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Friday, February 11, 2011

Web Development Class with Ethan Pride

For a few months now I've been teaching Ethan how to develop a web site, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript (soon), and content management systems.

We meet once a week.

(This post was a demonstration for him on the benefits of a CMS.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Ten years? Really?

In 2001 my work life was all about Conversant, my personal life was all about Corinne, Shane, and a house full of cats and birds.

I don't remember much about 2002, except that I reconnected with Steve Davis, someone I've known practically since I was a baby. We've always had our faith in common, and found that now we also have our bikes.

Two years later Shane was gone. That's all that year (2004) was about. Nothing else mattered. Hanging on to Corinne, propping her up, making sure she understood how much I love her and need her still, and trying to help her cope with a pain that defies belief.

2005 was a pretty big year. It included the release of Firefox Hacks (my first time in print!), tutoring the Pride kids (Avonlee and Ethan) in math, the PMC and its software auctions, the main author of Firefox Hacks (Nigel McFarlane) committed suicide, Corinne and I met the crew of the Atlantia, Jed moved in with us, I made friends with Jimmy Lehn (morning DJ at a local radio station), and we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Westerly WARM shelter. Finally, 2005 was the year I first started playing with Prototype. (Wow, i can't believe it was that long ago.)

In 2006 I met Greg Pierce years after he had worked for me at Macrobyte, my friend Darren and his wife Angi brought home their adoptees from Nepal, I wrote the "custom events" code for JavaScript that is *still* being used on Apple's web pages, attended the first Rails Conf, and I finally got to meet and begin forming a friendship with Rich Siegel and started working on language modules for his company's main software product, BBEdit. Jed left us, and headed for British Columbia and the woman he would eventually marry. Finally, we met Mike and Shannon late in the year.

2007 was unreal. If not for the pictures, most of it would be forgotten. I helped man the booth for Bare Bones at MacWorld Expo. Mike and Shannon moved in with us. Lauren was born! Mike and Shannon went away for a while. We did our best with Lauren and truly, completely fell in love with her. Visited her parents a lot. Finally met Jim Roepcke and Sean McMains at the second RailsConf (while Corinne stayed home with lauren). Jed married Alycia (and I got to attend, way out there in B.C., while Corinne AGAIN stayed home with Lauren), my grandfather turned eighty, Jed and Alycia came out for a visit (and haven't been back since), Corinne and I celebrated our tenth anniversary, and my sister and brother-in-law had their third daughter.

Shannon came hom again in January of '08. Lauren started walking and talking, and turned one. We got news (on the day Shannon came hom) that the house was being sold so we'd have to move (after ten years). Corinne, Ellyn and Lauren went to FL (Lauren's first plane ride). Richie (Shannon's eldest) came to live with us. My parents came to live with us, for a few months. I went to FL in October with Ellyn and the grandparents to pack them up and move them to Ellyn's house. The year ended with a terrible sprained ankle and a move from Mystic to Westerly.

In January of '09, Mike came home and the family was all back together. Unfortunately, in June they all left again. The relationship slowly thawed, but then in September they disappeared to North Carolina without warning and we thought they (especially Lauren) were gone forever. We got a ten day visit with Lauren in October, but taking her home was the second most difficult and painful thing I've ever done.

2010 started out with a brief visit from the Deanes, but after that the contact (via Skype or telephone) dwindled to nothing within a few months. I entered a serious depression (my first), which I tried to fill or bury with World of Warcraft. In March a rainstorm tried to wipe RI off the map, and in May I was brutally attacked by some blood clots that came from nowhere and landed in my left lung (killing part of it). In June, the Deanes moved back to the area, and we got regular visits with Lauren again. It took her a few minutes to remember us, but once she did it was like we were never apart.

As I write this, Lauren and Corinne are sleeping in my bed, above my office, just a few feet right over my head. I don't know what changes are coming our way next, but right now we have joy and I'm taking nothing for granted.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bare Bones Released BBEdit 9.2

BBEdit 9.2 was released today.

(Sorry about having two BBEdit-related posts in a row like this. I have other things to talk about too, trust me. I'm just warming up again.)

I played a small part, again. Most of my time was spent on the brand-new Lasso module. There are 168 changes in the official change notes. (There were actually a lot more than 168 changes, trust me.) The excerpt listed below includes those I'm particularly happy about or with which I was personally involved.

The blue stuff, below, is what I worked on or was somehow directly involved with.


  • ✫ BBEdit now has a “Sleep” command. ✫

  • Lasso is now a fully supported language, with syntax coloring, functions listed in the function popup, and automatically generated fold points.

  • There’s a new color setting in the Text Colors preference: “Numeric Constants”. This can also be adjusted on a per-language basis in the appropriate language’s settings (in the “Languages” preferences).

  • Added a feature to the language module interface for giving the module control over resolution of include file references.

