Hackerific

last update:

On of the things that makes gnuplot so powerful is its dazzling array of options. With this great number of options comes a heavy reliance on the manual, and this has meant that until recently, when I was scripting graphs for my thesis I had to have TextMate and a terminal running gnuplot fired up, and keep on switching between them when I needed to get some help. That’s why I decided to add support for gnuplot’s built-in help into the Gnuplot bundle.

I’ve taken over maintainership of the TextMate Matlab bundle as of last week, after what seems to have been quite a long period without a maintainer. Hopefully, I can fix a few of the glitches (hopefully I already have), and I’ve got plans to add various bits of useful functionality. My current todo list includes: Updating the snippets to reflect TextMate conventions (work in progress). Adding more snippets for useful functions to help speed up writing code.

I’ve recently started developing a Gnuplot bundle for TextMate, and I’ve decided to host it on GitHub. Like a lot of people, I’ve recently started using Git instead of SVK, my previous choice of distributed VCS and SVN, so hosting on GitHub seemed a natural choice; plus how could I possibly ignore their cool network graphs?! Gnuplot is an incredibly versatile and complex piece of graphing software which runs on a lot of different platforms, and can output even more different formats.

Recently, I’ve been generating gazillions of sequences of pngs that I’ve saved from MATLAB. The filenames look like: interesting_image_<01--nn>.png What I really want is movies, but I really don’t like using MATLAB’s flakey movie generation code, it produces low quality output with ginormous files, and is really slow. This is where and Quicktime Pro comes in. By allowing you to open sequences of images, and then save them as movies, it’s half way to a nice solution, but it still involves too many clicks, and tends to over-compress my nice clean pngs.

A few days ago, on one of my regular del.icio.us/popular procrastination research trawls, I discovered DTerm, a HUD style, context-sensitive, drop down command line thingemy. It’s pretty cool, with useful features like ‘insert selected items’, and ‘copy results’ and after a couple of updates I can see it being totally great. Here’s a quick screenshot: I’d recommend taking at look at their site for a more complete screencast with some useful ideas.