to move a single line. Saves a load of messing with Cut-Paste.

2. Need to duplicate a line? Place the cursor at the start of the line and press either CMD-Option-Up or CMD-Option-Down, and the current line (or selection if you have one) gets duped above or below the cursor respectively.

With either of the above, if you make a selection, you don’t need to be character accurate. The movement is applied either to the line touched by the cursor, or the lines touched by the selection. i.e. If you select part of a line, the whole of that line is included in the selection to be moved.

flex, mac, external browser

Ted Patrick has been quite prolific of late at publishing little productivity hints and tips. I think this one from a couple of weeks ago is worth echoing and noting the workaround for the problem it raises on a Mac.

We are setting up Builder to launch the help pages into an external browser. The key advantage of which being that the code samples can then be copy/pasted. On a Mac there is a recognised bug in eclipse that if you choose Firefox as the external browser, and it is NOT your normal system default browser. Basically Eclipse attempts to launch a second instance of Firefox which will generate the “Only one copy of Firefox can be open at a time” dialogue…

Firefox close dialogue

So to get around this, you have two options.

Option 1, if you have Firefox as your default browser for the entire system, simply choose “Default system Web browser” in the Eclipse preferences panel.

Option 2, if you want to keep something else set as your system default browser e.g. Safari, but would use Firefox for displaying Flex Builder help, you need to either edit or create a new external browser entry using a command structure as per comment 5 on the eclipse bug sheet. Essentially the following settings work…

  • Location: /usr/bin/open
  • Parameters: -a firefox %URL%

Flex Builder > General > Web Browser >Edit external browser

ms access more syntax error issues that aren’t

Continuing from yesterday’s strangeness…

Yesterday, my hosting provider found that the mdb file’s “write and modify permissions were missing”. Very odd! but since that was fixed my ASP scripts could now INSERT.

Today I have almost a repeat of the same symptoms, except this time I can still INSERT but cannot UPDATE. The error given is the same as yesterday i.e. a syntax error in the sql. The sql works fine when executed within the access application. The error number was the same as yesterday…

-2147217900, Syntax error in UPDATE statement

I followed the advice on this forum entry to switch the connection string from an OLE DB connection string to a basic Microsoft Access Driver string. i.e.

“Driver={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)};
DBQ=D:\wwwroot\domain.com\database\database.mdb”

And this fixed it! I have a load of old sites out there still working happily with OLE DB connection strings to access databases. I’m not sure why this one has been so difficult.