Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Modified({fieldname}) no longer works

4D finally did away with the Modified({fieldname}) command.

I’ve replaced it in our code base with


4D recommends using the Form Event and On Data Change event.

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Blueprint CSS is total win

Having not played around with CSS frameworks before I found this one very appealing.

Really, it accomplishes something I used to spend an inordinate time doing: creating a simple set of CSS rules that bring all browsers to a common level playing field.

My favorite aspect is the concept of 24 columns easily split into classes span-x where x is a number of columns.

Check out blueprintcss.com for more information.

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Using Redmine as a help desk

The primary purpose of Redmine is a project management tool.

However it can be used as a help desk solution with a little configuration.

The key is setting up Redmine to receive e-mails.

My personal approach is to set up the e-mail retrieval as IMAP. This way you could set up a new account help@example.com and any incoming messages are sent to a project of your designation.

See the documentation for the most up to date information. Now when a user or anyone sends an e-mail to help@example.com a new issue with a set status is created. Future correspondence via the issue are automatically added.

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A comparison of Request Tracker version 3.8.4 to Redmine version 1.0.4.

This evaluation preceded scripting a migration between the two systems.


This targets the general features in Redmine vs. Request Tracker and is not a comparison of custom variables, or configuration options. This is not an exhaustive list; this was written as a simple comparison of basic issue tracking features between Request Tracker 3.8.4 and Redmine 1.0.4.

Features unique to Redmine

More than just a ticket tracking system

Request Tracker excels at one thing, ticket tracking. Redmine is an issue tracking system and has additional modules available.

  • Time tracking
  • News
  • Documents
  • Files
  • Wiki
  • Repository
  • Forums

Features unique to Request Tracker

Reply to closed ticket re-opens it

In redmine replying to a ticket does not change the status.

Outgoing e-mails stored

Request Tracker tickets show an entire chain of events, including all automated e-mails with full headers. In experience, occasionally useful.

Comment vs. Reply to requester

Request Tracker has a concept of replying to requester and making comments on an issue. Redmine will send update e-mails for every comment, regardless of content.
There is an open feature request for private comments that addresses this issue.

Redmine Stealth Plugin to temporarily disable notifications on actions taken by a user.
It is ajax based, so if I wanted to make a comment on an issue that sent no notifications; I would click the Enable Stealth Mode link, take my actions, then Disable Stealth Mode after I’m done.
Again this is user based, so it does not affect other actions taken by other users.

There is an open request on Redmine for functionality similar to this:

Ticket Requester

One of the more advanced features of Request Tracker was the People section. Request Tracker stored who created the ticket, who owned the ticket, and requesters of the ticket. Created is a searchable, but essentially hidden attribute of a Request Tracker ticket.
This allowed Request Tracker users to create a ticket for a user, and assign them as the requester. This is not possible in Redmine.

Redmine only stores Author (Request Tracker – creator). The only way to get an issue created with the proper author is for that person to create it via e-mail or by logging in.

Open feature request to change that:

Merge Tickets

In Request Tracker when a ticket was merged with another, only one ticket existed at the end of the process. The original ticket number would point to the ticket it was merged into, and the content from the merging ticket would appear in the merged ticket.

This was useful for joining several e-mails that were related to one ticket.

In Redmine you can only link related tickets by adding a duplicates or duplicated by related issue. This will only establish a link between the two issues, not copy content from one to another.

Also, there is a standing practice to find the duplicate ticket and close it, so time/comments/updates are logged against one issue.

There are a few standing feature request for this functionality

To accomplish the same concept as Request Tracker “merge” mark multiple Redmine issues duplicates and update the most recent ticket as the “active” one.


In Request Tracker you could attach reminders to tickets that would show up on your main page. Reminders could have a date and subject. There is no concept of this in Redmine.

At best comments can be made against an issue, or watch an issue.

NOTE reminders live in the tickets table as rt3.tickets.type = ‘reminder’ so they could be converted as pseudo tickets if needed, related to the attached ticket.

Ticket Status ‘delete’

In Request Tracker tickets could not be deleted. A status of ‘delete’ only meant the ticket was hidden from the gui, but can still be accessed via direct ticket number input, and still existed in the database.


For just issue tracking, both systems offer lots of features. However for me Redmine takes the cake with the larger feature set of project management.

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What’s a “sie”?

Seriously NYT? I guess it’s hard to type “site” three times in two sentences.

The site created a stir among world governments, who have denounced the site’s actions, and it was booted by its domain name service provider EveryDNS. Assange and the sie also had their accounts suspended

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So my writing is rarely proof read and is likely full of errors. However I should think there would be a way to write a script that would parse web pages checking for errors.

Heck maybe even a HTML scrapper that took the generated content and ran it through spell check. Sure you’d have to do it for every conceivable browser/OS combo out there, but I would think there is a way to get to 95% or 97% coverage.

See the example below.

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Not that I can pretend I’m perfect, nor am I a ‘grammar nazi’. However nothing says ‘unprofessional work done in a hurry’ than egregious spelling errors.

The majority of the time I see these errors on major news websites. This isn’t the focus of my writing but I need a forum for expressing my frustration.

Sometimes it’s not the fault of the content creator, but of the CMS used on the website.

My first example, on the main page of this major news organization’s website is an excerpt of the article

Virginia man who threatened creators of ‘South Park’ and tried to terror group faces up to 30 years in prison

So is it that he is tied to terror groups, or that he was tried for being in a terror group?

Follow the link and the description is better

A college dropout and Muslim convert who threatened the creators of the “South Park” cartoon series and then tried to join an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia is facing a prison term of up to 30 years.

Ohhh.. he tried to JOIN a terror group, yea that totally makes sense now.

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