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02/01/2009

Bits and pieces

Happy new year!

It's all been a bit quiet round here recently (I write more code these days), but here are a few miscellaneous bits and pieces of newLISP-related stuff.

newLISP version 10 has been released! It's full of cool things, and it's quicker (slightly) than version 9.4.5. It's not 100% compatible with earlier versions, though, so you'd better read the release notes carefully. The transition to version 10 will take some time: this site is (at the time of writing) running on version 9.3, which is two versions ago now. But any transition takes time. Most of the files in downloads have been updated to version 10.

I've switched off comments on this blog. It's a pity, because I found my automatic newLISP real-time Bayesian comment-spam eliminator worked really well (about 99.5% effective). But there are still far too many comment spammers looking for somewhere to practise, and I don't want them to use my disk space or CPU cycles when they do.

Lutz is very kindly hosting the latest iteration of my Introduction to newLISP tutorial. Apart from making changes related to newLISP 10, the only major improvement for this version is the addition of coloured code listings, for which I had to write some translation code: one to display in HTML (the dreaded tag) and one to output text formatted in the TEX-based system I use, called ConTeXt.

For editing newLISP code, I've found myself back with BBEdit, the classic text editor for Macs. I'm finding the current version, 9.1, to be very adaptable. In the screen shot below, I've just typed the letters "wri". The completion/clippings system in BBEdit is suggesting I use one of six functions, and gives me the syntax for each one. If I select one of these, I'll insert the template at the current insertion point - although that requires me to replace the placeholders. It's very useful for those functions for which I can never remember the order, such as starts-with). Setting it up requires a 10-line newLISP script - let me know if you'd like a copy.

completion in BBEdit using clippings

Unfortunately, the 2008 newLISP competition didn't really take off. My contribution is on the downloads page - mycroft, a simple newLISP code profiler. The HTML and CSS code took me much longer to figure out than the newLISP code!

Finally, a mention for a really cool MacOS application called Espionage. It's an excellent encryption and security product. I tried it out and the user experience is first class, and the software does a complicated job in real style. I'm hoping to be able to justify buying it (I don't have many secrets...). Oh, Espionage has no relevance for newLISP that I'm aware of, but I think the author has contributed to the newLISP forums, so he's a pretty talented guy!

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