Comments are important

Frank Shearar wrote “Nat Pryce wrote a fun little library the other day called code-words. It rips your source into words, and turns the words into a wordcloud. In short, a visual representation of the most common words in your source, and using font size to indicate the more common terms. The aim is to give an introduction…”

Three approaches to ambiguous grammars

Frank Shearar wrote “We have many tools in our parsing toolbox. Today let’s look at how three different parsing techniques handle ambiguity caused by choice.”

Just In Time Development

Frank Shearar wrote “Since the dark ages of yesteryear Squeak has had a very interesting button in its Debugger – “create”. Today we’re going to teach it a new trick.”

cloverage – a code coverage tool for clojure

Jacek Lach wrote “A couple years ago we presented a couple design sketches for a code coverage tool for clojure. More recently we spent some time researching whether existing code coverage tools would suffice for our requirements, and after finding out that java based code coverage tools either don’t work at all, or produce unhelpful output, we decided…”

Using GitHub for planning

Frank Shearar wrote “An important part of delivering software is knowing how long it will take to deliver some piece of functionality. Today we will see a small GitHub hack to help control estimation. It’s all very well knowing the parts we need to implement some system. We need to know how long it will take to build.…”

Making (Kindle) books from blogs

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “Admittedly, more and more of them are doing this already, but this is a slightly more DIY option… So, you’d like some more reading material for your Kindle. Maybe you’re going away for the holidays, or just want to survive the elongated journey times of the Olympic period. There’s a few blogs I’d like to…”

Using Debian Multiarch for cross-compiling

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “I’ve recently acquired a Raspberry Pi, and was considering using it for SNES emulation. However, as it turns out that Zsnes is x86-only, and that Snes9x got kicked out of Debian a while back for having an annoying “no-commercial use” license, so we’re into the compile-it-yourself options. As Snes9x is a configure/makefile-type project, I should in…”

Debian build-depends metapackages

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “When I’m doing development on an existing software project, and especially when I’m trying to bugfix something with a Debian package, I find that I install random packages I need to rebuild something, and then later on I’m wondering why I’ve got those installed. I tend to try to keep with the philosophy that the bits…”

Installing Visual Studio AddIns for All Users

Paul Jones wrote “Whilst writing the installer for WebGAC, I was faced with some challenges trying to make the Add-In install for all users on the system. The MSDN documentation for Add-In registration generally recommends placing the files into the user’s My Documents directory. It’s All Users solution is to place it into the Shared Documents directory. The…”

WebGAC: Minding your .NET Dependencies

Paul Jones wrote “Managing binary dependencies in .NET can be a complicated task. For small projects, checking the dependencies into source control tends to work just fine. So does requesting that all developers have various binaries available in their GAC. Grow much bigger, or add more projects, and managing that starts to get very difficult. The Java world…”

simple build tool

Tim Clark wrote “I started using Maven at a company where we had 60+ Java projects all with their own individual Ant build file. Each build file was different and each project was structured completely differently. Porting the most active projects to Maven made this situation a lot saner, test code was always in the same location, the same commands achieved…”

EvServer, Introduction: The tale of a forgotten feature

Marek Majkowski wrote “Long long time ago there was a WSGI spec. This document described a lot of interesting stuff. Between other very important paragraphs you could find a hidden gem: [...] applications will usually return an iterator (often a generator-iterator) that produces the output in a block-by-block fashion. These blocks may be broken to coincide with mulitpart boundaries (for "server push"), or just before time-consuming tasks (such as reading another block of an on-disk file). [...] It means that all WSGI conforming servers should be able to send multipart http responses. WSGI clock application theoretically could be written like that: def clock_demo(environ, start_response): start_response("200 OK", [('Content-type','text/plain')]) for i in range(100): yield "%sn" % (datetime.datetime.now(),) time.sleep(1) The problem is that way of programming just doesn't work well. It's not scalable, requires a lot of threads and can eat a lot of resources. That's why the feature has been forgotten. Until May 2008, when Christopher Stawarz reminded us this feature and proposed an enhancement to it. He suggested, that instead of blocking, like time.sleep(1), inside the code WSGI application should return a file descriptor to server. When an event happens on this descriptor, the WSGI app will be continued. Here's equivalent of the previous code, but using the extension. With appropriate server this could be scalable and work as expected: def clock_demo(environ, start_response): start_response("200 OK", [('Content-type','text/plain')]) sd = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_DGRAM) try: for i in range(100): yield environ['x-wsgiorg.fdevent.readable'](sd, 1.0) yield "%sn" % (datetime.datetime.now(),) except GeneratorExit: pass sd.close() So I created a server that supports it: EvServer the Asynchronous Python WSGI Server ”

Firefox tabs are finally usable

Michael Bridgen wrote “If you use Firefox, go and install the Ctrl-Tab add-on. Tabs are great for reducing clutter, but they fail to make life much easier because the tab navigation doesn’t support the common patterns of use. For example, I end up opening the same page in multiple tabs because it is quicker to do that than…”

Simple inter-process locks

Marek Majkowski wrote “I recently faced a very common problem, how to make sure that only one instance of my program is running at a time on the host. There are a lot of approaches that can be taken to solve this problem, but I needed a portable solution for Python. My first idea was to use widely…”

Where did all my space go?

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Over the last little while, I’ve started to suffer from lack of space on the hard disk in my laptop, which is ridiculous, since there’s an 80GB disk in there and there is no way I have that much data I need to hang on to. I decided to do something about it last week.…”

OMeta for Scheme

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Speaking of OMeta/JS [old link: http://jarrett.cs.ucla.edu/ometa-js] and OMeta in general, I’ve implemented an OMeta for Scheme. Currently it runs in MzScheme, but it should be fairly portable, with dependencies only on a handful of commonly-implemented SRFIs. I intend to properly libraryise it — making it into a proper MzScheme module — and to port it…”