Yesterday I wrote about trying out a Windows VPS using KickAssVPS.com to run MXMLiszt, my web demo for my music encoding research project.
Well, so far so good. Sort of …
I use Windows XP Home Edition (SP3, 32-bit) on my laptop, so my software and everything that it utilizes runs well on XP since I naturally made sure everything works.
But to my surprise things didn't go that great when I uploaded everything to my VPS which uses Windows Server 2003. Here's what was problematic:
- Musecore version 0.9.5 is what I call to make PDFs and PNG preview files from the MusicXML files. On the VPS, the titles of the pieces weren't showing up when these image files were getting made, so I went on to version 0.9.6 which is still in beta. It's working OK. The PDFs are getting made when one transposes a piece, but they look better with the XP version of MXMLiszt on my laptop which uses version 0.9.5 of MuseScore. But, there's something funny going on with the administrative PHP script that makes PNG preview files for the site. These are small image of the 1st page of each piece so the user can get a feel for the piece, its key and initial texture, etc. Not all the previews are getting made. Weird.
- I also use MuseScore to "normalize" each MusicXML file by opening/saving them in MuseScore so that every file gets "spit out" by the same application before I use an XSL transformation to auto-generate MODS metadata from the MusicXML files. Works great on XP and with MuseScore 0.9.5 but on the VPS with the beta version of MuseScore, the title of each piece is showing up in the MODS as the primary and sub-title – so it's redundant. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry. Bottom line is things are wonky.
- The software that makes the transpositions, MusicXML Library version 2.0, wasn't working on the VPS. So I went down to version 1.09. Moreover, my PHP script that calls the MusicXML Library to transpose the music per user request looks for the "xmltranspose.exe" executable in version 2. The older version of the software calls that file "transpose.exe". So rather than change my script, I just renamed "transpose.exe" to "xmltranspose.exe" on the VPS.
So in other words, MXMLiszt really isn't too compatible with Windows Server 2003. It's working well enough as a live demo now, but I wouldn't try and run it "for real" on the VPS since the PNG preview and MODS generation are problematic. So the production version is the XP version as on my laptop.
Oh well. The user doesn't miss out, it's just the Administrator who has to do the work on a local machine and upload everything to the VPS for the sake of having a live demo.
Such is life.
p.s. it'll be a few more weeks before I can post the link to the demo. It needs more documentation before I can share it with anyone other than my professor. Feel free to email me off-list if you would like me to send the link as long as you agree not to post the link until the documentation is done.
This blog post is part of a semester-long investigation into digital encoding of symbolic music representation (SMR), its context in libraries, web-based delivery, preservation and metadata, and search and retrieval technologies..--------------