UI Editor With Preview

28. June, 2011

One of the big problems with WYSIWYG editors is that they don’t really cut it. They look good in the beginning but as your experience grows, the editor tends to get in your way of getting things done.

Stackoverflow used an interesting solution: There is a wiki markup editor and a preview which is updated as you type. So you get the best of both worlds: You can see your intention and the result at the same time.

Riena is now following along the same path: They created a preview which updates when you save your UI code. That way, you can quickly see the effect of your changes without stumbling over tedious property editors all the time.


Spray Graphiti – Xtext for the Eyes

30. May, 2011

I’ve come to love Xtext. It’s powerful out of the box, simple enough to grasp and the rough edges cut you just once (i.e. after you put tape over them, the hurting stops).

But sometimes, a picture says more than a thousand words. Unfortunately, creating a graphical editor is still a daunting task. Which probably explains why most graphical editors aren’t worth the shadow the mouse pointer casts over them.

If we only had a compact language to define UI editors … but wait, we have. Or rather we could have with a bit of help with Xtext.

Welcome project Spray. Spray is a DSL to create Graphiti editors.


Text editors again

23. November, 2010

Mark Pilgrim says it pretty well in WrongRoom: “you’re writing a text editor. Stop doing that. It’s 2007.”

Q: Why is there more than one text editor?

A: Because they all suck.

So after struggling with SWT’s StyledText for a while, I’m back with jEdit.

jEdit has its own flaws, though. The text renderer is … basic. No unit tests. But it seems the developers are more approachable than the Eclipse guys. So maybe it will be less effort to add the missing features.


Making system administration easier

22. October, 2010

I you ever wondered what a file looked like before you edited it, this script is for you:

#!/bin/bash

dir=$(pwd)

for f ; do
        if [[ -e "$f" ]]; then
                path=$(cd $(dirname "$f") ; pwd)
                mkdir -p "/root/vibak/$path"
                cp -p "$f" "/root/vibak/$path/$(basename "$f")-$(date +"%Y%m%d-%H%M%S")"
        fi
done

exec /usr/bin/$(basename $0) "$@"

Then create links to it from $HOME/bin/vi, vim, gvim, edit, nano, ...

Remember: Never remember anything your computer can remember for you.


Wiki-like editors/notebooks

7. October, 2010

A list of wiki-like editors/notebooks/etc: