Wed, 04 Mar 2009
Apart from an annoyance where I couldn't see my pushes for a little while (I think I fell afoul of some caching) setting up an account and adding new repos was simple. Pushing from my actual dev machine just worked and I've now been bitten by the github bug. I feel the need to push code...
Wed, 09 Jul 2008
Amazon^WLoveFilm DVD Rentals
I've been a happy Amazon UK DVD rental customer for the last couple of years. They've got a wide selection, the DVDs ship fast, come in separate envelopes and in nice sturdy plastic cases. In nearly 200 DVDs I've had three that were unplayable and only one that got lost in transit - a replacement for which was sent the same day.
'Luckily' for me Amazons DVD rentals are now handled by LoveFilm. I had my first batch through last week and I'm less than impressed. All three films came in a single envelope (so I have to watch them all before I can sent them back for replacement), they are in flimsy paper containers and out of my first two one is broken - with a split straight through. This is not the best start I could have hoped for.
There's a reason Amazon gets a lot of my online cash - they provide a damn good service.
Sun, 07 Jan 2007
The del.icio.us de.dup.er
I like del.icio.us and I've been using it for a long while now, but what used to be one of the more handy features, the ability to subscribe to a tag, like 'ruby' or 'linux', has gradually become less useful as more and more people find old links or repost the same link. Again. And again. And, well, you get the idea.
So I wrote the del.icio.us de.dup.er script, a small perl cgi that sits between you and del.icio.us and weeds out any duplicate links. I don't know how useful it'll be for other people but I installed it and when comparing the amount of posts it returns to those in the unfiltered tag I'm already seeing a lot less traffic. This is only the first draft (it needs a little love and a chunk of re-writing) but it works. So I thought I'd post it. To run it you'll need a webserver capable of running perl cgi script, a couple of non-core perl modules and an area on disk where it can write its state; it maintains a single state file for each tag. I considered making it run as a hosted service to remove these preqs but that was more than I need right now.
Notes: Anyone who hits the cgi can force it to update and potentially stop you seeing certain links, I get around this by putting in in a secure (HTTP Auth protected) part of my site. It's also got a timeout built in, a defined number of days after it first logs a site (30 days by default) it'll let it through again. And store it for another 30 days.
Sat, 02 Sep 2006
Bugzilla Tag Blosxom plugin
One of the small developer blogs I host has a number of people linking to, and complaining about, the bugs present in different Free Software projects. After watching one of them open a text file, dig through the links, pull out the wrong one and eventually get the right URL I decided to write a small Blosxom plugin to make the process easier.
The Bugzilla Tag Blosxom plugin lets you define shortcuts to a number of Bugzilla servers, and a default one, which you can then link to using the following syntax in your blosxom posts:
For full details have a look at the Bugzilla Tag Blosxom plugin source.
Tue, 22 Aug 2006
Scientific American and Developer.com Printer Friendly Greasemonkey Redirects
The overly long title has most of the details. I've created a print friendly redirect Greasemonkey script for both Developer.com and Scientific American.com.
Basic Accessibility Analyzer IE Plugin
I'm happy to announce the first release of the Basic Accessibility Analyzer IE Plugin. This IE plugin wraps the service provided by Peter Krantz and has already found some quirks in my own site.
The full list of what it checks can be found here.
Wed, 28 Jun 2006
My userscripts.org Greasemonkey Scripts
If you've tried to use any of my Greasemonkey scripts over at Dean Wilsons Userscripts.org Profile then you've been out of luck until recently. During a linky session I managed to hit the "delete script link" on each and every script I'd uploaded. The delete link (which I didn't notice) didn't require any confirmation so it managed to get everything. I spent a little time last night re-adding the scripts (I have copies on my own site) so they're now available again.
This does mean I've lost all the comments, ratings and viewing history, which is annoying as heck. On the upside the delete link now prompts you, which will stop me doing this again but it's a little late for me.
Big Maps and Background Removals
I've added a couple of new scripts to my Greasemonkey Script collection. Remove Background Image does exactly what you'd expect. Add an @include like for your site of choice and refresh the page to make it go away.
The second one's based on a Streetmap trick Wookie Bob showed me. StreetMap 5x5 grid changes the map you're looking at to a 5x5 grid view you can only usually get by hacking the URL. At the moment it changes every size to that one, this suits me because I live in London. However this can be changed in the source if you're unfortunate enough to live elsewhere.
Update - Dave Cantrell has pointed out that the Streetmap 5x5 grid is available by clicking the "Big Map" link. Which I seem to have never noticed. The script is still useful for setting a sensible default view size.
Tue, 02 May 2006
Blosxom Plugin - Google Maps Tag
Linking to Google maps is nice. Jumping through the hoops to get the target URL isn't so much. This plugin allows you to use either a raw postcode (it's built for the UK) or a named location that will get expanded out to a full Google Maps URL.
You can use any of these short cuts:
- <gmap "office">
- <a href="gmap:EC1V 3QR">
- <gmap>EC1V 3QR</gmap>
For full details have a look at the Google Maps Tag Blosxom Plugin source. Note: The links generated by this plugin use maps.google.co.uk, if you don't like this (if you want to use the American site for example) then hack the source.
Tue, 07 Feb 2006
I've also started using the Mozilla.org Add-on Pages - 100 results per page script after I started to go insane from constantly clicking for more results.
The last plugin from the batch was never finished as someone else had already gotten around to it! Google Images in IMDb was just waiting to be written. It adds a link, next to the stars name, to a Google Image search of that actor/actress. What's really neat is that when you're browsing a film, each of the cast has an "[I]" next to their name which does the same.
