Consistency is key

On top of the aforementioned SERVER ERROR 500 issue occuring because I didn’t specify a USER_AGENT that matched the white list, I’ve been spending the last week trying to track down exactly why I couldn’t upload a file. I used the stock GalleryRemote program (isn’t sufficient for automation purposes) to test my server, and it all worked fine.

Well, after over a week (admittedly, I’m only poking it on the bus every few days, and only while driving into work), I managed to puzzle out enough from the source code of the Gallery Remote to figure out why my code wasn’t working.

If you’re executing a command, your message must be:

However, if you’re trying to upload data, your form must be:

Apparently, the system DIES if you try to consistently use one or the other. The former is simpler; the latter provides better performance for binary uploads. Mind you, this isn’t commented ANYWHERE.

I can understand the usage of the former when possible, and the latter when necessary. I can almost understand why no one bothered to mention it (After all, the W3 recommendation for form submission clearly indicates to use both as necessary). However, what I can’t understand is WHY my usage of the latter in all cases isn’t mapped the same way within PHP.

I mean, come on! Regardless of the way the data is submitted, the application platform should, for purposes of the dictionary-based lookup that PHP provides via the $form variable (I think that’s right, I don’t speak PHP), shouldn’t both submission mechanisms be abstracted away unless you want the added complexity?

I’m tired and have a cold, otherwise I would extend this rant into the direction of work. However, you may all count yourselves lucky. For I am going to sacrifice a kitten to my desire to snuggle something cuddly when I don’t feel well, and then I am going to bed. Nice deal, eh?

EDIT (16 Sept 08): Err. Maybe my bad. Turns out that while, by convention, a multipart/form boundary is specified as “———-” + RandomData, the actual usage as a boundary requires it to be prefixed with an additional two dashes. In other words, the actual, in use, boundary should be “————” + RandomData. Which, if you try to just look by eye, is far from visible. Unfortunately, if I had paid more attention to the documentation, the example they give isn’t prefixed by a series of dashes, and it’s far, far clearer. Still could have been explicitly documented (ABNF, anyone?). However, I’m not going to lambast the PHP team; they could have been working just fine all along.

DAM Software: Expression Media 2

I didn’t know I needed any DAM software. I really didn’t. Maybe I should have caught on due to my twenty five THOUSAND mostly unsorted digital pictures. I’ve briefly monkeyed around, and looked around, to see what people are using to sort their pictures. At the moment I’m using Microsoft Expression Media 2, formerly IView Media Pro. Due to Jonathan’s prompting, I’ve just taken a quick look at Adobe Lightroom (the beta of version 2), and have decided to stick with EM2.
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