Monthly Archives: April

gedit, An Awesome Text Editor

TextMate has gained a lot of traction in the past few years, especially among web developers. Ruby developers swear by it for some reason. I don’t have MacOS X at home so I don’t use TextMate. Instead, my favorite text editor is gedit, the official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. Unlike TextMate, gedit does not cost a thing, and is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is extremely light weight and easily extensible via plugins, which can be written either in C or Python. On Ubuntu, the most popular plugins can be installed via the package gedit-plugins. Additional third party plugins can be downloaded here. Some of my favorite plugins include the following:

  • File browser pane
  • Find in documents
  • Draw spaces
  • Reopen tabs
  • Save without trailing space
  • Symbol browser
  • Tab converter

I also use the Darkmate theme for syntax highlighting. Finally, TextMate aficionados will enjoy this article explaining how to configure gedit to look and behave just like their editor of choice. Now, if you really insist on spending $64 (that’s how much a single user license for TextMate costs as the time of this writing), I would recommend you donate this amount to a charity of your choice. They really need it. Cheers!

essay | Tree arborist in Canada

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) First Impressions

Ubuntu logo

Last night, I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Release Candidate on my laptop (a HP dv2000 with a dual core AMD64 2.8GHz CPU and 2GB RAM) I had used Ubuntu in the past (versions 7.04 and 7.10) on that same machine, but finally turned to Windows Vista because my hardware was not very well supported on Linux (mainly my Broadcom wireless card) However, last night, I fell in love with Ubuntu all over again. The install went very smoothly, and everything worked right out of the box. I activated the proprietary drivers for both my video card and my wireless card, and voila! I was off and running in about 30 minutes. Awesome!

JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts (Book Cover)

Douglas Crockford just published his first book titled JavaScript: The Good Parts. After reading this book, some of you may be left with the impression that Douglas is always complaining about some aspect of this very popular programming language. However, having been a user of the JavaScript language for about 7 years, and having used it extensively in small web sites and large web applications, all I can tell you is that I could not agree more with the author.

It is really unfortunate that we live in an imperfect world. As such, there is no perfect programming language, and there will probably never be. However, by gaining a deep understanding of the philosophy and the inner workings of a programming language, and by sticking to a subset of that language (what the author refers to as the “good parts”), we can all become better programmers by constructing more reliable and more maintainable programs.

In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Douglas extensively describes that good subset of the JavaScript language, occasionally warning to avoid the bad. I consider Douglas’ book a must-buy for anybody who’s serious about developing professional applications for the web. It’s definitely well worth the read!