Workpad
Notes, ideas, and log entries for personal coding projects. The projects may not be public but the work will be.
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Blogging Gallery Tool

Oof! It's been a while, hasn't it. Not sure why I expected my side-project work to continue while I'm here in Canberra. Feels like a waste of a trip to go somewhere — well, not "unique", I've been here before; but different — and expect to spend all your time indoors writing code. Maybe a choice I would've made when I was younger, but now? Hmm, better to spend my time outdoors, "touching grass". So that's what I've been doing. But I can't do that all the time, and although I still have UCL (I've made some small changes recently,...

Bulk Image Selection

Some light housekeeping first: this is the 15th post on this blog so I thought it was time for a proper domain name. Not that buying a domain automatically means I'll keep at it, but it does feel like I've got some momentum writing here now, so I'll take the $24.00 USD risk. I'd also like to organise a proper site favicon too. I've got some ideas but I've yet to crack open Affinity Design just yet. Anyway, I've been spending some time on Photo Bucket on and off this past week. I've fully implemented the new page model mentioned...

The Site Page Model

I opened up Photo Bucket this morning and found a bunch of commits involving pages. I had no idea why I added them, until I launched it and started poking around the admin section. I tried a toggle on the Design page which controlled whether the landing page showed a list of photos or galleries, and after finding that it wasn't connected to anything, it all came flooding back to me. So while what I'm going to describe here isn't fully implemented yet, I decided to write it down before I forget it again. So here is where the story...

Indexing In UCL

I've been thinking a little about how to support indexing in UCL, as in getting elements from a list or keyed values from a map.  There already exists an `index` builtin that does this, but I'm wondering if this can be, or even should be, supported in the language itself. I've reserved `.` for this, and it'll be relatively easy to make use of it to get map fields. But I do have some concerns with supporting list element dereferencing using square brackets. The big one being that if I were to use square brackets the same way that many...

Tape Playback Site

Thought I'd take a little break from UCL today. Mum found a collection of old cassette tapes of us when we were kids, making and recording songs and radio shows. I've been digitising them over the last few weeks, and today the first recorded cassette was ready to share with the family. I suppose I could've just given them raw MP3 files, but I wanted to record each cassette as two large files — one per side — so as to not loose much of the various crackles and clatters made when the tape recorder was stopped and started. But...

Brief Integration Update and Modules

A brief update of where I am with UCL and integrating it into Dynamo-browse. I did managed to get it integrated, and it's now serving as the interpreter of commands entered in during a session. It works… okay. I decided to avoid all the complexities I mentioned in the last post — all that about continuations, etc. — and simply kept the commands returning `tea.Msg` values. The original idea was to have the commands return usable values if they were invoked in a non-interactive manner. For example, the `table` command invoked in an interactive session will bring up the table...

Breaking And Continuation

I've started trying to integrate UCL into a second tool: Dynamo Browse. And so far it's proving to be a little difficult. The problem is that this will be replacing a dumb string splitter, with command handlers that are currently returning a tea.Msg type that change the UI in some way. UCL builtin handlers return a `interface{}` result, or an `error` result, so there's no reason why this wouldn't work. But `tea.Msg` is also an `interface{}` types, so it will be difficult to tell a UI message apart from a result that's usable as data. This is a Dynamo Browse...

The Simplifications Paid Off

The UCL simplifications have been implemented, and they seem to be largely successful. Ripped out all the streaming types, and changed pipes to simply pass the result of the left command as first argument of the right. "Hello" | echo ", world" --> "Hello, world"This has dramatically improved the use of pipes. Previously, pipes could only be used to connect streams. But now, with pretty much anything flowing through a pipe, that list of commands has extended to pretty much every builtins and user-defined procs. Furthermore, a command no longer needs to know that it's being used in a pipeline:...

Simplifying UCL

I've been using UCL for several days now in that work tool I mentioned, and I'm wondering if the technical challenge that comes of making a featureful language is crowding out what I set out to do: making a useful command language that is easy to embed. So I'm thinking of making some simplifications. The first is to expand the possible use of pipes. To date, the only thing that can travel through pipes are streams. But many of the commands I've been adding simply return slices. This is probably because there's currently no "stream" type available to the embedder,...

Imports And The New Model

Well, I dragged Photo Bucket out today to work on it a bit. It's fallen by the wayside a little, and I've been wondering if it's worth continuing work on it. So many things about it that need to be looked at: the public site looks ugly, as does the admin section; working with more than a single image is a pain; backup and restore needs to be added; etc. I guess every project goes through this "trough of discontent" where the initial excitement has warn off and all you see is a huge laundry list of things to do. ...

Procs and Higher-Order Functions

More on UCL yesterday evening.  Biggest change is the introduction of user functions, called "procs" (same name used in TCL): proc greet { echo "Hello, world" } greet --> Hello, worldNaturally, like most languages, these can accept arguments, which use the same block variable binding as the `foreach` loop: proc greet { |what| echo "Hello, " $what } greet "moon" --> Hello, moonThe name is also optional, and if omitted, will actually make the function anonymous.  This allows functions to be set as variable values, and also be returned as results from other functions. proc makeGreeter { |greeting| proc {...

First Embed, and Optional Arguments

Came up with a name: Universal Control Language: UCL. See, you have TCL; but what if instead of being used for tools, it can be more universal? Sounds so much more… universal, am I right? 😀 Yeah, okay. It's not a great name. But it'll do for now. Anyway, I've started integrating this language with the admin tool I'm using at work. This tool I use is the impetus for this whole endeavour. Up until now, this tool was just a standard CLI command usable from the shell. But it's not uncommon for me to have to invoke the tool...

Lists, Hashs, and Loops

A bit more on TCL (yes, yes, I've gotta change the name) last night. Added both lists and hashes to the language. These can be created using a literal syntax, which looks pretty much looks how I described it a few days ago: set list ["a" "b" "c"] set hash ["a":"1" "b":"2" "c":"3"]I had a bit of trouble working out the grammar for this, I first went with something that looked a little like the following, where the key of an element is optional but the value is mandatory: list_or_hash --> "[" "]" # empty list | "[" ":" "]"...

Backlog Proc: A Better JQL

Backlog Proc is a simple item backlog tracker I built for work. I'd like to link them to Jira tickets, so that I know whether a particular backlog item actually has tasks written for them, and what the status of each of those tasks are.  I guess these are meant to be tracked by epics, but Jira's UI for handling such things is a mess, and I'd like to make notes that are only for my own eyes. Anyway, I'm was using JQL to select the Jira tickets. And it worked, but the language is a bit verbose. Plus the...

Tool Command Language: Macros And Blocks

More work on the tool command language (of which I need to come up with a name: I can't use the abbreviation TCL), this time working on getting multi-line statement blocks working. As in: echo "Here" echo "There"I got a little wrapped up about how I can configure the parser to recognise new-lines as statement separators. I tried this in the past with a hand rolled lexer and ended up peppering `NL` tokens all around the grammar. I was fearing that I needed to do something like this here. After a bit of experimentation, I think I've come up with...