My friend Amy Bowser-Rollins kindly invited me on her Legal Tech Mastery show. This is extra special because I get to be episode one:
Tired of websites trapping your shortcut keys for their own ends? Me too. Usually, the problem is that they take over the Firefox slash-to-search shortcut. But what can we do about it?
First, we could tolerate it and just use ctrl+f instead. On some slash-abusing sites, like Bitbucket, this isn’t a terrible option: they rarely include long pages that require quick jumps. In api documentation, however, it’s nightmarish.
Second, we could try to stamp out the evil by filing bugs and fighting for justice. There is some hope for this: Github, for example, used to abuse the slash key and no longer does. In general, however, it devolves into Whac-A-Mole. Django rightly rejected slash abuse in in 2008, only to have it sneak into the Django docs in 2015. [As if to prove my point, Github reinstated slash abuse not long after I wrote this.]
Finally, we could just fix it. This Greasemonkey script lets you list known abusers and prevent them from seeing slash keystrokes. After some time, however, I realized that my Greasemonkey approach did not go far enough: it only prevents abuse of one keystroke and only on selected sites.
In fact, there are only a handful of sensible reasons for any website to capture a keystroke, ever. Why not just stop them all?
So, I welcome Keyboard Savior Xtreme. Take back all your keystrokes.
After a long hiatus while I built Text Collector, last week I finally returned to my paradigm shifting language, Comefrom0x10. It now has a home page on Read the Docs that features a tutorial, standard library documentation and more.
Except for a couple minor bugs, its implementation was actually functionally complete eight months ago. I hesitated to release it, however, because of rather embarrassing performance problems.
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to say that Cf0x10 is just slow. It’s catastrophically slow. The brainfuck.cf0x10 program takes 10 seconds to run helloworld.b on the laptop I’m using to write this, and gets dramatically worse as the program gets longer.
What went wrong?
It’s not a fundamental problem with the comefrom paradigm, but a consequence of the twisted way the language took on a life of its own during implementation. I started with the idea that I was building a rather ordinary stack-based interpreter, but Cf0x10 would have none of it. As it evolved, the original idea became a disfigured mutant: I can demonstrate with tests that it works, but it’s too convoluted to allow necessary optimizations.
Oh well, as they say, first make it right, then
make it fast release it.