Nov 20

Browser Shortcut Key Browser

Tech 8 Comments »

I love keyboard shortcuts. I hate the mouse. I use vi and emacs.

It feels great to use an application like gmail where you can key-around the interface and do not have to deal with the mouse as much as normal in the browsing world. A mix of mutt and

I would love a utility that showed me the keystrokes available on a given page / web application. It would be easy to work out the keypresses caught, but the hard part is working out what they do. Knowing that “w” does something isn’t very helpful. The only way I could see this working out is if frameworks such as Dojo had a nice way to build shortcut keys, similar to getopts in unix.

If you develop an application, you create a hash of keystrokes, documentation string, and a function to callback on. If we standardized (small s) this data structure, one browser extension / greasemonkey script, could grok it and let you have a toolbar with that information (with options to always show it if there are bindings, only show when a user hits a quickkey, etc).

The next level would be to standardize some of the constructs. In a threaded view, j and k go up and down. Or maybe, a user could change the keystrokes. THREAD_VIEW_DOWN defaults to ‘j’, but a user can override it.

A pipe dream I know.

Nov 20

iffy on being dry

Tech 2 Comments »

How dry do you like to be?

posts = if you_are_feeling_lucky


if you_are_feeling_lucky
posts = happy_posts
posts = unlucky_posts

vs. extracting and ? :, versus extract once, versus….

Nov 20

Ruby Editors on Windows

Tech 24 Comments »

The Rails masses used to bemoan the fact that there was Textmate on the Mac, but nothing great on Windows.

That seems to be changing a low, and now windows railers have:

Still a long way to go, and Cedric will not be happy until he can left blink and have some killer refactoring, but the community is a lot better off than a few months ago.

Nov 18

What’s wrong with this picture?

Tech 2 Comments »


This isn’t scaling. Time to get meta.

Nov 16

Nice error messages

Tech 2 Comments »

>>> quit
Use quit() or Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit

How about you just quit for me? You know what I want to do.

The whitespace-ness seems to bug me more in a python shell.

Nov 15

SaveMyAss: Never forget to send her flowers again

Tech 828 Comments »

The guy behind ‘hot or not’ has a new site SaveMyAss, and it is a classic.

You signup, create a delivery schedule (birthday, anniversary, valentines day, whatever) and the system will take care of sending out some flowers.

Automated messages? “I love you more than life itself honey” :)

Some guys think their wife or girlfriend will be upset if they found out about our service. On the contrary, most women we surveyed love the idea! Many have even said, “Tell my husband/boyfriend to sign me up!!”. Initially this was counterintuitive to us too, but then we did some further research and here is what we learned: Women love getting flowers. They also know you well enough to recognize you are busy and may not be great at stuff like this, and the fact you are taking control and making an effort is a big, big deal. Finally.. what woman doesn’t like getting flowers for all her friends and coworkers to see how much you adore her?

Nov 15

Gmail Mobile: My Wish List

Google, Tech 2 Comments »

I have been using Gmail on my blackberry side by side the default mail app to see what I like and do not like.

The bulk of what I would like to see are just more quick keys. One thing the Blackberry gets right is that there are a ton of short cut keys to learn, and power users live and breath with them.

Gmail on the web does a good job as the vi of email clients, letting you move around and cause events using keys. The mobile version has many of the same shortcuts but doesn’t seem to have:

  • j and k to move up and down in the thread view (different to n and p in a conversation). I don’t want to be forced to mousewheel.
  • space to page down (instead it opens the email, which o is already there for)
  • t and b: these go to the top and bottom of email content, but what about in the thread view? I want to at least be able to go to the top (bottom is harder with the endless paging)
  • m: Mark all as read. I often want to just mark my current emails as read rather than going through each marking them. It doesn’t even let me mark them one by one easily, instead I hit o and esc to read it and go back
  • auto download email: one of the nice things about the BB is that the email is there waiting for you. it grabs it all the time. I want a setting to tell gmail to do the same please.
  • space in a message: page me down

These are definitely nitpicks, and there are more for gmail in general (filters seem very limited, and you can’t even use a character like ‘[' to filter on? This is a pain when you want to lazily "any subject with [xxxx] is probably a mailing list so label it as ‘List’”) but they would make this user happy.

NOTE: short cuts are particularly useful for mobile users that have qwerty keyboards (BB, Treo, etc). Not as useful for T9 folks.

Nov 14

DeprecatedCafe: Finally :)

Java, Tech 3 Comments »

Now that we have OpenJDK, what would be your perfect JDK to create?

I would love to create DeprecatedCafe or BackwardsCompatIsForSuckers versions of OpenJDK than clean out the crud.

And then, change items such as java.util.Date to use a new version that actually works, and then ….

We could clean it up and call it what… SeaSharp ?

Nov 13

Open Source Java. Time to move on?

Java, Tech 18 Comments »

OpenJDK, Mobile/Embedded, GlassFish are now licensed under GPLv2.

For years a set of the community has been up in arms shouting “open source Java!!!!”. Although I think that it is the right thing to do, I don’t think it is actually THAT big a deal for Java in many ways. It is big for linux, and that is good.

A panacea it is not, and I was hoping that once Java was open sourced people would move on and we would get back to doing real work. Now I fear that the next charge will be “GPL is evil!!!!”. I worry about GPL, and have had some interesting discussions with attorneys on the topic that make me shiver, but I do look forward to talking about core issues in Java, rather than this stuff :)

Nov 11

Google Maps for Mobile GPS

Google, Tech 2 Comments »

I am glad to see GPS support has been added to Google Maps for Mobile.

I have been using Google Maps on my phone for directions, and have been very happy with it. The only issues have been:

  • No preloading: You walk through the directions by hitting next (3). Since the network is still slow, it takes awhile to load the map fragments, so if you have a bunch of small, quick directions you can get behind. This means that my human pattern is too: get directions, go through them all letting each step load the full image panes into the cache. I wish I could tell it to preload the entire route
  • Know where I am: This has now been solved. Now there is no need to flip back and forth, and instead a more gradual experience will kick in which will be a lot easier to understand