Thursday, March 28, 2013

JavaScript In-Place Editors

After a post on jquery-in-place-editor (link), I was looking for more in-place editor controls. Discussions on StackOverflow (amazingly) weren't very fruitful but the search was successful. Here are some results.

  • Xeditable (linkdemo), incorporates Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery UI, or just jQuery.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Working with Variables in Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE allows storing and recalling values in the scripts.
To get a value from a hidden field use
storeValue | //input[@id='ItemId'] | itemId
This will store the value of the hidden input element into a variable named itemId.
To retrieve this variable later simply refer to it as
inside any other command.

See more Selenium-related tips on my Selenium page.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creating installers with Visual Studio 2012

With Visual Studio 2012 there is no more integrated option to create installer packages for components. Setup project type has been discontinued for a while now. Here are some alternatives:

Friday, March 22, 2013

New favourite note taking app

After quite a while, Google published a note-taking app for Android. The name is Google Keep. It is, at the same time, a web application and is accessible from
The app offers text notes, photo notes, voice notes, and task lists. Task lists are not hierarchical but are good enough for jotting down a quick list.
The app works offline, has fast (offline) search, and synchronizes with Google Drive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

WIX Resources

Since Setup projects are dead and not available with Visual Studio 2012 probably the best option is to use Windows Installer XML Toolset, or WIX.
The tutorial is available here and a graphical view of the tools is here- link.

Here are some useful Windows Installer XML (WIX) resources:

Looking for Bookmark Manager

It's been so many years but bookmark management is still a pain in a wrong place. My bookmarks are now spread out across systems and programs and it is hard to pick up which one is where. Now I'm embarking on a task of finding a decent bookmark manager that:
  • works across platforms (Android, Linux, Windows, for a start)
  • syncs across those same platforms
  • allows quick search
  • allows locating the search results in the folder hierarchy
  • has notes field that is searchable
  • works with whatever the default browser is
Here are some findings:
  • NetVisualize Favorites
    So far I've used NetVisualize Favorites for years. It worked well on Windows and synchronized through Dropbox. Worked with any browser. However, it is not being developed further so it is missing all the modern features of cross-platform and online cooperation. That's why I'm looking for alternative.
  • Firefox Bookmarks
    While convenient as cross-platform tool that syncs, it is sometimes suffering from performance problems.
  • Chrome Bookmarks
    Has sync across platforms and devices. Missing description field and search. Annoying thing on desktop is that it is impossible to figure out the directories where the search result records are stored. Directory information adds a lot of useful contextual information to the bookmark and not having it available is confusing.
    On mobile there is a bug in layout that makes it impossible to work with even a moderate number of bookmarks.
  • Opera Bookmarks <- br="" current="" favorite="">What a gem. Someone recommended this and now I'm using it as a default bookmark manager to try it out.
    Has versions for Android, Linux, Windows. Syncs across platforms.
    NetVisualize can export directly to Opera format, together with Description field!
    Has awesomely fast quick find that search in Description.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Full-screen Google Tasks

If you are using Google Tasks, here is the URL for the full-page view:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Static-site generators

Looking for a templating engine that generates a fully static-HTML web site.
Some initial leads come from Node Based Static Site Generators post (link).
The requirements would be that the templating engine can run on lots of machines. A Node.js-based engine would be great. Although limited to PCs when ran directly, it would allow working with online IDEs to modify the site contents.


Uses marked templates and is relatively simple to get going. I would still prefer something simpler as sometimes it is not obvious what is missing in the overall structure of the files.