  • The Menus preferences now has a group of commands so that you can assign keyboard equivalents to operations in FTP/SFTP browsers, if desired.

  • There’s a new setting in the “Editing” tab for language-specific preferences (Preferences -> Languages): “Tab width”. Edit the value here to set a language-specific value for the default tab width. (I — and probably others — requested this.)

  • ✫ BBEdit now implements the necessary hooks so that the following JavaScript functions now work when using “Preview in BBEdit”: window.alert, window.confirm, window.prompt, window.onbeforeunload ✫

  • Disk browsers can now explore tarballs (.tar, .tar.gz, .tgz files). When an eligible file is in the listing, it will have a disclosure triangle next to it. Twist it open to reveal the files and directories within. As with other items displayed in disk browser listings, you can view files in the editor view, or double-click them to open in a separate window for editing.


  • ✫ The internal mechanics and UI presentation for recent items have been overhauled. ✫

    I love this one, as the redesigned "Open Recent" menu item is much more usable.


  • Fixed a bug in the ActionScript function parser. No longer tripped up by a function return type of * (which is the explicit way of typing something as “untyped”).

  • Fixed a bug which allowed ActionScript’s get to be recognized as a function-starter in JavaScript files (similar to the function keyword).

  • Fixed possible cause of a crash related to populating the function popup in JavaScript files.

  • Fixed missing fold widgets for fold ranges containing a single line break.

  • Fixed crash when JavaScript functions with assigned names, such as[bat] = function() {...}, were not in a recognized/expected form.

  • Fixed bug in which using “Save As” did not change the document’s language if the default was something other than “(none)”. This change also addresses a bug in which the document’s language wasn’t recalculated if the file’s name changed on disk.

  • A variety of changes have been made to reduce application startup time.

  • Fixed a bug in the Ruby module which would cause a multi-line, general delimited input string (%+string+) to fold incorrectly (the closing fold point was one character too soon).

  • Fixed a bug in the Ruby module where Begin/End blocks could cause fold points to be be placed at seemingly random places in the document.

  • Fixed a bug in the Ruby module where complete for or while loops, written on a single line and within curly braces, could throw off the folding for the entire document.

  • Fixed a bug in the TeX module in which a $math$ section within a {required param}, where the $math$ section contained a closing curly brace (e.g. caption{foo $i_{0}$ foo}), would confuse the parser. This tended to manifest as incorrect autofolds and improper indentation in the function popup.

  • The Ruby module will no longer detect regular expressions as the first token immediately after a string or another regular expression. This resolves a syntax coloring bug found with the syntax used by the Merb framework (which uses an overloaded ”/” method.)

Now go buy a copy. Or two. Please. More sales at BB means more work for me. (Blah blah blah |BEdit Disclaimer|)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Apple's Changes Can't Rattle These Bones

Last week I got an email from John Mello, a reporter working for Mac News World. He asked if, as a BBEdit user, I'd be willing to be interviewed for a story he was writing about Bare Bones. I said yes, and later we talked on the phone for about a half hour.

The article is now published, entitled Apple's Changes Can't Rattle These Bones. Kinda clever.

Among BBEdit's merits cited by the code warrior are its support of multiple languages, syntax coloring, code folding and HTML editing and preview, as well as speedy performance and powerful search features. Not only can it perform a search and replace on multiple files, but it will display the results of a search in a separate window for easy review and manipulation.

Hey he called me a code warrior. That's so much nicer than code monkey! (I'm mentioned by name a couple paragraphs earlier.)

The article is, um… a bit fluffy. It never claims to be otherwise! You can't do a one-page "company profile" as hard news.

He never mentioned my rant about email clients, even though we talked about them extensively. (No surprise he didn't mention it, I really do rant.) I was slightly surprised to find that he never mentioned my relationship with the company (which is currently on hold, but hopefully not for long...). Sean was surprised, too.

A significant point I made in our conversation ("interview") that I honestly thought he'd cover: all the editors give you a decent space to type your code. You don't differentiate editors based on which one gives you the best typing experience. Know what I mean? All of the good editors provide a decent space for entering your text. What matters to me is all the other stuff that I expect of my editor: language support, syntax coloring, code folding, performance and — perhaps most important of all — really powerful search and replace.

Anyway, I don't seem to get into the news these days for anything except the PMC, so it was cool for that alone, if nothing else. :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Building a Codeless Language Module for BBEdit or TextWrangler (Updated)

I've updated the guide that explains how to create a Codeless Language Module (CLM) for BBEdit with regular expressions (or "irregular expressions" as I explain in the guide).

The how-to walks you through creating a CLM for the newLISP language. Some bugs were found recently in both the final CLM and the guide itself, and have all been fixed. Also, the new version of the downloadable CLM (at the bottom of the guide) includes the most recently added keywords and built-in language functions.

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