Apr 152010

So, you have a nice new database table, and you forgot (or couldn’t) add comments to the columns when you created it. I recently ran into this problem, and my usual internet searches didn’t turn up much.  One would expect a statement similar to this:
ALTER COLUMN `columnname` ADD COMMENT 'a comment'
However, that statement doesn’t exist.

If you have gotten to my post, you probably realize that there is no easy way to add comments (unless you have a nice application that does it for you). The real statement is something along the lines of this:
ALTER TABLE `courses` CHANGE `courseid` `courseid` bigint(20) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT COMMENT 'a new comment'

Which means you need to know the table definition, and restate it every time you want to change the comment. If you are doing this in bulk, that is a pain in the butt.

So, I wrote this little script that will take a create table definition, and turn it into Alter Table commands, that will add comments to each of your columns.

All you need to do is run ‘SHOW CREATE TABLE `tablename`’ on your database table, and insert that definition into my script here, and it will spit out a series of Alter Table calls with a space for a comment appended to the end.

The script is very basic at this point, and expects the formatting as shown in the example. The GUI I use, DbVisualizer, as well as the mysql command line client spit this out. So hopefully yours will to.

If you find this useful, or run into any problems with the script, please let me know.

Edit (April 15, 2010): Uploaded v0.2. Small mistake that was placing the column name in place of the table name. Sorry to anyone that was used it before and noticed it.
Edit (November 17, 2013): You can download the php script here for running on your own server.

Apr 102010

I’m in the process of migrating multiple blogs into a single installation of WordPressMU. Please stand by as I correct the problems here.

In the end, I promise to have a nice blog post on it. 🙂

Apr 052010

In one of my many Linux Game RSS feeds, I ran across an announcement for L++. This is a multiplayer version of the old Lemmings game. Lemmings is a puzzle game where you have to guide your no-brain lemmings from the entrance, to the exit.

L++ has all of the original single player content, plus a lot of extra player created content. It has a built in level editor (which I found wasn’t super easy to use) and 8 player network multiplayer.

It is quite surprising how fun multiplayer lemmings could be. If you are a lemmings fan, and have a friend or two, I’d highly recommend giving this a try.

Update: I just went to the site, and they currently have taken the download off as they remove some of the copyrighted content that was in the game. You can read more here: http://lplusplus.co.cc/topic.php?topic=16. Oddly enough, I only downloaded the windows version as that was the machine I was on when I decided to try this. I guess I’ll have to wait with you to give it a try.

Apr 052010

I recently installed the excellent OpenShot video editor for Ubuntu because I had to splice together some video from our curling league. We had two cameras shooting the action from the Semi-Final, and Final games.

OpenShot is a very easy to use program from making some basic movies and it handled the two different format videos pretty well.

However, after installing, I noticed that I could no longer use AMSN, my instant messenger of choice. When launching from the terminal, I would receive an error about GStreamer problems. This also affected Pidgin, and I’ve heard reports of problems with Empathy and others too. The problem lies in frei0r-plugins package, which messes up gstreamer for some programs, and is required by OpenShot. The easy solution to get it working is to remove frei0r-plugins, but of course, OpenShot won’t work anymore.
sudo apt-get purge frei0r-plugins

After searching the net a bit, I ran across a launchpad page that pointed the finger at libgavl. The problem is fixed in libgavl 1.1.1. Of course, 1.1.0 is the highest version you can get with Ubuntu 9.10.

So, to correct this once and for all, you can compile 1.1.1 yourself, or you can download the .deb for Ubuntu 10.04. So, go here: http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/libgavl1 and download the correct version for your architecture, and you should be good to do.

I got some warnings about an older, more supported version being available in the repositories, but you can safely ignore that.