Monday, July 30, 2007


Language support

ColourCode now has support for C# and Javascript, completing support for the original language set. I'l be adding Perl and HTML soon enough.


On the C based languages front there is a small logic error in the multiline comment system. I am currently trying to iron it out.

Snippet feature dropped

I've decided to drop the snippet feature since its not universal (doesn't make sense in PDF) and since CSS is now dynamically generated, giving the CSS data to the user and having him embed it will be quite annoying. So you can ofcourse embed the file in your HTML since its valid. You'll just need to remove the DOCTYPE declaration and the head section, move the style to your head and remove the end body and html tags. But its best if you just use the pages by themselves, perhaps linking to them.

Note: Nightly builds are now updated everyday at the homepage. So you can always check out the developments yourself.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ambigram: Magic is Might

Here's my newest ambigram based of the engraving on the statue in the Ministry of Magic. Its a bit jagged but I've been working on it for two days and thought that it's about time it went online. Harry Potter fans should note that this is merely artwork and that I'm in no way against Muggles and other races.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ColourCode: Almost done

In the last two days ColourCode has reached a stage where I can say that it is finally ready for release. Everything apart from implementing language handlers is done. PDF support might not be added. It all depends on how patient I am in releasing it. Meanwhile you can download a nightly build and view demos for Ruby and Python from the link above.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Deathly Hallows: The end of an Era

Now that I'm over the initial shock of the book, its time to put my thoughts.


First of all Deathly Hallows is amazing, and to the few fans who disliked it, they are missing JKR's point of view.

Second, Deathly Hallows is dark, very dark. Not only are their constant fights and ambushes, but people close to your heart die. Remus, Tonks, Dobby, Fred, Snape and Moody. Once you finish reading and everything sinks in, the sadness of losing them will be just as heavy in your heart as the happiness of Voldemort's death.

Deathly Hallows is very well assembled. JKR has managed to unite almost every loose end. It is also very quick. DH begins with an escape from Privet Drive to the Burrow. This results in Moody's death and George losing an ear. Fred and George's humour is evident even here, where George remarks that he is saint-like (holey!). After a short hiatus of Bill and Fleur's wedding ( which nevertheless leads Harry on the path to the Deathly Hallows ), the action begins again. Harry, Ron and Hermione have to run away and try and destroy all the Horcruxes. What I really liked here was the friendship, yet the palpable strain on it due to disappointment.

The Deathly Hallows are a collection of three objects (Harry's Invisibility Cloak, the Resurrection Stone (Gaunt's ring) and the Elder wand) which give the owner control over Death, although this concept is never really totally used.

The grand finale is at Hogwarts, where Harry, Ron and Hermione arrive to find the final Horcrux. Hogwarts has already revolted with an underground movement lead by Neville Longbottom and other DA members. The Room of Requirement, thought to be introduced merely as a location, assumes prime importance in the seventh book. Voldemort leads the assault (but doesn't actually fight) with Death Eaters, Aragog's descendants, Giants and his fear. Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Fred Weasley die during the battle.

Snape gives his memories to Harry in his dying moments, explaining his connection with Lily and whose side he is really on. The memories also reveal that Harry has to sacrifice himself.

Deathly Hallows ends with a strange union between the living and the dead when Harry goes to the nether world to commune with Dumbledore, yet remains alive, tied to Earth by his blood in Voldemort's veins.

The secrets of the Elder wand and its ownership finally lead to the downfall of Voldemort.

When you finish the book an overwhelming sense of peace permeates you, yet gloom that this is the end of one of the greatest stories of all time. You also have a new perspective of Dumbledore, and his imperfections.

The Epilogue on the other hand is bad, plain bad and I expected better from Rowling. She merely completes the circle by depicting Harry and Ginny's kids getting on the Hogwarts Express nineteen years later. I was expecting something about what all the main characters did for a living, what was the state of the wizarding world, the attitude towards lesser beings. I would also have liked a bit of the immediate aftermath of the end of Voldemort, I mean there has to be a lot of cleaning up. Harry and the Dursleys meeting again would have helped.

