Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 05:37:28 AM EST
Most software indulges in version numbering along an unbounded
trajectory. It seems that those applications can endure an almost
endless progression of added features for the next release. It seems
quite in line with the neoliberal consensus that better is always
more, in an ever increasing amount. The alternative is to use a
Knuth has specified that TeX's
version number converges to π, therefore version 3.1415 is only
the fourth minor revision after version 3. The next minor revision
will be version 3.14159. Similarly, MetaFont's version number
converges to e (2.7182818284...).
Somehow, the tendency of the dominant software releases to use
unbounded version numbering seems symptomatic of the neoliberal
pathology that will not recognize the convergent nature of maturing
technologies, in an effort to encourage consumption of ever 'new'
This is just to introduce the latest version of the Firefox extension [UPDATE new file with some bug-fixes + DoDo's button][UPDATE2 lets try again...] TribExt, which
I started a while a go. Update [2007-9-24 12:28:47 by DoDo]: Now also downloadable from ET.
A nifty browser extension to enhance your ET experience — promoted by Migeru
So, are you running Firefox? (If not, you really should get it here) If so, would you consider downloading and installing the new version of TribExt? To do this, download the file to your computer. (Annoying anti-bot download page, sorry!) Then open it with Firefox ("File" - "Open File" == Ctrl-O) which will install it in the appropriate place.
The new version comes with lots of new goodies. The goal, however, is
not to provide an ever expanding set of features in an unbounded way.
But to converge towards the ideally working extension for the optimum
- You will find a new button for each comment, labeled '+4'.
This will put a '4' rating in the pull down menu. Simpler than doing
it directly, and avoids mouse slips, or page downs that accidentally
downrates a comment. Also, if you rate comments and try to exit the
page, a dialog will prompt you to register the rating before
- Upon loading an ET page, the border around the page will go red if
there are any new comments. I find this useful after rating or
recommending, as one otherwise might miss that something new
- If there are new comments on the page, Ctrl+' (that's the single
quote key, and on macs open-apple would be used rather than ctrl) will
take you to the next new comment. Ctrl+; (semi-colon key!) will take
you to the previous new comment on the page. Nice for long comment
- An Idiotic Acronym Expander is provided. When you see IMHO, afaik,
etc. in a page and don't know what it stands for, double click the
word, and a span element appears, in green, informing you of its
meaning. The span contracts to just the acronym on mouse-out, and
expands again on mouse-over. It remains green and mouse-over active after the double click,
until you reload the page.
- Some development of a new translate feature. With some text
selected, using the right-click context menu, or under 'Tools' in the
menu bar, or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N (again, macs use
open-apple) will open a new tab with a translation table. The elements
in the sidebar copy tray will now also have a little 'T' symbol under
the 'delete' symbol. Clicking it will open the item for
- Click on a table cell, any table cell, and the
cell will spawn a textarea with the html contents of that cell in. The
output html at the bottom will update itself when you navigate to
another translation cell, or click any other part of the page,
including the output area.
- Borders are provided around cells
to make it more clear where they begin and end, since the translation
part of the table starts empty. A checkbox is provided to include or
exclude these borders in your output html.
- Navigation from a textarea to the neighbouring cells is also
possible with Ctrl+arrowkeys. (This one uses the actual Ctrl key on a mac. That should probably be changed...)
- A single linebreak in a textbox will become a <br> tag when
the box is navigated away from
- A double linebreak or a <p> will cause a new table row to be
- Shift+Enter also causes new row to be formed, but immediately,
rather when you click away from the current textbox. The cursor is
placed in the new box.
- A double Backspace with the cursor at the beginning of a textbox
will merge that cell with the previous one, placing your cursor in a
new textarea, with both cell's content.
- The way that <p> tags, <br><br>, and double
linebreaks are treated in cells, allows you to just pase some html, or
plain text into a textarea, and see it expanded to multiple rows when
you click something else.
- There are probably more stuff to be said about this feature, but
I'll stop for now, and hope that some of you will be guinea pigs for
figuring out in which ways it may not work quite yet. Also,
please put up wishes for how you wish this or other features might
work, or new things you'd like to have. I've tried to make something
that makes sense to me, but it is not necessarily what works for
everyone. Feedback is very necessary! Some day soon I will tackle the
preference interface for extensions. At that point, we might even make
some features customizable!
The first release was humbly designated as version 0.1, so I set
out to find which irrational (preferably transcendental) number I
might start converging to. The obvious answer is to use the Champernowne
constant, C10, as it is both transcendental,
and has some other fun properties as well, like normality:
Say we have some real number x. We call
normal in base b if the probability of finding some
digit string among the digits of x is the same as if we were to
search amongst some random sequence of digits. See normal number
for a more detailed explanation.
and so it is easy to form successive approximations with new versions.
We are now at 0.12!
(the wikipedia page, as well as some other resources indicates
0.1234567891011... as the number. This, however, contradicts their
explanation of the construction of the number as a concatenation of
digit strings (consider concatenating strings ,,,...,,
which would satisfy the first condition, then strings
Update [2007-9-22 15:55:32 by someone]:
So far three different versions have been put out:
1: Had some problems...
2: Had bigger problems