XInsert for jEdit

Have I really been using jEdit for 5 years now? Time flies, eh?

In that time I sort of dropped out of the jEdit community a bit, but I still use it daily. Yes, it still has bugs, and little things that annoy me, but overall I really like it. One problem I’ve had is that somewhere in the last year or so the XInsert plugin stopped working for me. It was last “officially” updated November 12, 2005. Urgh… Another abandoned piece of open source software. So even though I had written a ton of files for XInsert to use, I couldn’t use them. I ended up moving many of my files to use the Templates plugin, but still wasn’t happy. So since it’s open source, I started looking for a solution…

I found this post on the jEdit Community site with a reply titled “Fixed!” which said: “I’ve just removed comments at the beginning of dockables.xml file in xinsert.jar.” Really? Is that all it takes? Yes… I unjar’d the jar file, made the change, and rejar’d it, and the damn thing works. Imagine that. I wish I had found that fix a year ago.

Thus illustrates the good/bad of open source software. You scratch your own itch, but unless other know you even had an itch, they don’t know where to start scratching. Ummm, what I mean is, solving your own problems can take precedent to solving someone else’s problems, which is good for you, bad for the other person. Maybe we need to work on that? I dunno… I’m just glad my problem is solved.

To make things easier, you can download the version of the XInsert plugin I fixed.


Desktop Linux (is back!)

More appropriately, I’m back using Linux on the desktop. (A subject that was written about in many posts, many years ago…)

So today was my first full day using Debian as a desktop OS and it went pretty well. I still prefer Mac OS X for the desktop, but Linux still beats the hell out of Windows. My editor (yes, I am still using jEdit) worked quite well. In fact, it probably works better on Linux than on Mac OS X. Firefox (er, Iceweasel) is my browser of choice, and Gaim is, um, not Adium but it will work. And terminal is tabbed, like iTerm, so that’s good.

I don’t have to worry about audio/video stuff since I’m just doing development (and my iBook is always handy) but I’m guessing I may have to fire up The Gimp at some point…

Luckily, for my main tools (web, email, editor, terminal, etc.) I’ve typically stuck with things that are open-source and cross-platform. Firefox over Safari, jEdit over TextMate, and so on. This has allowed me to be put in front of a Windows machine, a Mac, or even a Linux box, and been able to use familiar tools. It also helps since I typically use 3 or 4 different Macs, so licensing isn’t a big concern.

Don’t get me wrong… If I had a choice, I would have chose to have a machine running OS X. Not because of the eye-candy or the (supposed) sex appeal, but because my productivity would be so much higher. I’m just an OS X user, having used it daily for the last 6 years or so…

I will miss Interarchy for file transfers though! Any recommended clients for Linux?


Hackathon: Summary…

Well, I myself didn’t do a ton of Perl hacking, at least in comparison to others in the room. (I did manage to fix up a bunch of my Perl-related bits and pieces for jEdit though.) Here’s a progress report from right before dinner.

Chicago Perl Hackathon Chicago Perl Hackathon Chicago Perl Hackathon Chicago Perl Hackathon

Perl::Critic was worked on, they wrote new policies and also added two new committers to the project. The Perl::Critic guys also talked with Ken from Krugle quite a bit…

The folks working on Parrot fixed a lot of tests, and, and did a lot of general code cleaning. They also improved the Tcl compiler, checked in Forth, and introduced a bunch of new people to the project.

Pete Krawczyk did some work on the long-neglected HTML::Tree, making many miscellaneous fixes and improving Unicode support.

Andy Lester made updates to ack. He said his goal is to introduce more of the general public to ack, and make it so that people don’t even realize it’s Perl-based. He wants it to be something people can just drop into their ~/bin directory and use.

There was some work done on Jifty to make it work without requiring a database. Jifty is a RoR-like framework written in Perl (even if they don’t like it described like that.)

That’s it for me… Plenty of Perl folks will be here until tomorrow working on moving their projects forward, but I’m outta here. Thanks to The Perl Foundation for making it happen.


jEdit’s Dict Plugin

Today we look at jEdit’s Dict plugin. What does it do?

This plugin searches the word(s) you give it in the dictionary. Basically implements client side of RFC 2229 and allows the user to search in 12 databases.

Ok, so invoking the plugin brings up a dialog, you type in the word(s) and click ‘OK’

jEdit's Dict Plugin dialog box

jEdit then presents the definition in a new window. Simple, eh? Sure, but you can make it even more simple, if so desired. You could add a contextual menu command to right/control click and look up a word, or you could add a toolbar icon if so desired…

Ok, that’s enough jEdit evangelizing for today…



Caught in the referer headlights: Using JEdit with ColdFusion. You know, if you have to use ColdFusion, at least you can use jEdit