SQL in easy steps, 3rd Edition errata

I was reading through SQL in easy steps, 3rd Edition and made it to page 152 where it covered Sub-query calculated fields. It’s a fancy way of saying a SELECT statement within a SELECT statement, but isn’t that hard to grasp if you’re familiar with how variable interpolation works with Bash or similar shells.

My problem was understanding how even though a column wasn’t listed as one to be returned by SELECT it was seemingly returned as a byproduct of an ORDER BY statement. I couldn’t find this mentioned in any of the MySQL documentation or another MySQL book I have so I was getting pretty frustrated. I fired my MySQL this morning and opened up subquery-calc.sql and had a good laugh: The mental block I was having was due to an error in the book’s code that wasn’t present in the SQL file.

I fired off an errata report in the hopes that it will be correct in future printings so others won’t be as confused as I was.

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Francis Glassborow’s homepage is offline

It probably comes as no surprise, but content gets shuffled about and at some point gets lost, misplaced or thrown away. I’m hoping this isn’t a case of the latter, but Francis’ homepage is giving the dreaded 404 error when trying to view the resources page for his books.

Thankfully I’ve previously created a PDF of the errata page and have downloaded all material, but if you’re one of those who haven’t yet, please see these resources kindly provided by Jaime Moreno here and here. Of particular note is the link to building the fgw library on Mac OS X.

In addition, I have instructions for how to compile the library using Quincy 2005 (the book uses Quincy 2002) and the current MinGW here.

I hope this helps someone.


Those instructions also provide a link to a public Subversion repository that contains revisions of the library from the book’s accompanying CD, the author’s website and from the publisher’s website for the book.

HTML5 Boilerplate

The last time I spent any real time trying to learn HTML was probably when PHP 4.3 was popular and XHTML was the new thing on the scene; yeah, that’s been a while. I Google’d HTML5 because I wanted to find a dead simple template that I could use for a starting point and came across HTML5 Boilerplate. It was overkill for my needs, but I definitely plan to come back and look over it at some point.

There’s no sense in repeating myself, so here’s what the devs have to say about it:

HTML5 Boilerplate is the professional frontend developers’s base HTML/CSS/JS template for a fast, robust and future-safe site.

After more than four years in iterative development, you get the best of the best practices baked in: cross-browser normalization, performance optimizations, even optional features like cross-domain XHR and Flash. A starter Apache .htaccess config file hooks you up with caching rules and preps your site to serve HTML5 video, use @font-face, and drop your site’s filesize by half with robust gzipping.

Boilerplate is not a framework, nor does it prescribe any philosophy of development, it’s just got some tricks to get your project off the ground quickly and right-footed.

See their intro page for more information or this great review by Dan Wahlin.


This is a continuation of the previous post

After a bit of cleanup, I’ve got section 1 of 5 of the FREESCO 0.2.7 Bootable CD guide moved to the new wiki here: http://wiki.whyaskwhy.org/GNU_Linux/FREESCO/.

Wow, talk about a walk back in time! I first started working with FREESCO about 10 years ago and I still see traffic in the web server logs from folks looking for the guide. After having it offline for several years where it collected dust with the rest of the website I took offline in late 2006, I decided I’d start resurrecting the content where others could find it.

Hope it helps someone.

404 entries: a subtle reminder to fix your links!

Often they’re just from bots banging on your box trying to find some software that can be exploited, but sometimes they’re also from content getting moved over the years and redirects never worked into the plan. Wikis have the right idea when you move something and they offer to leave a redirect behind so visitors can still find the content they’re looking for.

I used to give more weight to 404 entries, and I figure it’s probably time I did so again. With the recent move to MediaWiki and my finding it easy to work with, there is little reason aside from time that I can’t resurrect old site content and place it there.

I’ll start with an older guide I had to converting a default floppy-disk-based FREESCO 0.2.7 installation to a bootable CD. If I were to have one project that I’ve ever worked on that really brought me joy, it would be that one. The feeling as a newbie of overcoming the, “It can’t be done”, mentality was amazing.

Anyway, the new section for the FREESCO articles I posted years ago can be found here: http://wiki.whyaskwhy.org/GNU_Linux/FREESCO