Archive for the ‘Quickie’ Category

Sending Mercurial commit messages to Twitter

May 25th, 2009 Comments off

[Update 16/02/2011 - This no longer works now that Twitter has disabled basic_auth. Oh well....]
[Update 21/07/2009 - Twilight is now called Daylight.]

If you follow what I do on this blog and on my podcast with Philippe Guitard, you know that I like Mercurial (hg), one of the newer distributed version control systems.

In particular, I really like Murky as a GUI front-end to Mercurial. In fact, I’m working on the French localization with Olivier Kaluzny.

I want to create a tweet from @ichibiapp or @daylightapp for every commit. I do this with other apps and subversion, and find it pretty handy to catch new commits to production. Plus, if you follow these products on Twitter, you too can get on the inside track of the software releases.

If you want to do the same for your Mercurial repositories, here’s how:

  1. Put this shell script, called commit-twitter, in your $PATH and mark it as executable (chmod a+x commit-twitter):
    # Simple script to send the first line of the commit message as a tweet
    if [ $# -ne 2 ]
      echo "Usage: `basename $0` twitter-username twitter-password"
      exit 1
    TWEET=$(hg log -r $HG_NODE --template '{desc|firstline}')
    curl -s -u "$TWITTER_USER:$TWITTER_PASS" -d "status=$TWEET" & > /dev/null

    The script takes two arguments, username and password, and checks that you have those two arguments. Then it extracts the tweet from the log using the HG_ environment variables set by Mercurial.
    Finally, it uses curl to generate the tweet, using silent mode (-s), running in the background with & (to return immediately) and sending the output to /dev/null.

  2. Add the following lines to your repository’s .hg/hgrc file, creating it if it does not exist:
    commit.tweet = commithook-twitter <twitter-username> <twitter-password>
  3. There is no Step 3!

Voilà! Every time you commit to Mercurial, the first line of your commit message will be posted as a tweet to the specified twitter account.

Categories: Quickie Tags:

Finding your iPhone or iPod Touch Device ID

April 6th, 2009 Comments off

If you are asked to provide your Device ID to someone, for example if you are beta-testing, here is an easy way to do it:

  1. Connect the device to your Mac or PC.
  2. On the “Summary” tab in iTunes, click the “Serial Number” label. You will notice that “Serial Number” changes to “Identifier”.
  3. Click on the “Edit” menu and select “Copy”. This works even though you can’t select the

Now you can paste the device ID into an email or twitter direct message. It will look something like 3fb3e69f58e0412b962bcdf0293f0c524191b447, but will obviously be different for your device.

Categories: Quickie Tags:

Quickie: Remote Desktop IP address

February 24th, 2009 Comments off

Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for Mac is a great piece of software (Remote Desktop on Windows is way ahead of the Mac, which is slow and based on VNC).

Because VNC is so slow, I often ssh into my work system when I work remotely. But I want to use Remote Desktop for my Windows work as well.

My Windows system has a dynamically-attributed IP address and no fixed name (it’s not “on the domain”). I also have a Remote Desktop session running on my work Mac.


lsof (list open files) not only lists open files by all processes, it also lists open ports. Once you know that the Windows Remote Desktop port is called ms-wbt-server, all you need to do is:

    % lsof | grep ms-wbt-server
    -> Remote      220 philippec    9u    IPv4 0x8977e64       0t0       TCP> (ESTABLISHED)

Voilà! The address of the remote Windows system is .

Parsing this through awk to extract the IP address for scripting purposes is left as an exercise to the reader…

Categories: Quickie Tags:

Quickie: MAKE_NSSTRING and plist preprocessing

July 24th, 2008 Comments off

Plist pre-processing is a very useful feature of Xcode. Basically, you define strings and numbers in a header file, which can also be included in your source code:

#define SimpleProductName "My Plugin"
#define MacBundleIdentifier com.myCompany.MyPlugin

Your Info.plist should contain:


This is great, but what if you want to do this:

NSBundle* myBundle = [NSBundle bundleWithIdentifier: MacBundleIdentifier];

You can’t: MacBundleIdentifier is not an NSString, and you want to avoid duplication (a maintenance problem) with @"com.myCompany.MyPlugin"



Simply define these two macros:

#define MAKE_STRING(x) #x

MAKE_STRING uses the C preprocessor to put quotes around whatever you pass it. So com.myCompany.MyPlugin becomes "com.myCompany.MyPlugin".

Finally, MAKE_NSSTRING converts com.myCompany.MyPlugin to @"com.myCompany.MyPlugin". Problem solved!

NSBundle* myBundle = [NSBundle bundleWithIdentifier: MAKE_NSSTRING(MacBundleIdentifier)];
Categories: Development, MacOSX, Quickie Tags: