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Messages - tranglos [ switch to compact view ]

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Best Text Editor / Re: Boxer Text Editor
« on: March 19, 2008, 06:05 PM »
Boxer is now at version 13 and it now speaks UTF-8 / 16, yay! Will definitely try this release.
Here's part of an email that came today:

PORTABLE/USB EDITING - install Boxer to a USB memory stick for
portable, on-the-go editing.  All of Boxer's configuration files
are maintained on the removable medium, and no traces are left on
the host machine.

HEX/BINARY EDITING - Boxer can now be used to edit hex files in a
custom hex editing mode.  Edit using two-digit hex codes, or by
entering ASCII characters directly.

UNICODE EDITING - edit UTF-8 and UTF-16 Unicode files, or convert
among ASCII/Unicode formats.  Edit XML files, log files, registry
files etc, and any other Unicode files whose multi-byte content
can be mapped onto the current code page.

VISTA COMPATIBLE - Boxer is now fully compatible with Windows
Vista.  Boxer maintains its configuration files in a separate
"AppData" folder, apart from its installation location in
"Program Files," in accordance with Vista's User Account Control
(UAC) feature.

... and many, many more.  See the full list here:

General Software Discussion / Re: TheBat! 4.07 released
« on: February 09, 2008, 01:54 PM »
Program kept crashing every time I tried to download mail. Repaired, removed, installed from scratch etc etc & still kept crashing.

Returned to 3.99 and no problems.

That's not good, after the very solid 3.99. In the post I've linked to above mouser was reporting no significant problems with 4.0 alpha - "a tiny bit buggy" does not describe your experience at all. I'll definitely sit back and watch some more before I jump.

General Software Discussion / TheBat! 4.07 released
« on: February 08, 2008, 12:17 PM »
TheBat! 4.07 is now available. I think this is the first public release in the 4.x line.


As we already knew, there are no revolutionary changes in this version, which is probably a good thing.

Are there any CMS-es (or other solutions) for mostly static sites? I need s consistent look of the pages (that I design), so ideally 2-3 templates that get filled with content, and some variables or chunks of text I can define to reuse pieces of content (headers and footers, but also repetitive info like, say, name and version of a program).

I've looked at many CMS systems and tried some, and most of what they do I don't need: calendars, forums, subscriptions, group editing, shoutboxes, polls, wikis, I need none of that :) I might use RSS, that's about it. I've just had enough of editing a few dozen pages manually and keeping them in sync.

Has to be free and LAMP-friendly - where P is preferably PHP or Python.

I've tried Smarty (php), but even that seems too complex, or at least a brief skim through the docs wasn't sufficient to figure out how to use it. (It appears to compile pages, I don't think I want that.)

I'm preparing for a phone interview.

If you have any time left in-between digging into all the technical stuff, check out Jeff Atwood's blog: for some insights into the interview process. Not just the technical aspects, but also psychological angles of interviewing for a dev job. Just last week, for example, there was this post:

Coding Horror: Getting the Interview Phone Screen Right

There's plenty of interesting bits about what interviewers look for, stuff to expect and stuff to avoid.

Why for the desire for GUI?  :huh: What would it do that the command line script doesn't?


Right now I am reviewing translated files that comprise a large website, 8325 xml files in nested folders. I'm looking only at files that have been recently added or updated, of which there's about a hundred. When I finish reviewing, I'll need to run spellcheck on files I have modified, and only on those (the other files had been spellchecked at earlier reviews). The files are bilingual, so I need to extract only the translated content first. This is the job for the Python script.

But how do I feed relevant files to the script? Wildcards won't do; I would have to invent some command-line syntax to specify dates, parse it, compare against filesystem datestamps, etc.

I could do this, but I'm too lazy, and there's a much easier way: using Total Commander, I can easily filter out the recently modified files, it takes seconds, and then I can drag-drop them onto -- well, onto nothing at the moment. This is where a window that accepts dropped files would be quicker and more flexible than pure command line.

(Instead, I do as above, but copy the modified files to a temp folder and run the script from there.)

OK, so that's a lame and wordy excuse. I just like GUI-ness!

I'm enjoying every byte of it! (*scribbles notes*) Please continue. (*scribbles*)

Living Room / Re: What's Your Favorite Smilie?
« on: January 26, 2008, 12:08 PM »
From another forum, the most approproately ROTFL-astic one I've ever seen:


my first night with Python
Dreamy  :-*

Thank you, tinjaw! Hook, line, sinker :)

Choosing between Python and Delphi is like...

And the best thing is, you can do both at the same time:

For best results it helps to have Delphi 7 or later, since in D7 Borland added $METHODINFO define, on which Python4Delphi relies to translate public methods of Delphi classes to methods you can freely call within Python. All it takes is 2-3 lines of glue code per class, and the result is truly awesome.

(The same can be achieved in Delphi 6, but requires some deep magic to recreate the functionality $METHODINFO provides in D7).

More adolescent humor
I said "do"!

With you all the way. And for some reason this seems to be typical of many open-source, cross-platform GUIs.

This seems typical of many people to judge a package by it's wrapping :)

That's the only way I know of telling good software, has there ever ben another? :)

But seriously, this oversizedness and tendency to leave large pools of blankness is everywhere in apps that have originated on Linux. It's wherever you look, check out the screenshot of Nvu, the Gecko-based, cross-platform HTML editor:


And anyway, what is the world coming to? First you could run Windows on a Mac, now it's KDE on Windows, pretty soon men and women will be, I don't know, living in the same *houses* or something!

But it should be noted that KDE is VERY customizable. Even more so than Gnome. And it is quite easy to do so.

Easy as in easy, or easy as in "as soon as you have mastered editing sendmail config in vi"? (*gdr*)

but my computer wont wake up with the mouse or keyboard - even though it should

Since S3 turns off USB, if both your mouse and keyboard are USB-connected, then I can't see how they could possibly work :)

I've always found the power saving feaures deeply confusing. I can never figure out if a setting should be made in the BIOS or the registry, for one thing. Do they work in tandem, or do they wrestle for control? I only ever use power settings to turn off the monitor, and even that doesn't work reliably - some days it does, other times I find the monitor still on hours after I'd touched the machine last. Inscrutable!

I guess your Python solution is using regular expressions, and you're running into / afraid of running into trouble?

A solution could be XSLT/XPATH - you can do some very powerful stuff that way, and pretty easily. Heck, once you get into it, XPATH is simpler than regex, but probably even a bit more powerful in the XML processing domain.

In Python I'm using xml.sax. It works fantastically well, even though it's my first Python script and I'm sure it could be much shorter and more idiomatic. (I was going to post about my first night with Python, but real-life work preempted that... maybe later). I'm more of a GUI person, though, and I guess crafting GUIs in Python is best left to those who like building models of Cutty Sark in a bottle :) So the actual tags are hardcoded in the script. Maybe I'll just add a config file.

I could do the same thing in Delphi, if I can find a decent, free SAX parser, but it seemed like a good opportunity to try Python just for kicks. Other than that, maybe I don't need to reinvent the wheel if it already exists.

And yes, XSLT would probably fit the bill, since it can act as a filter, but XSLT black magic to me, and doesn't it need a browser? (Maybe not, shows what I know). Not sure about XPath, since I don't necessarily know the full path to my content, and again it would require hard-coding the sequence of tags, wouldn't it? Using SAX lets me just grab data from between the tags I need, and for anything more complex I could build a stack to keep track of where I am.



If you need the output parsed to CSV then this is perfect. I love this utility

What you need is a little AHK and XML2CSV.
XML2CSV can be found here
Its a command line xml parser.

Thanks, Brett! Let me try this and see if I like it better than writing my own thing from scratch :)


I'm looking for a utility that would read XML files and filter out or export only the contents of specified tags. I need to take this:


and get only the "xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx xxx" content as output. (I've had to obscure the actual text with x-es in the screenshot, since when I get material for translation, it's accompanied by the most frightful NDAs you've ever seen outside of the likes of NSA/CIA, and I'm not even kidding.)

It has to work in batch mode or be able to load and process any number of files at a time. (The actual numbers are in the thousands, so a manual open->run->save process will not do.)

Has anyone come across such a thing?

(I've written a Python script that does the job just fine for a number of specific tags, but it would be nice to have a generic GUI solution.)


Sounds like good news.. but.. hate to be the rotten egg in the box.. but.. those screenshots look ugly to me.. maybe i just like my displays packed tight and full of details.. all that whitespace looks yuck.

With you all the way. And for some reason this seems to be typical of many open-source, cross-platform GUIs.

I remember when first installed Red Hat, back in the times when 800x600 was the typical home/desktop resolution, the windowing environment looked just like that. This made some applications almost unusable. Netscape's Options dialog box was so tall it didn't fit on the screen vertically, so that OK/Cancel buttons were off-screen. And at the same time everything on the dialog was oversized and there was plenty of wasted white space.

Back then I thought the developers must have been working on high-end systems with some obscenely high resolution and never thought about scaling issues. WordPerfect (then by Corel, and free on Linux!) was pretty much the same.

FireFox is the only app of the kind which manages to avoid this, perhaps because it truly gets a lot of cross-platform use, so such issues would have been caught and corrected early on. Although even in FF some dialogs are kind of space-y.

(I am aware that whitespace enhances readability, but those dialogs were just elephantine.)

when I have to manually rewrap long lines,
Alt-L will reformat a paragraph.

I know! Fume! This is excactly what's wrong with that! :)  Do you ever need to press Alt+L in, I don't know, Notepad or Ultraedit? More fume!

Regarding the restore, it failed both on 3.9x and 4.x
However it did restore far enough to get all of the directory structures.. so that explains part of what you were saying -- the restore recreated all the directory structures but crashed in the middle of restoring messages.  Then i just manually copied files.

The automatic restore went through 100% for me. I had used the manual method, copying over mail folders, earlier, before TB added the backup/restore feature (or before I learned about it). Did you file a bug with the developers? They usually respond within a few days, and I got at least one (minor) bug fixed that way.

Thanks, mouser, for the review. I won't be upgrading at least until the final release is out, since most of my work comes and gtoes via email, and so I'm a little paranoid about mail safety.

It's good that v4 is an incremental improvement rather than a major rewrite - less opportunity for breaking what's already been working fine. Personally, I am immediately wary about the new editor marek mentions, especially that TB! crew have some peculiar ideas about how an editor should work, and they are immune to persuasion on that topic. As much as I like TB, I curse it a few times every day when I have to manually rewrap long lines, and the autoformat feature is even worse, e.g. when type "bulleted" lists of things in your message, as I often do. I've learned to live with it, but sometimes I still want to fling something out the window - the monitor, the keyboard, anything to stop the annoyance :)

The second thing is a double edged sword.  The backup and restore functionality, which ritlabs has obviously put a lot of work into, and which seems wonderfully powerful, FAILED to properly work for me.  It backs up fine, but gives an unintelligible error during the restore process, making it unusable. 

This was with the new alpha, right? Have you ever tried restoring in one of the 3.x releases?

I've only used restore once, on the current 3.99 version, and it went fine. I really like the automated backup, especially that TB can generate datestamped versions of the backup file (you can sue the "%macros" in the filename).

And while it's great to have easy access to the physical mail folders on disk, when you install TB from scratch, it does not pick up old folders if you just copy them over. At least in my experience, when I did that, I had to re-create each account manually, naming it after the account sitting on disk, which is when TB noticed the already existing folder by the same name and picked it up. Not a big hassle, but the automatic restore is much smoother.


Living Room / Re: The Series of Tubes is getting creaky, or
« on: January 16, 2008, 12:11 PM »
All of this is because Al Gore is more concerned about the environment than about the Internet, his invention. It's only natural such a delicate thing is being ripped apart lacking any care from its father ;D

Ah, yes. This is what bad parenting leads to! Will someone think of the children?

tranglos, it's time for your bank to update its hardware ;)

In fact, it seems the bank was right and the problem was caused by VISA. VISA Poland has issued an apology, though the statement is not available on the main (English) site.

Living Room / Re: The Series of Tubes is getting creaky, or
« on: January 16, 2008, 06:19 AM »
re /.
Looks like it's only on the front page, when you open the news, some of them have more than 25 comments :)

Yes, the counts were incorrect.

They must have fixed it by now, because the comment count on the front page looks more real now, but it stayed fixed at 25 for several hours last night.

But listen to this: I log in to my bank today, and there's a warning in bold red font, stating that whoever withdrew cash from an ATM yesterday may have had their account swiped clean of cash. It's in the papers already, with screenshots (only in Polish though :) From the screenshots it appears that if you withdrew $100, the system kept debiting your account for $100 time after time, until the balance dropped below $100.  The bank is blaming VISA and is busy "rectifying" the problems. Two banks, actually, owned by the same parent company.

I've escaped the Dreamhost thing and this one too, I feel really lucky right now!

I keep reading that. I'm not sure how the situation is in the Us, but in the UK many hosting companies bill per 12 months, which means you're paying 12 months in advance.

You are paying for future services, yes, but the "date due" is today. So if they mistakenly run the billing system for 09 November 2008, they're accidentally charging you for all of 2009, a year too early. And to make it worse, the system thinks you did not pay for 2008, so they charge you for that, too. At least that's what I think happened.

If the software used is not specifically made for Dreamhost then it's actually very important that it can bill in advance.

It appears to be custom in-house software. They talk about tweaking it themselves.

Strange, I got an email saying I was billed but didn't think twice because I was due to be billed anyday now, so it didn't really affect me.

In the DH blog comments some customers say they've been billed twice, so maybe double-check.

I expected my payment notice to come in early Feb, so the email totally made sense, until it said "You also have $119.40 past due (owed since 2008-11-09)", which was a red flag.

General Software Discussion / Re: Editor Needed
« on: January 15, 2008, 07:14 PM »

http://paintdotnet.f...viewtopic.php?t=2442  (etc.)

I'm not sure if Ultra-Pad falls in that camp, but I'm not given a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Ouch! Definitely not fuzzy.

Living Room / The Series of Tubes is getting creaky, or
« on: January 15, 2008, 07:08 PM »
There's a Disturbance In the Network, or Go check Slashdot quickly!

First DreamHost makes a $7,5M billing snafu, and right now every story on Slashdot has 25 comments. I mean, *every* story on Slashdot has *exactly 25* comments:


Post here if you see UFOs tonight. And... anyone seen Cody lately?

I was just going to post after I've read the comments...

Dreamhost is one of the best - probably THE best, friendliest, most human and most attentive company I've ever dealt with. I'm really sorry this happened to them.

Two lessons there: one is contained in the blog entry, for coders. It was really dumb to let the system accept a future date for billing, and not even flag it for confirmation as suspicious.

The other lesson is never to leave your credit card in the hands of an automated billing system, at least if you have that option. DH gives you an option to keep your CC on file and rebill automatically, but you can say no to that easily on the same page where you pay the bill. And even if you choose the auto option, you can limit the max amount they can charge, the default being $100 IIRC.

I remember thinking about this when I was signing up 4 years ago, and deciding that filling out the invoice form manually once a year is a good deal if I get 100% peace of mind in return. I wish all my decisions turned out like this :)

Now if enough of the po'ed customers gang up and take DH through a legal grinder, I might find myself without my domain, and then I'll be po'ed too!

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