Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

Cool toys for Firefox and Emacs

Firefox extensions

The release of Firefox 1.5 has awakened my interest in the browser, and a few extensions can make life easier.

View Rendered Source Chart
Really handy for a structured view of an HTML page's source. The big advantage is that is displays generated source too, perfect for figuring out AJAX applications.
Sheer eye candy. Thumbnail all your tabbed pages into one page.
Browser button for working with the del.icio.us bookmarks site. I've been reluctant to use remote bookmarks before, this extension might just push me over the edge. Really well thought-out integration with the browser.

Rails in Emacs

Seeing as I'm not quite prepared to switch to OS X just in order to get TextMate, I figured it was time again to play with my editing environment.

Pages from InVisible Blog and Scott Barron give a lot of tips as to the current state of play with Rails and Emacs.

I've now got a reasonably pleasant setup, though I wasn't inclined to go the whole way to running the ECB IDE inside Emacs. On Ubuntu, the packages you are looking for are: speedbar eieio semantic ruby-elisp mmm-mode. I also found pabbrev a very handy interface for tab completion.

Screenshot of Emacs editing a Rails application

The future for Ruby and Emacs is looking hopeful. I learned that a proper Ruby grammar for the semantic package is being worked on, which will enable class browsing and intelligent completion.

I am still disappointed that there's no version of Emacs that uses Xft or Pango for anti-aliased font rendering. To get sharp fonts, I still need to use a bitmap font like misc-fixed. If I were in the business of offering bounties for open source development, dragging Emacs into the GTK2/Pango era would be the biggest one.

Checking the mailing lists indicates that Pango is not suitable for Emacs, but no alternative scheme ever seems to bear fruit. Yet if Aquamacs can do it...

If somebody came along with a decent TextMate-a-like for GNOME, I'd pay good money for it. I've never been really happy with an editor since Cygnus Ed. Hallski and I keep talking about this, and only just manage to resist wasting months of time on trying to write one ourselves.

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