Installing PHP5 +apache2 using Macports on Leopard

I have had all sorts of fun and games trying to get php5 and apache2 installed on Leopard using macports. Six months ago I eventually gave up after lodging a ticket with no matter how hard I tried or what advise I followed it simply wouldn’t install. In the end my colleague Andrew tar’ed up his /opt folder and I copied that onto my machine and did a chown to my username/group and had a working php5 and apache2 install.

I had some problems yesterday getting yaz installed on ubuntu and decided to follow some instructions that Andrew gave me to install it on Leopard instead. I decided to bite the bullet and attempt to do a pure PHP5 apache2 install under macports again, and then use port to install php-yaz. Suffice to say that I ran into similar problems to those I encountered six months ago.

However after persevering I managed to get it all installed what follows is a summary of how I got it to work, in case anyone else out there ( and judging by the board posts that’s lots of you) is still struggling, or waiting for Macports 1.7.0 to be released.


Once it is done follow the original instructions here.

This is so convoluted!! I hope the Macports folks sort this out. Even the ticket I raised didn’t specify the steps I took as a fix, and I basically stumbled onto them through trial and error. If anyone has a better explanation for why this worked then please let me know. Otherwise I hope it helps anyone else experiencing the same difficulties.

Case Insensitive Tab Completion in Mac OSX Terminal

One of the things that keeps annoying me slighty is that by default tab completion in the terminal window is case sensitive.


It’s amazing how often I make that mistake … fortunately there is a way around this. Add the following line to your ~/.profile file:

  1. span class=”st0″>"set completion-ignore-case on"

Once you have done this, restart Terminal and try again. Now tab completion is case insensitive very nice 🙂

Adding Flexible Recent Items Stack to Mac Dock

Here’s a useful little trick, you can add a special Recent Items stack to your dock which behaves differently to normal stacks. It allows you to choose between Recent Applications, Recent Documents, Recent Servers, Favourite Volumes and Favourite Items … as shown in this screen shot:

To enable this you need to open a terminal window and copy the commands below into it:

  1. span class=”st0″>'{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }’

Once done you’ll have a nifty little Recent Item’s stack, and I must confess I really like the highlight feature.

Personalising my MacBooK Pro

Rob has been telling me for ages to personalise my Mac somehow ever since he put some Le Manns stripes on his – which look really cool. I finally gave in and here’s what I’ve done … click the image to enlarge:

I chose the dragon because in both Chinese and Japanese mythology they represent celestial and terrestrial power, wisdom and strength … but mostly because it looks cool 😉 and kind of works wrapped around the Apple logo.

Yin and Yang represent a unity of opposites. A friend of mine was joking today that I had a lot of that going on, she was right … and so it seemed apt.

Finally my VirtualChaos Logo, I just had to get the ‘fairy’ on it somehow 😉

VMWare Fusion – wonderful!

I’ve been running VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro since I got it. Last week I finally got round to installing a Windows XP Professional virtual machine. The virtual machine runs beautifully and feels as though I’m running it natively such is it’s responsiveness. Almost as soon as I had the VM installed and running I immediately installed Windows Liver Writer lol. But then I noticed the Unity Icon, what this basically does is minimise the VM Window and allow you to run applications inside the VM directly on your Mac Desktop, here’s my desktop running Windows Liver Writer, Paint and a Windows Command Prompt (click to enlarge):

What makes this truly wonderful is that I can place windows applications directly into the dock in order to launch the applications. Here’s the neat bit, even if the VM isn’t running when I try to launch and app, Fusion starts up the VM and switches into Unity automatically.


I’ve gone Mac

It’s been a busy month for a number of different reasons – mostly I’m still trying to come to terms with the death of my father – I’m not entirely sure if burying myself in work is the best way of dealing with it but so far it seems to be working, everyone @ Talis has been really supportive and the current R&D project I’m working on with a small team has helped me to totally immerse myself in a single problem and that’s made it easier to deal with things … plus what were working on is very innovative and so it feels really rewarding at the moment.

Anyway, as the heading of this post suggests I’ve gone Mac! and I love it!! When I returned to work this year I had a shiny new 17″ Mac Book Pro waiting for me. I have never used a Mac before I’ve always been firmly entrenched in the PC world, and for most of my development needs I would often run flavours of Linux inside of VM’s. The problem with this though is Windows has a host sucks and there’s only so many VM crashes I can put up with. Many of my colleagues chose to go down the route of wiping Windows off their laptops and installing Ubuntu. I seriously considered doing this but was convinced, primarily, by Rob and Chris and pairing with them or watching them do development work on their Mac Book Pro’s that Mac’s are a great alternative.

I spend a lot of time inside a terminal window and with Mac you have a fully featured bash shell which makes a huge difference in terms of productivity, on Window’s to get anywhere close I had to run CYGWin, or work in a Linux VM, … anyone who thinks that the Windows Command Shell is comparable needs to seriously seek help!

I spent a fair bit of time getting development tools installed and getting used to how different Mac OS X is to Windows or anything else I have used. So far Leopard has been a pleasure to use there’s been the odd quirk now and again, but nothing worth mentioning. Rob published a wonderful list of tool’s he installed on his Mac, which I basically used as a check list to get up and running. To his list I’d like to add the following:

CCMenu 1.0
Displays the project status of CruiseControl continuous integration servers as an item in the Mac OS X menu bar.

Lab Tick
Have you ever been annoyed by the fact that you could not turn on your PowerBook or MacBook Pro’s keyboard illumination in daylight? If so, here’s your solution. Lab Tick gives you total control over the backlit keyboard.

iComic Life
Only really started using this recently, but it’s a wonderful tool for quickly storyboarding scenario’s as Comic Strips. If you do choose to you this you might also want to download this set of stock images produced b Sun’s User Experience Team.

BatchResize’em all 1.1
A great little tool for quickly resizing a batch of images.

Dock DR
Wonderful little utility for customising your dock on Leopard.

There’s lots more which I’ll post up from time to time. If there’s one thing I do miss though, its Windows LiveWriter, which for offline blog editing was a wonderful tool and sadly isn’t available on the Mac. Instead I’m using Ecto which is good but nowhere near as simple to use or nice as LiveWriter was. Sad isn’t it? That’s honestly the only thing I miss … after spending the last few weeks developing on my Mac I don’t think I will ever go back to a Windows based machine.