David Turner

Decision Time

Last week I wrote a quick little post about having two options that I was going to experiment with, to see which of my two ideas would be a best fit for me. (Un)fortunately for me, this decision was made quite swiftly for me, as I was unable to get some required pieces of the puzzle that would make experimentation possible.

MAMP issues with ffmpeg php install

The image above, as you can hopefully make out, is an error that I receive when trying to run ffmpeg-php on my local web server. I've done everything I can try to get it working, and it's simply refusing. Given that I can't even get the basic functionality running on my own machine, I feel that developing a video conversion service may be a bit beyond my capabilities. If I can't get it running locally to test, I feel that things will only be downhill if I pursue this project.

Moving on

Fortunately I was in a position where I had two ideas that I was happy to work on, so this neatly places one in front of the other. I've already started playing around with this particular project, trying to work out some aspects of it (in particular how to get selected text from common browsers) which has been equally fun and frustrating to deal with. This comes down to browser implementations of some things. To break it down, there are two categories that browsers fall in to:

  • Good Browsers, which support common methods of implementing things:
    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Safari
    • Opera
  • Frustrating Browsers, which do things in their own random fashion, earning my eternal hatred:
    • Internet Explorer

As is often the norm with any kind of client-side code our beloved friend Internet Explorer (versions 6-8, I have hopes for IE9) play off in their own little corner of the standards playroom, refusing to use the same toys as the rest of the browsers out there, even to the point of requiring some really back-asswards implementations to make the most simple of things work. Fortunately, due to the age of these particular browsers, there are a great many resources made available on the internet for frustrated people, such as my self, to find solutions on.

The Decision is Made

So, courtesy of issues with my Mac refusing to play nice with the idea of ffmpeg-php, I have found myself unable to go down that avenue. This leaves me with my Referencing WebApp for students. I've been conducting some research into this and I have had some resources pointed out to me by Peter Nicholl that will prove to be of interest and will form a part of the research I'll be conducting over the coming weeks.

Do you want to know more?

To find out a little bit more about my final decision for my Major Project you can check out my first week article, "This could be EPIC", which covers the three ideas that I had for my Major Project.