Considering that this was the last book a decent 700-750 pages would be better, perhaps she could expand more on the fifty who died, and what the other members of the Order where doing when the trio were zooming along the countryside. A bit of contact with their friends could have really helped them.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finished reading the Deathly Hallows

I've just finished reading the deathly hallows ( took about 7 hours ). I'm still in a state of shock and amazement about the book. Can't think of what I should type here. Infact its so good I can't think of it as a book, it's almost real

Friday, July 20, 2007

Deathly Hallows: 10 hours to go

Its just 10 hours for DH to release worldwide, and although I'm not part of the lucky few to get their copy at 12 ( I am getting mine on Sunday ) I am excited nevertheless. Like every HP fan I've been itching to know how everything that the books have been leading up to, ends. Ofcourse it will be the end of another phenomenon and their is a certain amount of sadness.
Anyway stupid NYTimes decided to put out a few spoilers and so now I know what the Deathly Hallows really are.

ColourCode: Making progress

ColourCode has been getting along quite well for the last week. I now firmly have the basic design for my plans in working code. The language parser and handlers are coordinating well and this might just be one of the best designs I've ever envisioned.
Once the main program is in place writing language handlers and formatters for ColourCode will be really easy.
At this stage only the Ruby language handler is complete, and until I can make it work perfectly for a large amount of code, no other handlers are expected.
ColourCode 0.x will also have PDF support due to the Ruby-PDF project.

You can download a development snapshot made at the time of writing this. Most code which needs to be commented is commented.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the heart

Just back from seeing the fifth movie, and I'm in such a state of euphoria, I am just gonna let my subconscious type this. Man its so awesomely, splendidly, really really great. The effects, the acting, the everything is so totally spectacular. Its short ofcourse, but they have managed to put in enough to satisfy those who have read the book. It's this really cool thing about all these epic stories, HP, LOTR, Star Wars, they so totally immerse you in their world, trapping you for a few hours in a place with no worries, make you forget about your routine life. And if you are passionate about these things like I am, then you remember everything about them. I can probably list all the spells in HP and the whole history of Middle Earth, but I can't remember half the things I learnt yesterday in math. I just can't express in words how I feel after reading/watching stuff as good as this. So I will just leave those who do feel these things like I do to enjoy them...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Secret Question System is insecure

Seeing that this is so obvious and easily breakable, I'm surprised sites still continue to use the secret question to recover your password. The problem is not so much in the system as in the questions chosen. A really secret question would be one which is known to you and only to you. But usually secret questions involve your mother's maiden name, or your pet or childhood hero. Now to anyone who has known you for a sufficient amount of time, and anyone who has read your profile on one of the social networking sites you are a member of, these are easily answerable. Not only does this introduce a loop-hole in the system, the secret question is often not easily changed.
The solution to the problem is simple, and one that I've been using for a few years now. The answer to the secret question should be totally unrelated to the context of the question yet memorable to you. For example, if the question is Your pet's name?, your answer would be say Thorondor ( Lord of the Rings ). That way, the chances of guessing the answer are very remote.

Friday, July 06, 2007

ColourCode: New ideas and old improvements

Now that TetraBlocks is done, its time to start working on the latest and greatest ColourCode release ever. Though the next version should be called 0.3, I might bump it up a few notches if everything works out as planned.

One of the major things I've been planning is to implement the Language Descriptors in Ruby itself rather than text files or XML. This would allow them to be more context sensitive and basically do more stuff to improve highlighting. For now this is just a vision, and I haven't really got around to even scribbling exactly what it's going to be.

Other improvements include:
  • Support for highlighting multiple files at once, or a complete directory
  • Using the optparse module to parse command line arguments
  • Decoupling of the actual highlighting code and the interface code so that ColourCode can be used as a library
  • Change the colour map from CSS to a format independent one
  • HTML line numbers are generated using an ordered list.
  • Add support for more languages.