Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I have a bloody cold

I read packrat parsers in Haskell [PDF], and understood only about 25%.

I read 'Do androids dream of electric sheep?' by Philip K. Dick and 'In search of Schrödinger's cat' by John Gribbin and understood both.

I also got a deadtree version of 'Programming Pearls' by Jon Bentley

I still have two exams to give.

I am still having some trouble with parsing Markdown in factor.

I am an egoist for starting all the sentences with I.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

opensocial recent tracks

After two days of OpenSocial hacking, here is my app, which fetches the users Recent tracks and displays it on the profile. Now since there is no way to directly fetch the username, I had to resort to asking the user. Also 1.0 although usable has a few errors which aren't handled smoothly. But they do not pose security risks. For now its in the sandbox, if you have access you can view it here Recent Track and give me some feedback. It won't be on Orkut for a few days since there is a pretty large queue for applications waiting to be moderated.

Oh yeah, here's the project page on Google Code.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Firefox feature request

I love to hack URLs to navigate the web, especially for sites with clean urls. What I'd love is if Firefox could hack the address bar text field so that the slash '/' is the default word seperator, instead of the usual space. This way just pressing Shift + Left/Right Arrow would allow power users to quickly select clean url tokens and edit them faster. This could even be improved so that the ampersand '&' is also a tokenizer.

Why haven't I posted this on Mozilla's bug tracker as a feature request, because I don't want to create an account, and I'm hoping that some reader who has one will do it for me :p

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OOXML: The public doesn't care

The past few months, the web has been buzzing with criticisms of OOXML. Every geek with some unbiased and proper understanding is against OOXML. Now the International Suckups Organisation has ratified it as a standard, which means people will most certainly use it if the decision isn't revoked in a few months. The thing is that for all the non geeks Microsoft is this demi-God and if it makes a standard they are going to use it. They don't care how bad it is, how long it is, or how it was standardized in a corrupt manner. They will just squeak along "Ooh! its by Microsoft, lets use it."
Now what the community should be doing is to spread FUD about Microsoft the way it does about us. Unfortunately, we know to stick with the ethics of the industry/world. Fortunately we atleast aren't losing our decency to make money or acheive world domination.

Slashdot, ISO calls for OOXML ceasefire. This reminds me of the HD-DVD key fiasco on Digg, they are just telling people to start screaming.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Choosing the right defaults

A big part of creating a good user experience is choosing the right defaults. A calendar is a particularly striking example. When you use a calendar widget to fill in a date, the context should determine a reasonable default date.

If you were booking a plane ticket, today's date would be a nice default.

But if you are entering your birth date, today is so NOT a good default, but it is seen here

This was found at which is a page for an exam in India. Now who gives an exam on the day they are born? This should ideally be 1990 since the majority of people giving this exam will be 17/18 now.

So choose good defaults