Monday, May 21, 2012

TeXlipse is again my favorite LaTeX environment

I have always enjoyed TeXlipse for writing LaTeX. It has some snazzy features like context menus of your label and cite tags and automatic insertion of end tags and close braces. It even manages the build for you when you save a source file.

I used it for a long time, but finally its one annoying problem finally took over; its hard to start a new project. Not really hard, but harder than your typical LaTeX editor. The problem is that Eclipse is a generic developer environment and many languages need so much boilerplate that it kinda assumes that you LaTeX project will need it too. This means you have workspaces and configuration and everything, every time you start a new little project.

So I started getting lazy; I was using a text editor and the brilliant LaTeXmk to manage the build (much like TeXlipse did for me). It was just that much easier to create a new text file and start editing. Of course the difference between one click and five clicks to start a new document is a bad reason to choose an editor.

I am working on my Thesis now and finally was getting tired of the small potatoes environment. So I went to install TeXlipse on my new box and to my delight I found that they had added a sub-project called Pdf4Eclipse. This finally brings that last piece of the puzzle that many LaTeX environments have been missing, an inline pdf previewer with full forward/reverse search capability. Its great, one more window in the environment and now I can edit and preview easily, moving back and forth with a few simple clicks.

Once I had gotten this far I decided to add the pièce de résistance, git integration! The last time I tried to version control within eclipse I was back when I was using Bazaar. Now I have nothing against Bazaar in concept, but it never felt natural to me, I didn't grok the workflow. Git has been a revelation to me and possibly better, GitHub has made hosting my development so easy. So I installed the EGit/JGit plugins in my shiny new TeXlipse enabled eclipse editor and ... wow!

I cannot describe how easy this rig is now. The best development features now paired with inline PDF preview AND GitHub integration. Simply excellent! Congrats to all the devs on all these projects, you have won me back in a big way. Cheers!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pithos -- Gnome Padora Client

One reason that I hadn't used Pandora in a while was that I most want to listen to music when working at the computer, however when I work at the computer I use the processor, hard! Unfortunately Pandora's webclient (flash based) sucks up processor power. Thankfully Kevin Mehall created a native Gnome client called Pithos! I'm just trying it right now but it seems to do the trick!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Joy of For-Loops in Making Figures

I love TikZ, the "vector" graphics package for LaTeX. One of the biggest reasons is that I can programmatically create the drawing. For example the nested foreach loops in this code saved me lots of work:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pretty printing to console

Another little self-reminder, pretty print data structure to console with Data::Format::Pretty::Console

Sunday, August 28, 2011

xdotool for programmatic x events

Just a little self-reminder. I just learned about xdotool, with which one can send keystrokes or other x interactions to programs programmatically.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Learning Perl from Perldoc

Today I found myself thinking about the best documents in the perldoc collection. I end up thinking that one could learn learn almost all you need of Perl simply by reading perlintro (the basic introduction), perlreftut (the tutorial on references and how to use them) and perltoot (Tom's Object-Oriented Tutorial).

The last could be omitted if you wanted to use Moose OO, however reading it still gives insight into how a hashref-based object works. Moose objects are still constructed in this way even if you don't see it.

Of course there is far more to learn from perldoc and once you include the documentation from modules this pool of knowledge is endless. I know documenting your modules is a pain, but good documentation is one of Perl's great strengths!