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Category: Hacks

Deptyr, or how I learned to love UNIX domain sockets

Let’s say you have a program that needs to do I/O on a terminal (it draws really nice ascii graphics!), but it usually runs unsupervised. If the program crashes, you want a think like s6 or systemd to restart that program. The problem here is the terminal I/O: Since most process supervision tools usually redirect standard I/O to a log file, the wonderful terminal graphics just end up being non-ascii chunder that confuses you if you try to tail the log file.

Elixir: First Impressions

For the longest time now, I’ve admired Erlang from afar. It always seemed to be a bit daunting to take on. For one, there was the slightly weird and inconsistent Prolog-inspired syntax (I was always scratching my head over why this place needs a period and that place doesn’t), and then there was just plain weird stuff like one-based indexes. While you don’t end up needing indexes very often, a nice syntax on top of Erlang is something I always kind of wanted, but nothing really could deliver.

Write gmail filters in a nice Ruby DSL: gmail-britta

I’ve just finished (mostly) documenting and writing tests for my latest little library, gmail-britta, so thought I should release it to the world as a sort of holiday gift. Gmail-britta is a library that lets you write Gmail filters (hah, Britta, get it?) in a way that doesn’t drive you insane - you write them as a ruby program, run that program, and out comes XML that you can import into Gmail’s filter settings.

Userscript for nicer search

I love the documentation redirection service. It is quick and easy to look stuff up there if you know the name, and it has a pretty good search if you don’t. However, the search results are not presented very nicely: They’re very close together, and the ones I’m looking for most often (mostly CLHS pages) are buried somewhere in the middle. So I wrote a userscript (for Firefox through greasemonkey or Google Chrome/Chromium) to improve things a bit: It enables keyboard navigation (j/k or cursor-down/up select the next/previous result, enter opens the page, and / focuses the input field), and searches for the closest match from the results (ranks them by section and then selects the shortest matching entry).

There are only two hard problems in Austrian family law:

Caching and naming things. Well, maybe not caching. But if two people are getting married in Austria, they do have to solve the other hard problem. That is, one partner gets to keep their name, and the other partner has to decide what to do: Take on the partner’s name (it’s expected that the female partner does this), keep one’s old name, or prepend or append one’s own name to the partner’s name.