Wednesday 29 October 2014

A Fuzzy Sublime-like String Matching Algorithm

Those of you who pay attention to what I'm up to, will know that one of my long running projects is to write my own code editor.

One of the features that's been implemented for a while was a basic filename search via a popup search box. This approach is seen in other editors like Sublime Text, and it's an efficient way to quickly navigate between files.

I wasn't happy with my search matching though, it used a hacky Levenshtein distance algorithm for ordering. It was slow, and to keep it usable I had to disregard many matches that the user might have been looking for.

After much thought I've come up with a much better algorithm for fuzzy matches, I'm going to call it the Kazade Ranking Algorithm, because I can.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

On Google App Engine, Ancestor Queries are Almost Never What You Need

Recently, the company where I work announced the alpha release of Djangae, a compatibility layer that allows your Django application to work on App Engine, and to store your data in the App Engine Datastore. One of the things missing from the alpha was support for the Datastore's so called "Ancestor queries".

The App Engine Datastore is a remarkable feat of engineering. It's a non-relational database, which can scale to store mind-boggling amounts of data and deal with crazy high amounts of traffic. Of course, the sacrifice is that it's non-relational - so there are no joins, aggregate queries or the like. And if you want to count things then expect it to take some time!

Monday 26 May 2014

A Public Domain C++11 1D/2D/3D Perlin Noise Generator

Recently I needed to generate some simple procedural textures for a game I'm working on - after a quick search I found that the top result was licensed under the GPL which is no good to me. After a while I did find an MIT licensed one, but as all these code snippets are just C++ ports of Ken Perlin's improved noise function written in Java, I figured I might as well write my own from scratch and license it under the public domain. So, here it is, in all its glory:

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Writing a C++ Completion Provider for GtkSourceView

Over the last few weeks I've been implementing Python code completion in my homebrew text editor. After a lot of work I have most of the backend code worked out, the file parsing and indexing generally works.

The next step was to create a CompletionProvider to tell the Gtk+ text view about any suggestions that my code completion engine had. In my mind, I just had to do the following:
  1. Subclass CompletionProvider, implement the populate() function
  2. Call view().get_completion()->add_provider(my_provider);
  3. Wallow in the joy of having working code completion
However, it's not as simple as that, because the C++ GtkSourceView bindings suck, although they'd suck even less if they had some sensible documentation, or examples...

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Bug Trackers Suck!

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about bug trackers. For those who aren't in the know, bug trackers are websites that allow software developers to, well, track bugs in their software.

More specifically they allow management of the entire life cycle of a bug report. Starting with the report itself which probably comes from a user of the software, all the way through to the final deployment of the fixed code in the application.

There are numerous free and paid for bug trackers out there - all of them suck.

Well, I guess that's a bit unfair, let me rephrase that, all of them suck if you aren't a developer.