09:00 Sat, 25 Feb 2012
Vim has support for a built-in thesaurus. However, it consumes
memory and its auto-complete selection has issues. In Part I, I showed how to set up an
on-line thesaurus. Here is how to build syntax rules that will colour the
This is the second post of two about a light weight way to implement a thesaurus. In
Part I, I described how to set up a script that provides access to an on-line thesaurus.
In this Part, I describe how to write a set of simple syntax rules to provide colour and
highlighting for the output.
Here is a screenshot of the finished syntax rules (using dummy data):
08:02 Fri, 17 Feb 2012
Vim has support for a built-in thesaurus. However, it consumes a
lot of memory, which you may not want for a feature you do not use much, and its
auto-complete selection has issues. Here is how to set up an on-line thesaurus query that is light weight.
This is the first post of two (second
here) about a light weight way to implement a thesaurus. It is
great for what I need, which is the occasional use of a thesaurus for writing text such
as this article. Once it is set up, you can forget about it and just use K
whenever you want to look up a word.
A nice bonus or synergy of using an online source is that the website also returns a definition for the word, so
it functions as a simple dictionary as well.
The second post (here) will deal with how to use Vim's built in syntax rule sets to provide
highlighting and nice colours.
10:32 Tue, 04 May 2010
I would hazard a guess that almost all unix-like system users are using
a desktop of some sort or another. KDE is very popular, along with
Gnome, Fluxbox and so on. Some people like all the bells and whistles
such as menus, fancy graphics, feedback via sounds, and beautiful
backgrounds. Others prefer a utilitarian environment and don't want
anything that gets in the way or slows the system down.
I'm in the latter group, probably because my hardware is invariably a
few years old with not the latest and greatest graphics card. It's not such a big deal
nowadays, but fancy graphics used to slow things down too much, and now
I'm used to the leaner look. I'm a touch-typist too, so I like to keep my hands on
the keyboard. It really slows me down and interrupts my chain of
thought if I have to lift my hands to go and move the mouse. I'm not a
point-and-click person and I invariably use keyboard shortcuts even when
I'm using a fancy desktop.
I wonder how many people know that you don't need a desktop at all. Before you
throw up your hands in horror at early memories of a single xterm in
08:43 Fri, 12 Feb 2010
I've recently had to use PHP to do some work on this site. After using
Python for a while and not having used PHP for a few years, I'd
forgotten why I hate programming in it.
The documentation is appalling. I've been trying for two
figure out how to do a very simple (you would think) thing: display the
local time. The docs beat around the bush and tell you how to get time
difference from GMT, how to format the date, etc, etc. All common
vanilla stuff. But how do I simply show the freakin' time?
echo localtime(). Nope. Ok, how about
echo localtime(time());. Nope, it's an array, for god's
How about this helpful suggestion for the PHP developers.
localtime(), called without parameters, should do just that, using
locale timezone defaults, not return an array that presumably I then
have format myself.
08:25 Thu, 04 Feb 2010
Have you sometimes wanted to make a quick graph or a pie chart to
display on your website? Decided it was too hard for the amount of
effort and given up? There is a very simple solution that is remarkably
easy. You can use Google's Visualization API to create the graphs for you with just a
few lines of code.
Here is a screen shot of a very simple pie chart. Note the extra
features such as a slice that pops out to identify it, a pop up with
more information, and sorted columns in the table. These features come with it,
you don't need to do anything.
The image shows a pie chart and a table. You can show either or both
plus several other types of graphs. I think it looks professional and neat.
though on my site it is less than a second). Here is the actual
page from which the screen shot was taken. You will notice it is quite
10:44 Sun, 20 Dec 2009
I wanted a simple light-weight personal blogging tool that lets me write in flat files.
Like many others,
I very much dislike editing text in a browser, especially anything more than a
that their response time has crept up to several tenths of a second, very frustrating for a
touch-typist who needs response times of around a tenth to catch
errors 1. So, this tool needed to work with flat
files that I could edit in vim and easily transfer up to the blog host.
As well, it needed to be light-weight. I can't see my blog ever running to more
than a few hundred entries per year max. Tools like Wordpress et al are too heavy
for me, in the sense that their processing slows things down by comparison.
Python would be good, I prefer it to PHP. I really like it, it is a great language.
Also, I wanted some simple things like categories and comments, and search would
be nice too.
Originally, I had tried pyblosxom, but I found the lack of documentation