Home » 2013 » May

The future of Maximus, the BlitzMax Module Manager

Lately I’ve been thinking of Maximus‘ future. I’ve had a draft blog post with the title ‘Pulling the plug on Maximus’ poking me in the face for at least 6 months now and I’m still not sure if I should be writing it or not. I’ve got a number of reasons to end the project but also to continue it.

Reasons to pull the plug would be that I no longer use BlitzMax and thus it’s wasting precious server resources. I’ve also got little time for maintaining the codebase (it’s stable software, so not much going on there though) and keeping the service running. Furthermore I’ve got no clue on how big the Maximus user base is. I know a couple of BlitzMaxers (though it seems they’ve moved on from BlitzMax) who use Maximus, but that’s about it. As far as I know it could be 5, 10, 100 or 0 users. Aside from the users there has also been little participation from module authors.

There are also reasons to keep the project alive. It’s still one of the coolest things available for BlitzMax. It’s a big central repository with almost all available BlitzMax modules and currently there’s no other solution for easily installing your desired BlitzMax modules and their dependencies. It’s also a stable code base and the way it’s running now doesn’t require much maintenance. I’ve still got plenty of ideas to implement and improve Maximus as well. It can also be a nice playground for trying out new technologies. One such example was adding Vagrant support which is something I now use on a daily basis.

Still, I’m more and more feeling like ending the Maximus project. It no longer scratches an itch of mine since I’m not using BlitzMax anymore and like I’ve said I’ve got no clue if other people actually use it. Sure, from time to time I can find an entry in my log files that shows a module has been downloaded, but that’s about it.

For the time being I’m going to think about what my decision is going to be. Once one has been made I’ll inform you again on my blog. In case of termination I’ll inform ahead of it. Comments and suggestions are more than welcome.

Tmux scripting

I’ve been using tmux for a while no to manage my terminal sessions. One thing I kept on doing was after starting tmux that I would be manually adding windows, splitting them and issuing commands in each pane such as echoing the contents of log files with tail -f.

I had heard about scripting tmux before but never really looked into it yet, until now. Since I solely use the key bindings I had to figure out how to issue these commands without them. Turns out this is pretty easy and it’s documented in the man page.

Here’s an example of a tmux script I just added to Maximus-Web.

#!/bin/bash
SESSION=$USER

tmux -2 new-session -d -s $SESSION

# Setup a window for tailing log files
tmux new-window -t $SESSION:1 -n 'Logs'
tmux split-window -h
tmux select-pane -t 0
tmux send-keys "tail -f /vagrant/maximus.log" C-m
tmux select-pane -t 1
tmux send-keys "tail -f /vagrant/maximus-worker.log" C-m
tmux split-window -v
tmux resize-pane -D 20
tmux send-keys "tail -f /vagrant/maximus-mojo.log" C-m
# Setup a CoffeeScript compiler/watchdog pane
tmux select-pane -t 0
tmux split-window -v
tmux resize-pane -D 20
tmux send-keys "coffee -o /vagrant/root/static/js/ -cw /vagrant/root/coffee/" C-m

# Setup a MySQL window
tmux new-window -t $SESSION:2 -n 'MySQL' 'mysql -uroot'

# Set default window
tmux select-window -t $SESSION:1

# Attach to session
tmux -2 attach-session -t $SESSION

You can view the (up to date) origin of this script at GitHub.

So what exactly does this script do?

  1. It creates a new tmux session.
  2. It creates a new window called ‘Logs’ which is split into a grid of 2×2 with the bottom 2 panes being smaller in size (height). In every pane a command is executed. For example in pane 0 the command tail -f /vagrant/maximus.log gets executed.
  3. A second window called ‘MySQL’ is created which runs the mysql -uroot command.
  4. Then we switch back to the first window (actually second, as tmux pane numbers start with 0) which is the window that shows us the contents of these log files.
  5. Finally we attach to the tmux session.

The added benefit of this small script is that from now on all I have to do is run it and my tmux session will be configured for this specific project (Maximus in this case).

I’ve also found some other useful tmux resources as well which are listed below:

Disabling hiberfil.sys on Windows 7

Hibernation is enabled by default on Windows 7 and Vista. But on a desktop system you usually don’t make use of hibernation. To disable it run a command line prompt (Windows Key + R, type cmd) and enter the following command: powercfg.exe -h off.

On systems with a lot of memory this can free up a lot of disk space.

Now using Disqus for comments

I’ve decided to move the commenting system of this website to Disqus. All existing comments are queued to be imported into Disqus. I’m not sure how long this is going to take but I expect it to be finished within a day (maybe two).