Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RoundCube on Windows

While testing the high speed IMAP server that i developed, i wanted to see how it perform with some open source webmail, particularly those that works with IMAP.

One of the most popular one that i found is RoundCube.

1. First you need to install the WAMPSERVER. The php included should be version 5++

2. Open up php.ini and make sure “extension_dir” points to the right directory which is under …\php\ext. Put in the extension module for sql . e.g

extension_dir = "/usr/local/apache/php/ext"

Yeah i created an c:/usr even on my Windows so that i don’t have to much changes.

3. Open up httpd.conf and make sure u have :-

<IfModule dir_module>

DirectoryIndex index.html index.php


Double check to see if the following is loaded :

LoadModule php5_module "/usr/local/apache/php/php5apache2_2.dll"

4. Install Mysql for Windows. (This can open up one whole can of worms if you get it wrong)

5. Open the INSTALL file found in RoundCube and follow the instruction to create the database for roundcube. I would advice you to stick to the names given.

5. Open the roundcube\conf\, rename the *.dist to *. (whithout dist extension). E.g  db.inc.php.dist –> db.inc.php

Edit db.inc.php and set the  : 

config['db_dsnw'] = 'mysql://roundcube:pass@localhost/roundcubemail'

to the username password that is created in 5, if you followed the default it should be :

config['db_dsnw'] = 'mysql://roundcube:password@localhost/roundcubemail'

Edit the main.inc.php and set the this to where ur email server is :

$rcmail_config['smtp_server'] = '';


6. Now copy this whole roundcube folder to a subfolder under htdocs (apache) . For e.g c:\usr\local\apachce\htdocs\roundcube

And you can try and access it via : http://x.x.x.x./roundcube

Good luck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Preaching Python : The obstacles

I am a big fan of Python. I am a Windows Developer. I’ve been doing C/C++ as long as i can remember before jumping to C# to leverage on the .NET.

I abandoned Java when it was 2 years old, it just never got me attracted. Maybe its because my field centralizes on system level and security and not enterprise business applications. 

Python has a distinct place in development today. But try convincing the following crowd :-

1. A Windows C#/ASP.NET developer, been using VB since 1997.

2. Java Developer with over 7 years of exp

3. C++ /C hardcore

4. PHP developer

Here are the list of the most common obstacles :

1. Python is SLOW

2. Python has no strong Enterprise Framework

3. Python has weak data typing, its hard to create APIs for users to extend.

4. C# can do everything that Python can and it works better in Windows and..faster.

5. Python GUI development in Windows sucks.

6. see no.1

Python is slow. Compared to  C. Which language is faster than C ? Assembly maybe but definitely not Java or C#.  Does the program speed really matter so much when practically in most applications the speed differences might not even exist to be practical.

Lets say you are developing a Network application that accepts data from the Internet and do something with it. The internet bandwidth speed from your ISP to you is nothing compared to your LAN speed. Lately The CPU processing power has grown from exponential to straight upward beating Moore’s Law.  In this case python would do perfectly well, the bottleneck is not the application speed but rather the internet speed.

One of the exceptions would be if you are doing scientific research and mathematical data of which nanoseconds per iteration differences might matter to you.

Python is slow? Use C then for the part that requires special computational algorithm . Recently a friend of mine showed me a game called Civilization, its the latest version and it uses Python. It runs fast and flawlessly on my Vista. I believe they used python just for the main framework of the game coding while the graphic rendering is back to C/C++ . Now that is smart.

Python is slow? Blink. Did u see the difference?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Windows Live, Twisted

This is the first posting via the Windows Live Writer. Today my MSN Messenger pops up and literally forced me to upgrade my Msgr to the Windows Live version.

What surprises me was the list of other services that you get to choose to install apart from Messenger itself  and one of them is this Windows Live Writer.  It allows you to post to various blogs (the first  one in the menu is MS own service naturally…)

The online office documents is the other apps. This  put the power of the MS Office to the internet for laymen. It makes google docs looks like cavemen offering. The google doc is laden with incompatible glitches when uploading MS documents over, and MS answers to this is a solid one.  Try uploading a powerpoint and you will get what i mean….not a big issue , minor displacement here and there but still…

So what has this gotta do with Twisted ? Nothing really, except that the solid feel you get when using components from MS compared to Twisted (open source component) sometimes is evident, at least to developers that are not just MS bashers. On the other hand, MS is super slow in adopting and promoting what is evidently internet driven standards and if you want to develop for Windows, chances is  that MS already have some offering that is either free, “included in the OS/will be” or some bundling Server products. The development for Windows software is a grim future to many Windows developers (except for project based solutions) . Of course the gang of MS partners and those getting projects from MS as partners via MS solutions are making tons.

For independent product development, Windows leaves Anti-virus, some security related fields and libraries/components the only profitable playing field for Windows Developers looking at “off the shelf” development. 

Now back to twisted, i was  looking at imap4.py, the “search_” functions have a typo bug that will never work , a simple one…missing an “s” on 3 functions of which i have reported to twistedmatrix. If MS components have such bugs, it would be totally unacceptable and laughable.  I was thinking to myself, is this a framework that has so much hoo-haa in Python and over 7 years of evolution? Don’t even want to start on its poor documentation. If its not because of its beautiful skeletal architecture for various protocols, i would say asynch chat in the standard Python library would be more productive.  (noob ! noob!, yeah spare me the insults)

Python is the best  thing i have found in the OSS world. Each day passed by and i still find it the most attractive programming language.  I place Python on the same playing fields as C++, Java, C#, not Perl and other scripting languages. Its meant for serious development and deserved to be used in an IDE and adopted by full fledged teams.

Are you using C#? Try python, use the Wing-ide. You won’t regret! You won’t lose much of the VS pampering that you are so used to and you get to think …somewhat…differently.