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Can I create an INDEX to accelerate a SELECT MIN(IF(...)) in MySQL?

I have a table with a few columns, two of which are integers, one of which can be NULL in which case the other integer is to be used in my query.


If `col2` is NULL, then use `col1`. As is, there is how my query looks like:

SELECT MIN(IF(col2, col2, col1)) AS smallest FROM my_table LIMIT 1;

In other words, I need to get the row with the smallest integer, but if one column is NULL, I want to use the other column value.

On a very small sample, the query is still very fast, but the real version is not unlikely to have thousands ...

SugarCRM Community Edition for Ubuntu 16.04 with PHP 7

As I wanted to use SugarCRM on my new server, I looked into the Community Edition and apparently the company is not willing to convert their code so it works under PHP 7.

So that would not work on a newer system because the code uses quite a few forbidden mechanism (wrong class definitions, old defunct functions...) and that prevents to even instal the system on your machine.

Now, I have looked closer into it and I am getting a version that works pretty darn well already. I still have some issues here and there, but I think you can already make use of that version. Except for one thing which ...

Recover name of message registered with RegisterWindowMessage()

Today I was confronted with an error in a process that would run in the background and slowly fill up the Windows message queue when it should have been dormant.

I looked at the messages that were being processed once the process woke up and the message number was 0xC10C or so. Nothing in the software has such a number. So I looked around and found out that the message was one of those created using the RegisterWindowMessage() function. (This is wrong in that application since the messages are never used from external applications, but oh well... that does not change the basic problem.)

So, ...

The for() in C, C++, Java, PHP, JavaScript...

As I am working on my as2js compiler, I stumble on a couple of problems with the for() loop parsing because of the in keyword. That made me think and the for() statement was actually a very funny one. Yes! You can actually write something like this and it compiles:

int zero;
for(3;2;1) zero;

As you can see, all 3 entries in the for() statement are valid expressions and therefore the compiler can compile that code. This creates a loop that runs forever, similar to:

for(;;) zero;

but much less clear to read, obviously.

Now that's food for thought, isn't it?

In JavaScript, you ...

Repair a Cassandra Cluster

I use the Cassandra database cluster system to manage a new set of websites and once in a while I start getting many errors and the website stops working altogether.

When that happens, it is likely that Cassandra broke something in the temporary tables that it holds. The only way to go past that problem is to clear those tables. Until then, it will fail over and over again (they really would need some euristic to auto-clean up even if it means that you're losing some data.)

The command to repair the database, really quick, is as follow:

nodetool scrub snap_websites files

Note that ...

Bad move for PHP unpack()! So unpack() stopped working?

Today I noticed many errors on one of my websites. Looking closer into it, I noticed that the code for the mo_references Drupal module stopped working.

It took me some time, especially because the code seemed to work just fine as all the files could easily be displayed.

Actually, that was not the case. The unpack() character 'a', which I used, was transformed from a simple string that gets trimmed, to all the characters, including the NULL characters. Ouch! Now we have to use the 'Z' character instead.

I use it to unpack() a tar file by loading 512 bytes of data in a ...


If you are like me and write DTDs to check your XML files to make sure you don't have too many mistakes in them, then you probably have had this problem before.

The #PCDATA has a very special behavior and it is really restrained as follow:

  • #PCDATA must appear at the start
  • #PCDATA must be repeated from zero to infinity, so only * work with it
  • #PCDATA cannot be used with sub-groups (things between parenthesis)

Something like this:

<!ELEMENT Z (P | (#PCDATA | A | B | C)* | Q)+>

does not work because you use + and #PCDATA is within a sub-group.

What you need ...

My JavaScript code does not get the correct widget size, why?

As I am developing a set of pages for a customer, I ran in an intersting problem: my JavaScript function could not properly define the sizes of a box.

That box is heavily tweaked with the CSS assigned to it, as well as all of its neighbors. So I thought that may have something to do with it.

What I hadn't realized so far is that the ready() function of jQuery() is called once the script that includes it is ready (as in loaded) and not once the document as a whole is ready (done loading, i.e. onload event.)

With that knowledge it was easy to understand that I was actually finding myself ...

Using non-default private key for Launchpad

As I was looking around for the way to specify the correct key for launchpad, I could not find it. Luckily the ssh process is running when it asks for the passphrase so I could see the URL used to access the launchpad server from Bazaar. It is:

The address is not visible by default because you use the lp: protocol instead of a full URI to access launchpad.

    User <your launchpad username>
    PasswordAuthentication no
    HostbasedAuthentication no
    IdentitiesOnly yes
    IdentityFile ...

Removing the fold columns on the left gvim after using diffsplit

One thing that I find annoying in gvim is the foldcolumn parameter which is not reset once you are done with a diff process.

Of course, gVIM does not really know when you are done diff-ing, so its behavior makes sense... only it is still annoying.

To remove the fold (2 gray columns on the left used to hide areas that match in each file) you simply have to set the foldcolumn parameter to zero:

:set foldcolumn=0

Just in case, you enter a diff from within vim by loading two files, then using;

:diffsplit #

The diffsplit can specify any buffer number, I use the # as the other buffer (the ...

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