Swift – Webkit for Windows

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

I recently stumbled upon a very interesting find: the Swift web-browser. It is essentially a port of Apple’s webkit to windows. Here’s a screenshot of it right after startup:
The Swift browser

My first impression is that it is definitely alpha, VERY alpha (it is only the 0.1 release after all). It’s also a much larger download, 15mb, compared to Firefox, 5mb, or Opera, 6mb.

Good Points

  • Its page rendering is exceptionally fast, even more than Firefox
  • Tabs, but that isn’t anything to incredible

Areas that need work (I won’t say bad points, after all it is only alpha)

  • Crashes regularly on complex pages
  • Password inputs are not supported
  • Anchor links (page.htm#section) are not supported
  • Acid 2 doesn’t work (probably due to the previous)
  • Lack of any preferences whatsoever

Overall, I would say Swift is a great effort and it looks promising, but at the present state of development it is little more than a proof of concept, and definitely not practical for normal use.

PHP Markdown

Monday, August 14th, 2006

I have recently become increasingly annoyed with the WYSIWYG editor included with WordPress, at least its current version. Due to various problems it makes it practically impossible to type escaped html markup into a post, which is utterly unacceptable for my needs.

I have however, found I much better solution – PHP Markdown. PHP Markdown disables all the annoying WP auto paragraph functions for plain text editing, and adds its own special plain text markup system which is very similar to that of MediaWiki. It also offers extremely easy code insertion/escaping by simply inserting back-ticks (`) inside of a paragraph, or indenting a line four spaces outside of one.

You can also create headings as easy as

# This makes a heading 1

One other plus is that it does not seem to break past posts that used pure HTML, so you can safely activate it on a blog without utterly destroying all your old posts.

So far I am very pleased with it, and I probably won’t switch to a WYSIWYG editor again anytime soon.

Python Full Text Search Script

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Many times in the past when I have been attempting to figure out how someone else’s code worked (or wasn’t working as was more often the case), I have wanted a way to perform full text searches of all the documents in a directory and its subdirectories. Unfortunately, Windows (being utterly lacking in all things helpful) fails to provide such a search mechanism.

Python to the Rescue!

So I wrote up this small little Python script which will recursively search all the text documents in a directory tree. By text documents I mean anything that isn’t binary, so it will search just about any kind of source code.

The syntax is very simplistic, with only two arguments, one of which is optional.

search.py [directory] searchstring

The search string should be in quotes if it contains anything but alphanumeric characters, and you should, of course, escape quotes in the string.

Example Usage

search.py "Hello World"
search.py include "$unknownvariable"
search.py "<table colspan=\"2\">"

Site Moved Completely to WordPress

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

I have just completed moving this site completely over to WordPress as the CMS. I wanted a clean start so I only copied over certain blog postings from the old site, and all the old comments (all 3 of them) are gone. I intend to do some pretty massive updating of the content soon as well.