Monday, November 9, 2009

Software that deserves a thank you

Today's post was originally supposed to be about my work on multiple database support for Django, but I'm exceptionally tired so that's been bumped to tomorrow, sorry. Instead I'm going to use today's post to give a thank you to some software I use that doesn't get enough press, and that surely deserves a thanks. I'm not going to be listing any libraries or programming languages just the desktop software I run day to day:

  • Chromium - I've been super please since switching to Chromium for my day to day browser, it's very fast, but I wish it had plugin support, and a debug tool like Firebug.
  • Firefox - My development browser, the cornucopia of plugins makes my life easier, everything from Firebug to DownloadThemAll.
  • XChat - It's my IRC client, I probably log about a dozen hours on IRC per day, maybe more. The biggest wart I have with it is that ctrl+l clears the screen, and that's not bad for software I use for 70+ hours a week.
  • Gedit - It's my text editor. Syntax highlighting, file browser, proper indentation support, I'm not sure there's a whole lot more to ask for.
  • Skype - Between using it to record DjangoDose to catching up with friends it's an invaluable asset.
  • Ubuntu - My operating system, by extension the Linux kernel, Gnome desktop and everything else that goes into it should all take a bow.

And that's pretty much it for desktop software, I took a peak back at my list from last year and it's almost identical, I guess all of this software is doing something right. I also wanted to take a minute to thank various web services I use:

  • Pandora - I blow through my monthly allowance of 40 hours in one week. I think that says something.
  • - I love the fact that it tracks all of the stats about the music I listen to. I really wish it had a way to combine the "music neighborhood" and friends features to find people in my social graph with similar taste in music.
  • Github - It really is the bee's knees of code hosting software. There's very little to say other than the number of repositories I have should stand as a testament to its quality.
  • Blogger - I use it to host this blog, and while I'm actively working towards moving away from it, for now it stays and it deserves a thank you.
  • Invoice Machine - It takes most of the tedium out of dealing with invoicing, I'm grateful for that.

And that's my list. I promise that tomorrow I'll have my post on multiple database support. See you then.


  1. Launching chromium with --enable-plugins makes at least Flash work. With --enable-user-scripts you can put Greasemonkey scripts into ~/.config/chromium/Default/User Scripts/

    Firebug is still lacking afaik, but adding the chromium-browser-inspector package integrates a similar feature to Chromium.

    If you're not already, use the Chromium PPA:

  2. Daniel, I'm already using --enable-plugins to have Flash work, when I said plugins I meant something like Firefox's addons. Thanks for the browser-inspector hint!

  3. Gedit: really? IIRC, it has no code folding, no support for projects (or any sort of tree-based browsing), and most importantly, no vi-bindings ;). If you're happy with it, then that's alright, but I encourage you to check out a few of the other options (I'm a Komodo fan myself).

    If you love the stats aspect of as much as I do, you better be using something to scrobble plays from Pandora. I've previously used a firefox extension[1] for this, but now I just skip the browser altogether and use this really nifty ncurses interface to pandora[2]. Besides using lower resources, it also has the advantage of not having advertisements.


  4. Nice initiative :)

    My thanks go to to the developers of: vim, tmux, mutt, git, gitosis, github, ipython and LittleSnapper -- tools I use almost every day of the year.

    I use PhotoShop and Illustrator on a daily basis, but that experience does not make me feel warm enough to extend my gratitude.

    I've also managed to switch to WebKit almost exclusively as the debuggning tools are now pretty mature. There are things that I prefer in Firefox still (tab-navigation mostly), but the overall experience of using Safari is so much better.

  5. I just found and it works perfectly in the PPA build.


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