December 27th, 2008
Finally, a small script that changes EndNote citations to BibTex citations is here:
There is no download required, it is free, and it is convenient.
Every time I would be writing a paper, I would stumble across some citation that would be available only in EndNote format, which then I would have to manually transform to Bibtex. But no more, this handy script does the translation automatically. There are many tools currently available, but they are usually plugins to Endnote, or to other citation management software. This is a simple standalone script.
December 25th, 2008
It is Christmas morning, 6:40 AM, and I could perhaps be having a heart attack from laughter this very moment. I decided to do some long pending work, and that required me to teach a junior developer about XHTML. I thought – sure, I will just guide him to some reasonable resource on the web. Except, the first 3 pages of Google links that come up are pages that are immersed with advertisements with some sparse knowledge about XHTML. So, I thought I should create a page here:
XHTML stands for EXtensible HyperText Markup Language (If you are familiar with HTML 4.0, then really there are very minor differences, XHTML is essentially a stricter version of that, which is also in XML). So, basically, what this means is that XHTML is both HTML, and XML.
If you have been programming in HTML, then I only need to guide you to what you need to do different:
- Change case of your HTML tags to lower case. So, write <html> instead of <HTML>.
- Close your tags. In HTML, closing tags is sometimes optional. For example, if you start a bold (<b>) tag, but never close it, it automatically closes when the paragraph finishes. In XHTML, however, it is mandatory. So, your code should look like: <p><b>This is bold text</b></p>.
- Make sure that standalone tags like <BR> get closed too. In XML, empty tags are closed by putting a slash before the right angle bracket, so that becomes: <br/>
- Make sure your tags close in proper nested order. So, that means, you cannot write: <i><b>This is bold italic</i></b>. The correct way in XHTML of course would be to write: <i><b>This is bold italic</b></i>.
Really, that is most of it.
After changing your old HTML code to XHTML, you can validate your code by using the W3C validator service, available at: http://validator.w3.org/ Click on more options to specify that you would like to validate your code against XHTML specification.
“HAPPY END” to XHTML.
And btw, Merry Xmas!
December 20th, 2008
Hmmph, just spent an hour making a brochure in MS Word. Only to find out that my printer wont actually print the areas that I had used! Stupid me.
In case you ever need to make a brochure in Word, do yourself a favor, and first create a simple Word document with very low margins, and create some nested borders in those areas. Then, print it. That way, you will know what margins the printer will actually print to. Then, you can use that to make your brochure within those limits only. Much better option than wasting an hour.
Time for some tea now.
December 14th, 2008
I just spent about 40 minutes looking at the comic book describing Google’s shiny new browser. Really loved the comic book (and the ideas that Chrome has been built on). Then, I downloaded Chrome, and noticed that my default way of using Firefox isn’t so compatible with Chrome. In Firefox, I go to my bookmarks using my magic codes, starting with Alt-B to open the bookmarks. For example, my magic code to come to this blog is: Alt B -> G -> S (for Bookmarks -> bloGs -> Software Journal).
Perhaps Chrome’s way of typing into the universal bar will take some getting used to, but as you know, the problem with browsers is that we are not so tolerant.
December 8th, 2008
Browser wars are over, in a way. Firefox at this point has a really strong following and the latest browser statistics show it neck to neck with IE 6 + 7. I personally use both, and I am a bit surprised that there are some essential features in Firefox, that IE lacks. I am not really sure if the IE team has not noticed these, or if they have decided not to implement those features for a reason.
- Ability to close a selected non focused tab. In Firefox, you can close the tabs other than the current one by clicking on that tab’s delete (X) button. In IE 7, you cant – you have to first move to that tab, and then close that one (the X only shows for the active tab). Both IE and FF have a “Right click -> Close other tabs” option though.
- Ability to highlight some text and search for it. In Firefox, you can select some text, right click, and do search (using whichever search engine is your default). No such feature in IE7.
- Ability to load bookmarks from one file. When moving between computers, it is so easy to move full firefox settings by simply copying the profile folder, or at least copying the bookmarks by using the file import export. No such option in IE7.
- Addons are very limited for IE. Granted that these addons are made by independent developers, but still, for an end user, this is an important advantage in Firefox.
Perhaps these features are coming in IE8, but that is still in beta.