Sat, 28 Jan 2006
Blosxom Plugin: Immediate Action Feeds
The Blosxom Immediate Action Feeds Plugin adds a number of links to the bottom of each blosxom post; both HTML and RSS flavours. These links allow easy interaction with a number of online services. This version of the plugin adds links for del.icio.us, Digg and reddit.
When one of the links is clicked it takes the user to the site and attempts to autofill as many of the required fields as possible. For more details see either the POD at the bottom of the source code or the README contained in the Compressed version of the Immediate Action Feeds plugin
Blosxom Plugin: Digg Me!
The digg_me plugin changes each post (both RSS and HTML flavours) and adds a clickable link that takes you to a pre-populated "Submit a story to Digg" page. And fills in the URL and title for you.
The Digg Me! source code is pretty simple (mostly the same as the Reddit and del.icio.us plugins) but you'll probably need to change the '$post_url' to suit your sites permalink format. The code's GPL'd and I've tested it on my own site so it mostly works.
Blosxom Plugin: submit_to_reddit
One of the great things about putting code online is that anyone can contact you about it. Sometimes you get a "thank you", sometimes corrections and occasionally requests to make it do something else. My add_to_delicious Blosxom plugin post caused a couple of damn lazy Blosxom users (although it's perl based so they may consider this praise :)) to ask for versions for a couple of other sites. The first of these, submit to reddit is now done.
This plugin changes each post (both RSS and HTML flavours) and adds a clickable link that takes you to a pre-populated "Submit to reddit" page. The submit_to_reddit source code is pretty simple (mostly the same as the previous plugin) but you'll probably need to change the '$post_url' to suit your sites permalink format. The code's GPL'd and I've tested it on my own site so it mostly works.
Wed, 04 Jan 2006
Google Images and Oiled Simians
I've recently been looking for some decent images I can display on a projector. I'm not a very artistic person so I've done the imaginative thing and gone on an Internet scavenger hunt. While Google images is actually a decent image search engine it's got a couple of annoying quirks that I've been able to work around with a little application of Greasemonkey.
Firstly, when you click an image, you get sent to the containing page. This is very rarely what you want and makes you do a lot of needless hunting around the page for the image you wanted to see. Fortunately, the Google Images Re-Linker, written by Pat Cavit makes Google images do what you want most of the time; click the image and you get the image.
Sun, 01 Jan 2006
Blosxom Plugin: add_to_delicious
The add_to_delicious plugin was inspired by an xml.com article, called Putting RSS to Work: Immediate Action Feeds, which made the very sensible suggestion of allowing you to "do things" to RSS items without leaving your aggregator. This plugin changes each post (both RSS and HTML flavours) and adds a clickable link that takes you to a pre-populated "add link to del.icio.us" page.
The add_to_delicious source code is pretty simple but you'll probably need to change the '$post_url' to suit your sites permalink format. The code's GPL'd and running on my own site so it mostly works.
Sun, 02 Oct 2005
Rollyo - Nice UI But Nothing New
I've spent a couple of minutes (yep, very in-depth :)) playing with Rollyo, a way to run searches over multiple sites. The site's pretty slick (and looks quite Basecamp/37signals inspired) but I can't help but think I've been here before...
Mozilla, and FireFox with a plugin, have something called the search sidebar. This little piece of magic allows you to run a search over multiple sites at the same time and integrates the results; each site search is implemented using a mycroft search plugin. Except that those are text files and easier to customise if you know a little about HTML.
One thing that did bother me though was the lack of meaningful page titles. Look at the front page and the title says "ROLLYO". Look at a profile and the title says "ROLLYO". Spot a pattern?
Now don't get me wrong, Rollyo looks a lot prettier and makes this functionality available to a lot more people but it's not quite the power-tool the Mozilla version can be.
Sun, 25 Sep 2005
Running Planet With RSS 0.9 Feeds
One of the little bits of trivia I learned while setting up PlanetGLLUG was how the planet software deals with RSS 0.9 feeds. The original "specification" for this version didn't require each entry/post to have a date associated with it; although a lot of feeds work around this by either using the later revisions or including the Dublin Core name-space and dates.
This causes the planet software to add every item in the RSS feed to the planet with the same date, the one on which it first pulls in the entries. This came as a bit of a shock to me and I was worried that it'd do this every time the feed was updated. Fortunately as long as your planet "cache" directory is usable it's smart enough to only add the new entries with the date set to when it encounters them.
Tue, 20 Sep 2005
IIS-Resources -- Printer Friendly GreaseMonkey Script
I've got the first version of the IIS-Resources Printer Friendly Articles GreaseMonkey script written and uploaded. It takes you to the correct print page, minus the adverts, but it's currently got a problem in that the onload handler kicks up a print dialogue (on Windows at least). If anyone has any ideas how to stop it doing this please let me know.
TheRegister Printer Friendly Articles -- Fixed
I noticed a bug in my TheRegister Printer Friendly Articles Greasemonkey plugin a couple of days ago. The odd thing was the bug was a major one that I never saw based upon my browsing habits.
I no longer read TheReg, I'm subscribed to its RSS feed instead. I only bother opening the stories I'm interested in. While this saves me time it also means I never go to its front page. Which was the problem. The old version of the plugin tried to convert the very front page in to a printer friendly version as well. Which broke. I've put a fix in now to avoid it doing that to the top level but the odd thing was, due to the amount of pages I read via RSS I never noticed it...
Thu, 01 Sep 2005
Redirect The Register Articles to Print Version
I'm a big fan of The Register but I can't stand multi-page articles. I've put a little Greasemonkey script together to make sure I don't have to deal with them. The The Register Printer Friendly Articles script is now online and ready for use. I hope someone else finds it useful.