Categories
computers suck

micro, a nice little text editor

screenshot-from-2016-09-18-15-24-13

micro – https://github.com/zyedidia/micro – is a terminal-based text editor. Unlike vi, emacs and nano, it has sensible default command keys: Ctrl+S saves, Ctrl+Q quits, Ctrl+X/C/V cuts/copies/pastes, etc. micro also supports full mouse control (even over ssh), Unicode and colour syntax highlighting.

micro is written in Go – https://golang.org – so is very easy to install:

go get -u github.com/zyedidia/micro/...

If you don’t already have Go installed, it’s pretty simple, even on a Raspberry Pi: https://golang.org/doc/install

If your running under Linux, you probably want to have xclip installed for better cut/paste support.

Overall, I really like micro. It’s much easier to use than any of the standard Linux text editors. It uses key commands that most people expect. Creating code should not be made harder than it needs to be.

(I was about to suggest FTE, as it appears to be the closest thing to the old MS-DOS 6 editor that I’ve seen under Linux. While it’s a great plain text editor, its Unicode support isn’t where it needs to be in 2016.
micro suggestion came via MetaFilter’s Ctrl + Q to quit. Need I say more?
)

Categories
computers suck goatee-stroking musing, or something

implicit markup: easy to read, hard to parse

I don’t usually ponder about other people’s blog postings, but Jeff Atwood’s Responsible Open Source Code Parenting reminded me of some of the old wars that the used to be when I was a markup head. Jeff writes about his frustration that John Gruber’s Markdown text-to-html filter:

  1. hasn’t been updated for some time
  2. doesn’t quite do exactly what Jeff’s users at Stack Overflow want
  3. appears to have any changes in its behaviour from v1.0.1 strenuously vetoed by Gruber himself.

Markdown is nice in that you can write screeds of text, and it does almost exactly what you’d expect. The markup doesn’t get in the way, usually. The difficulty arises when implicit markup (indented lines for quoted text, bulleted lists, highlights) has to give way to explicit (cross-references, code samples). Explicit markup is ugly, but sometimes, you’ve got to do it. Complex intent requires complex modes of communication, and sometimes plain text just hasn’t the bandwidth. [As an aside, there was a hilarious lengthy recurring episode on John Mark Ockerbloom‘s late bookpeople mailing list where a user (mercilessly skewered here)  insisted that they could write a general Gutenberg plain-text converter that would re-create typeset quality in an e-book reader with no explicit markup, and that XML was completely unnecessary and ill-conceived. The un-markup language, called zen markup language (said user had an aversion to the shift key) lives on only in a single website: the home of z.m.l. As for XML, its executive assistant had no comment on the matter.] Looking at Markdown, it looks like Gruber’s moved on from it. He made a 1.0.1 which did what he wanted. The code’s there to change if anyone needs it. I understand his frustration at people wanting to make changes and still call it Markdown; I’d be annoyed if I had text which I thought was in one format suddenly not be accepted, or do something unexpected. Seriously, that’s almost as bad as ‘deprecated‘. [At least Gruber didn’t go on a deletion rampage, like (admittedly smaller-time) erstwhile CHDK stalwart Barney Fife did when he was slighted in a forum. Looks like almost everything he contributed to CHDK has been removed, including some very useful control scripts and explanations.] Personally, when I need to make text to web conversions, I still use txt2html and a bunch of shell and Perl glue to feed to tidy. It’s on its third maintainer, doesn’t do much, but does it simply. And I’m pretty simple that way.

Update: see also On my increasing exasperation with Markdown.

Categories
computers suck

sweet nothings from nobody

The collected wisdom (so far) of 647 238 9575:

  • My love is with you sweet heart have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
  • Good morning my sweet heart have a nice day
  • Ana have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
  • My O my my heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • My sole is with you my heart as well for you for life have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • Hi is your day going well my heart is with you
  • My heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day
  • Hi are you having a nice day my sweet heart hope all is well with you
  • Sweet morning to you I hope you are Ok my heart is with you
  • Good sweet morning to you sweet heart hope all is well with you my sole is with you my love my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • Hi did you have a nice day be happy my heart is with you sweet love for you
  • My love is with you sweet heart have a nice lunch
  • All i like is to love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life
  • It is hard to see you are so so could i like to give you the world and my love for your life and you wont talk to me
  • My heart is with you my sweet sole of my for you for life have a nice evening I miss you so so so much i made a mestak with you will you fo
  • Ana i wish you get over it and talk to me my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you as well

I’m pretty sure these are generated by a Markov filter.

Categories
computers suck

the undying love of a spammer

New job, so new phone. Within minutes of turning it on, I get text message spam. I get two every day, at just after 6am and 6pm. They’re all from the one number — 647 238 9575 — and they’re all from someone who (purportedly) loves me very much, and wants me back in their life. Knowing me, it’s understandable, but I know spam scam when I see it.