Three things I discovered today

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Amidst trying to get ready to launch a major website and playing with my own personal projects, I realized three things today. How important they are is debatable, and their usefulness depends entirely on what you’re working on right now.

  1. VoodooPad1 supports column selection (hold down the option key and drag) and non-contiguous text selection. The former is a major boon in many situations, such as wanting to remove all of the spaces/tabs between a number at the beginning of lines in a list, and the first character in the list. That would make more sense if I had a picture for you, but this is a quick post and there’s no time for such frivolity. Just try it. The latter is neat, but I’ve never really found a use for it. By holding down the Command key and dragging in areas that don’t touch, you can create multiple selections and operate on them all at once. I’m sure there’s a valid use case for that… I just think it’s neat that it’s there. I’m weird like that.
  2. Python Markdown supports attributes. By placing {@class=alignright} in the alt text for an image definition, for instance, you can add class="alignright" within that element. It doesn’t work very well for things like horizontal rules (messes up the parsing) or unordered lists (gets assigned to individual list items), but for paragraphs, images and other block elements, it’s awesome. Markdown has become one of my favorite writing tools, so this is cool news.2 3
  3. When my wife4 is out-of-town for a week, things go to hell pretty fast. I didn’t just discover that today, but I further proved it.

I’ll explain why I care about the second item in an upcoming post (teaser: it’s about VoodooPad, Python Markdown Extra and running a live website with VoodooPad). You may never get an explanation on the third item, but I’m sure you’ll be all right with that.

Bonus discovery: Our pit bull, Emma, is totally awesome. You know you want to click here for a taste of the awesomesauce. For the last week, it’s just been her, me and a crazy pit mix we’re fostering named Honey, and we all still love each other.

Bonus tip: want to know a nifty way to get the direct image urls from your (or anyone’s) Flickr images, despite the new Flickr design? Use getURLinfo. You just enter the url of the page after their url, and optionally add a format (xml or json) to the end as a query string: Works well for finding out where shortened url’s go, too… if you don’t like all of the options I threw out this weekend.

  1. I’ve always (for as long as I’ve known about it, and it’s been a while) loved VoodooPad, but have only recently really tapped into the power of it. Combine tagging with the ability to run Python, Lua and scripts in other languages based on numerous triggers and it becomes the ultimate geek notebook. Seriously, if you’re a Mac user who geeks out (and I assume you are because you’re reading this blog), check it out.

  2. You can test out syntax for Python Markdown Extra with the Dingus Markdown sandbox, which is a very handy tool. Markdown Extra is similar to MultiMarkdown, and the Python implementation has a few extra goodies.

  3. For general Markdown testing and a comparison of Markdown flavors, check out BabelMark.

  4. Aditi, also shown here with our baby-killing sweet, loving and totally awesome pit bull, Emma.