Sunday, June 26, 2011

vsConsole 2.0 is now available

vsConsole 2.0 is now available for download. This version includes a much nicer user interface thanks to MediaLoot, and adds new features for monitoring web applications and messaging.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A new look for vsConsole

Thanks to the nice people at MediaLoot, vsConsole is getting a well needed facelift! I picked up a free template from MediaLoot, and I’ve been updating vsConsole to use it. At the same time, I’ve added a few new features and version 2 is well underway.

I’ve got to admit, it is much nicer and a lot more motivating working on something that looks nice.
As usual, I’m only doing the minimum required to have working features so I can release early and I’m hoping that users will help direct me where they want the features to head making it easier for me to prioritise. I’m also actively using the product myself, but it helps to have feedback from other users.

Let me know what you think of the new look. Version 2 will be available soon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Having trouble accessing log files?

During development and testing, we often need to check our application log files. Traditionally – at least for me – its been  a real hassle getting access to those logs. Not just the permissions problems, but remembering where they all are, and SSHing and CDing etc. Even though I don’t do it often, when I need to do it – I want it to be easy.

I’ve always wanted an application that would just let me click to view a log file – no server logins, no permissions problems, no having to remember where the logs are. So I built vsConsole.

vsConsole lets you view and tail log files on remote servers. vsConsole is a java web application – deployed to Tomcat. It communicates with vsAgent installations on the remote servers (vsAgent is a java application which is configured to expose certain files). Now when you want to view a log file, you can easily go to vsConsole, select the server you are interested in – and then select the log file you want to view. Its that easy.

If this sounds useful to you, download it and see if it works for you – documentation on installing and using can be found here. Let me know how it goes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Timezone errors with TimThumb

I was recently setting up a WordPress site using a theme that relied on TimThumb for post thumbnails. The images were not showing, and I couldn’t see any immediate errors. The URL for the missing image looked like this:
Entering that directly into the browser exposed the error:
Warning: strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function.

Searching the web provided the answer:
Php 5.3.0 & WP 2.8 (It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone)

But my MacBook Air didn’t have a /etc/php.ini file – It did however, have a /etc/php.ini.default file so I copied that, then had to change the permissions, and edited it, and restarted apache:
sudo cp /etc/php.ini.default /etc/php.ini
sudo chmod u+w /etc/php.ini
sudo vi /etc/php.ini
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl restart

I added the following on the second line of /etc/php.ini:

Now, the URL above works and my images are showing correctly.

User guide for vsConsole 1.0 now available

I’ve created a simple user guide aimed at those users who want to view log files through vsConsole. It walks through screen shots explaining how to use the application, and should also provide useful for those who are trying to figure out if this product is something they would be interested in.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Announcing vsConsole

vsConsole 1.0.1

vsConsole 1.0.1 is now available, supporting viewing and tailing remote server logs. This is intended to be a productivity tool for developers and testers by providing access to log files through a centralized web application. This is an early release, and works best running in Tomcat via Chrome or Firefox.

The problem

Have you ever been developing or testing an application and needed to go look at the server logs? How many times have you opened a terminal, logged in to the server, changed to the log directory and then tailed the log? Ever found you’ve forgotten where the log files are, or don’t have access to the files or an account on the server?

I’ve been through this many times, and by the time its all been sorted out its a bit late and totally frustrating. Checking a log shouldn’t take any time, and that is (one part of) why I’ve started working on vsConsole.

vsConsole FileView

In this release, vsConsole has 1 feature
  • FileView
FileView allows you to view and tail logs on remote servers via a web interface. Intended for developers and testers during the application development lifecycle, you can easily check the logs on your DEV and TEST servers at the click of a button.

I’m planning on adding other features (unrelated to logging) to vsConsole so it will grow to become multi purpose – these features will attack simple pain points and aim to provide productivity gains to development departments. All from a simple to install and use application.

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