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Showing posts from June, 2007

Python 3000

Python 3000 will be the first Python version which is free to break backward compatibility, a chance to get rid of old problems and cruft that have accumulated over the years.
I like most of the changes and agree with their reasons but I'm sad about one thing. Before you could create a program like this:
print "Hello world!"
For beginners, this is great, no extra semicolons, parentheses etc. Now you will have to write:
print("Hello world!")
It's not the end of the world, but it just got a little more difficult for beginners. On the other hand it will introduce them to functions a little earlier.
Another difference I'm not so sure about is removing the % operator. I like that formatting operator:
print "Your are %d years old" % age
now becomes:
print("You are {0:d} years old".format(age))
sigh.

Simple fix to Gnome Terminal

I often double click on a filename or folder and then paste it with the middle button (the scroll wheel), in Linux. What annoyed me was that it doesn't get the ~ character so if I'm cutting an pasting my current path as shown on the command line
scott@home:~/src/folder/name$Double click, middle click gives me /src/folder/name and not ~/src/folder/name. How annoying, I have to cursor all the way to the beginning and enter the tilde character.
Even worse if there's an error message like:
Error in ~/src/folder/name.cc:123Double click, middle click gives me now /src/folder/name.cc:123. Now I have to edit both sides.

The fix is simple, go to your Gnome Terminal|Profiles... and edit your default profile. The first pane called "General" and has a field called "Select-by-word characters". Add the tilde (~) and remove the colon (:) and you're done.
There, I just saved you 2 thousand keystrokes a year.

It's Hard to Keep Up

Our language is changing faster and faster, it's hard to keep up. Even yesterday I used the word w00t!.
Thankfully, our technology helps keep us up-to-date.
Now I know about LOLCats, L33 speak, And all the Portuguese internet expressions too.
If fact there's a whole list of words I've never heard before to describe these things: backcronyms (and anacronyms, apronyms) , snowclones, image macros, and other forms of patois.
kthxbye
shortening of "k thx bye". The K is short for OK, which is short for oll korrect, which is a facetious alteration of All Correct. thx is short for thanx which is a facetious alteration of thanks which is short for thank you. Bye is short for goodbye, which is an alteration of alteration of God be with you. "kthxbye" is the pinnacle of English's advancement, shortening "All correct, Thank you, God be with you." into seven lowercase letters. Humanity is doomed. Obviously, it is used to end a conversation *fast* that you d…

I'm Not Playing Tennis the Way I Used To

I played two sets over the weekend and noticed where I used to grunt like Nadal when hitting the ball, now I only grunt when I pick up the ball.

Why would I ever want to listen to 'static' music again?

I've been playing Guitar Hero ( at work of course ;-) ), and Elite Beat Agents on the DS and I'm thinking to myself, "Why would I want to listen to music that I can't interact with ever again?".

American's Don't Read?

This page summarizes some startling fact about Americans and books. Most of these facts come from the Jenkins group, and to me, don't make a lot of sense:
33% of high school graduates never read another book after high school
42% of college graduates never read another book after college.So, on the surface, it looks like college students read less high school graduates. I think you want to count only the high school graduates that never went to college and try and get people at nearly the same age group. An 50 year old is more likely to have read a book since high school than a 20 year old.

Also, according to Jenkins, 80% of the US population want to write a book, but 80% of the population has not bought or read a book in the past year. 70% have not bought a book in the past 5 years. That's even more bizarre, everyone wants to publish but are too lazy to read? Are they going to write a book and never proof read it?
I think I'd be more alarmed if the facts showed some coh…

File Rename Anyone?

I was in a meeting, editing a file and realized that the filename had a typo. To fix this I have only two choices, either do a "Save As..." which is probably the best solution, but then I would have to remember to delete the original file at some later point. Or I can quit the program, rename the file at the command line, load up the program and load up the new filename, ugh.
Why doesn't all software have File|Rename... menu option? Seems like such a common need, and it's lack encourages the use of bad filenames, it's just too much work to fix.
After programs like eclipse added the ability to rename variables and methods, the names I end up using are greatly improved. I don't need to add comments for most of my code because the names are self documenting.
Please, spend the extra hour to allow renaming in your app.

I'm now a Vi user

Image
I've used my fair share of text editors including Emacs for 2 years and Eclipse several years.
My favorite open source program has always been Scite, and I still have it on my launch panel. But now I'm a vi man.
I tried to go back to Emacs, but it takes so long to get used to and there are too many funny keystrokes. Emacs users tend to get an Emacs Pinky from using the Ctrl key so much, which was not a problem I was looking forward to. Emacs also seems to have too many choices, too many cool downloads to get, each of which slows down the startup time.
I liked Scite because the keyboard was setup similar to Visual Studviio, which I had used for years. It is also a solid program that is very customizable. Also, being open source is great, I even contributed some code to the project.
But after reading this article I decided to give vim another try. What got me interested again was the suggestion to always be in 'normal' mode and to be in insert mode only for short bursts…