Current favorite.
The file structure seems the simplest. Supports MarkDown templates (marked). Has a file monitor that rebuilds on any file save, and a built-in server for previewing the site.
Quick start (link)


Uses jade templates which are some hybrid between MarkDown and HTML. This is a half-way solution and I see no point using this quazi-HTML instead of the real thing. Or, if moving away from HTML (the presentation) to the content then I would prefer something like MarkDown.
The library is extensible but one would have to write an own plugin to be able to use marked templates.
No go.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My new favourite Windows network traffic monitor

NetBalancer is my new favourite network traffic monitor. It displays network bandwidth usage per process. The concept is similar to NetLimiter. The difference is that the free version of NetBalancer allows setting the limits to processes. I don't usually use this functionality.
Why I like NetBalancer is that it has excellent monitoring features. Process details, charts, real-time data display in a standard window, floating window that blurs when hovering over it, and a tray icon.

NetBalancer is an internet traffic control and monitoring tool for Windows.
Web site

Install Linux on Netbook

Here are instructions on how to install Mint on a netbook under Windows. This seems like a good option for trying out Linux on netbook as it keeps Windows installation intact as a fallback.

Install Linux Mint on Your Computer or Netbook

Friday, March 15, 2013

Host your own cloud

"Own Cloud" concept is ready and stable. Internet connections are available to many. So, will self-hosted come back? Externally hosted solutions are convenient but they might eventually shut down when they realize they are not making enough in order to survive as a business.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader migration

So, many seem upset about Google Reader shutting down, and worked up with migration of their feeds to somewhere better.
My current take is Opera browser. It has a built-in RSS feed reader. The reader has a good performance and offers plenty of options I'd expect from a decent feed reader. Another benefit is that it comes with Opera so no extra software to install. Import and export of OPML is a breeze.
So the trial starts.

The issues to resolve:

  • sync across devices/instances
  • Android version
  • no external dependencies

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ORM Comparisons for .NET or is a site that has a few nice comparisons between .NET object-relational mapping (ORM) frameworks.
The results are mostly from 2009 and 2010 but, fortunately, there has not been too many changes in the meantime.
It is impressive to see the speed differences among frameworks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

AeroFS - Private File Sync and Share

The invitation to AeroFS has just arrived.
AeroFS is your own private "dropbox". It is a full service that allows syncing your various devices without third-party servers.

AeroFS - Private File Sync and Share

Friday, March 08, 2013

Developer Tools - Gadgets API — Google Developers

Google Gadgets Editor contains a template for creating a gadget. The reason I'm interested in gadgets is that this currently seem to be the only way to add JavaScript code to Google Sites. Of course, the code is limited to the content of the gadget, as these are inserted via iframe. That is, however, enough for small, isolated pieces of functionality on hosted pages, like swapping images, etc.

The tool (with the template) is here:
Developer Tools - Gadgets API — Google Developers

Google as also adding App scripts support to Google Sites but I have not looked into it in much detail. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Unicode character table

Map of all Unicode characters. Simply amazing. Searchable.

Unicode character table

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Opera browser beta - Android Apps on Google Play

