Dynamic regex debugging in a web page: Regex Powertoy
Regex Powertoy is a fun little tool I've put together for playing with regular expressions in a web browser. I just showed it to a small group here at Bar Camp. It requires the latest Java ("5.0"/"1.5") applet support, and as yet has only been tested in Firefox.
immediate highlighting of matches as pattern and input text are editted
drill-down into capturing group details
optional animation of matching progress -- heavy backtracking becomes obvious
"matchmark" bookmarks to prepopulate pattern/input text
Many more bells and whistles are possible. There have been similar tools as downloadable apps before, but nothing quite as interactive inside a web page, as far as I know.
I'm releasing the source code at Sourceforge under the GPL. (It's not pretty code -- quick hacks and whatever experiments survived to do the job.)
Comments, ideas, and contributed features welcome.
The tall head strikes back: 'long tail' much smaller than previously reported
Chris Anderson's Long Tail blog: A methodology for estimating Amazon's Long Tail sales
Anderson's originally-reported estimate, that the 'long tail' of books not among the 100,000 titles typically carried by a bricks-and-mortar Barnes & Noble accounts for 57% of Amazon's sales has been revised downwards. The new number is at most 36%, and perhaps as little as 20%. The 'tall head' strikes back.
Seeing more popups recently despite Firefox's built-in popup blocking? Chances are they're using a Flash embed to sneak through. From the above site, here's a little-known setting to disable this trick:
Type about:config into the Firefox location bar.
Right-click on the page and select New and then Integer.
For a small investment in political contributions and lobbying, a private firm with a tiny marina in the north bay got a $20 million federal handout to build a new commuter ferry terminal -- a terminal unplanned by regional transit authorities.
Even the local congresswoman who slipped this shameless pork into the bill, Lynn Woolsey, didn't seem to realize it was in the final version, nor that public transit agencies had shelved a similar plan due to environmental concerns.
The $286 billion highway/transportation bill contains over 6,300 projects, most just as dumb and corrupt as this one. The bill, HR3, passed 412y-8n-14a in the house and 91y-4n-5a in the senate.