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Revision as of 12:03, 14 March 2014 by Crutchy (talk | contribs) (WORKING OUTSIDE SLASHDEV VIRTUAL MACHINE)

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I'm just a regular pleb from Australia. I'm not a member of the Soylent staff.

PHP/SQL/HTML/CSS and Delphi (Object Pascal) are my preferred languages.
I'm pedantic about code etiquette (indents, spaces, etc).

New to Perl but interested in learning. I have a basic perl virtual host set up on my dev machine. Also got the slashdev virtual machine going, which makes the prospect of being able to contribute something that might be considered useful to the project a bit more likely.

Look out for me on #Soylent IRC.

Crutchy's perl journal:

Code doc project:

slashdev journal:

Watch pages:
CSS Work

Unit testing

An area that I've been getting into a bit more with some of my other (mainly php) work. It's supposed to be that you write the tests first, but since slashcode is already written it's a bit hard to do that, but some kind of automated regression testing framework probably wouldn't hurt.

Code style

Perl programming style guide:

Just to start the ball rolling ("borrowed" from

  • closing curly bracket of a multi-line BLOCK should line up with the keyword that started the construct
  • 4-column indent (slashcode uses tab indents, but in gedit you can set tab width or raplace tabs - tab may be better anyway?)
  • Opening curly on same line as keyword, if possible, otherwise line up
  • Space before the opening curly of a multi-line BLOCK
  • One-line BLOCK may be put on one line, including curlies
  • No space before the semicolon
  • Semicolon omitted in "short" one-line BLOCK
  • Space around most operators
  • Space around a "complex" subscript (inside brackets)
  • Blank lines between chunks that do different things
  • Uncuddled elses
  • No space between function name and its opening parenthesis
  • Space after each comma
  • Long lines broken after an operator (except and and or )
  • Space after last parenthesis matching on current line
  • Line up corresponding items vertically
  • Omit redundant punctuation as long as clarity doesn't suffer

If anyone has any others or wants to change any, feel free to do so. Maybe add a reason/background in change summary just so others know where you're coming from.

We should maybe make a wiki page for coding style and develop it so that all our code is readable and consistent regardless of author.
Also looking for one for other languages used for Soylent: CSS, HTML, JS, SQL

Goes without saying, but HTML and CSS should be W3C compliant.


IHMO there are way too many folders nested in the slashcode source tree. There may be good reasons but I generally prefer a flat filesystem (as much as possible anyway) for code accessibility. Also helps to reduce likelihood of duplicate filenames. In the slashdev virtual machine I noticed that the apache public directory has links to a lot of the key files in a single directory, which makes things a lot easier.

What do other devs think of prefixing function names with source filename?
For example, main() function in becomes article__main()
Not suggesting that it all be changed to suit this convention right away, but might be handy for new functions to make it easier to figure out where things are declared.

gedit identifies a syntax error in getFileText function (line 74). Looks like a rogue "s" after the "!-" operator.

slashcode files of interest


Useful information for beginners:

# apt-get install git
$ git config --global "crutchy"
$ git config --global ""
$ git config --global credential.helper cache
$ git config --global credential.helper 'cache --timeout=3600'

In my case /var/www/slash is served by apache2 (just on local network). This will be different if you're using the slashdev VM.

$ cd /var/www/slash

$ mkdir git
$ cd git

This creates the directory where I will keep local copies of all my git projects.


click the fork button on the Soylent/slashcode repository github page @

$ cd /var/www/slash/git

Download files into a subfolder named slashcode:

$ git clone
$ cd slashcode

When a repository is cloned, it has a default remote called "origin" that points to your fork on GitHub, not the original repository it was forked from. To keep track of the original repository, you need to add another remote named "upstream"

$ git remote add upstream

Push commits to your remote repository stored on GitHub:

$ git push origin master


Add any files modified to the git commit index:

$ git add "plugins/Ajax/htdocs/images/core.js"
$ git add "themes/slashcode/templates/dispComment;misc;default"

Commit the changes to the local repository index:

git commit

Nano will open with a commented summary of indexed changes.

You must enter a commit message.

^O followed by ^X to save and close nano.

Will get something silimar to following:

[master d573b6d] collapsing/expanding comment tree. changed js function to something more generic.
 2 files changed, 13 insertions(+), 1 deletions(-)
$ git push origin master

will output something like the following:

Counting objects: 21, done.
Delta compression using up to 2 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (10/10), done.
Writing objects: 100% (11/11), 1.06 KiB, done.
Total 11 (delta 8), reused 0 (delta 0)
   98b4168..d573b6d  master -> master


If you want to request the changes that you've made to your fork of slashcode, you will need to create a pull request.

You do this from

The pull request button is a little green button to the left of the branch combo. Click it and follow the prompts.


Fetch any new changes from the original repository:

$ git fetch upstream

Merge any changes fetched into your working files:

$ git merge upstream/master


The purpose of this was to allow me to share a single local git repository on both the slashdev VM and my host machine. I'm a perl noob, but I wanted the flexibility of being able to concurrently work on tweaking slashcode to possibly in the apache2/mod_perl2 vhost on my host machine - onfiguration details can be found here: I also want to be able to develop changes that I can test in the VM.

From within VM, to to Devices menu and click "Shared Folder Settings...".

Create a shared machine folder (-readonly,+automount,+permanent) to the /var/www/slash/git/slashcode directory on the host machine.

In a terminal inside the VM:

$ sudo adduser slash vboxsf

Reboot VM.

Again, from a terminal inside the VM:

$ rm /srv/slashdev/slashcode
$ ln -s -T /media/sf_slashcode /srv/slashdev/slashcode

Need to make sure your VM time is set a bit ahead of your host machine time to avoid "Clock skew detected." errors when running script inside the VM. I noticed that script takes a little longer to finish, but does eventually finish. Tested and seems to work fine for me.


Fetch and merge changes from the upstream remote SoylentNews/slashcode repository: /var/www/slash/git/


cd /var/www/slash/git/slashcode
git fetch upstream
git merge upstream/master

exit 0

IRC logging bot

had a go at scripting a little quick & dirty irc bot for soylent.

requires sic (

if you're using debian:

sudo apt-get install sic


trap "rm -f $pipe" EXIT

if [[ -f $log ]]; then
	rm $log

if [[ ! -p $pipe ]]; then
	mkfifo $pipe

substr="End of /MOTD command"

sic -h "" -n "log-bot" <> $pipe | while read line; do
	if [[ -n "$line" ]]; then
		echo $line >> $log
	if [[ -z "$joined" ]] && [[ -z "${line##*$substr*}" ]]; then
		echo ":j $chan" > $pipe

exit 0