Opera Beta is out! While I'm enjoying the current Opera Mobile browser, the beta version is a step ahead, showing the upcoming features. Plus, it is a great opportunity to send feedback and contribute to that great piece of software.
Here are some of the pros of Opera Mobile, from my perspective:
  • Text reflow- When zooming in and out, the default option is to reformat the text. So, even when you zoom in on a page, all the text is still displayed so no scrolling is needed. This is just brilliantly implemented.
  • Excellent zoom in/out - I find it very convenient to zoom in with double tap, and go back to full page the same way. 
  • Progress bar - I like the way loading progress is indicated in the address bar, reusing the space and showing how long until all the content is loaded.
  • Full screen view - There is an option to show browser in full-screen view, hiding the Android status bar. Status bar is useful at times and it is quite easy to bring it back. This feature is great in combination with the one below...
  • Address bar hiding - Address bar goes away when you scroll the page down and comes back when scrolling the page up. Similar to default Android browser behavior. It would be great if the Android status bar would hide/show at the same time with address bar. More screen real estate could be used to display the page content.
  • Excellent log-in field matching - Finally a browser that properly matches log-in fields and this works on most pages I tried. I often had issues with other browsers, messing up fields and values.
  • Synchronization - Similar to Chrome, Opera synchronizes across all your browsers, desktop and mobile. 
  • Online access to sync data - The feature is called Opera Link and is also accessible online for access through a web browser - here. Quite convenient to access your bookmarks from a foreign device or PC.
  • Rendering quality - For some reason I just see less weird-looking pages on Opera than in other mobile browsers and the whole browsing feel is much more like browsing on desktop. 
  • Rendering speed - Rendering is just reliable and fast. 
  • Bookmarks that work - Unfortunately for Chrome, my bookmarks got screwed up after scrolling halfway through the list. Opera ones seem to work with even the larger amount of bookmarks, after importing the old ones plus adding new ones to the collection.
  • Show Image - a nice feature for pages where not the whole picture fits the viewing area. Long-tap on image and select "View Image" and it will open in a separate tab. Can be zoomed in and scrolled and analyzed for heart's content then.
  • Tab switching - I find this way of tab switching, with previews, just superior to anything else. Maybe the fact that the whole experience is *fast* contributes to the effect.
  • Integrated download manager - This is extremely convenient for sites that require authentication for download. Now downloading finally works properly! No need to use desktop just to download a file when authentication is required.
  • In-browser Notes - This is still something I'm getting used to but is very usefull and often needed. Especially when notes are synchronized with other devices.
  • Zoom-In when tapping multiple links - This is a great feature. When, while tapping, your finger touches multiple links, the browser will zoom in and mark the ones you touched. That way you can tap on the one you really want.
Notes on Opera Beta:
Opera Mobile Beta is the first version utilizing WebKit rendering engine in Opera browser. Now, this change caused a design overhaul so most of the features listed above look and feel different. The drawbacks:
  • No address bar hiding, nor status bar hiding.
  • No progress bar.
Note, however, that this still is *beta* software and things might, and should, change in the future.

Opera browser beta - Android Apps on Google Play

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Webmaster Central - Verification home

Verification page for Google Sites.

Webmaster Central - Verification home

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

BlogThis! is a bookmarklet that makes it easy to create a blog post referencing the current page in the browser. A bookmarklet is a hyperlink containing some JavaScript that will pass the URL, page title, and selected text to Blogger. This allows having the link with the page title set in the new post.
Good thing is that this works in all browsers so no extensions needed.

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

Saturday, March 02, 2013

SearchMonkey - 'find in files' GUI

SearchMonkey is a cross-platform GUI tool for searching the text inside files.

download page

Transfer bookmarks from Chrome to Opera

The process is quite simple. Open Chrome Bookmark Manager, then select Organise -> Export Bookmarks to HTML file.

In Opera, open Bookmark Manager, then File -> Import Firefox bookmarks. Done.


Friday, March 01, 2013

Java (Applets) in Fedora 18

After some applets wouldn't run in either Chrome or Firefox on my Fedora 18 system, it was time for some investigation.
First I tried installing Oracle Java as some applets might be requiring it explicitely.

Oracle Java

Download Java from here. Follow the instructions for installing, from here.
Then, open "about:plugins" in your browser and check if the Java plugin is displayed there.

Verify Java installation here. Test applet support here or on JavaTester.
Remove old versions, as specified here.

While I first installed 32-bit version of Java, as suggested on Oracle's site, this is not correct. The proper version to install, even for applet support, is 64-bit, if on 64-bit system. After installing 64-bit version and setting it to be the active one, using 'alternatives', applets worked in both browsers!

Set default file handlers from Nautilus, Fedora 18

To set the default handler for file types do the following:
  1. Open Nautilus
  2. Locate the file you want to open
  3. Right-click on the file and select Properties
  4. Go to Open With tab
  5. Select the application from the list
  6. Click 'Set as default'
How can I make Exaile the default music player? - Ask Fedora: Community Knowledge Base and Support Forum