Romain Lenglet's blog

Download Xmarks bookmarks in Python

Xmarks is currently the only viable solution for synchronizing bookmarks across all web browsers over Internet, including Firefox / Iceweasel, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari. I attempted to setup the Mozilla Sync server, but it is so poorly packaged that it isn't possible to install it cleanly without big efforts. So the only viable alternative remains Xmarks. Xmarks works great, but my problem is that all the data is stored on their servers, with no public API to access it. This article introduces is a small Python 2.6+ script to retrieve your bookmarks as an HTML page from Xmarks, under the AGPL3+ license. The complete script is available here.

Introducing Mr. Beemura

Mr. Beemura is watching you! Mr. Beemura is my very personal kaijū (giant monster). I designed him and gave him life two years ago, during the end-of-year holidays. Here is a picture of him taking a walk in Shinjuku, Tokyo:
Mr. Beemura - Walk in ShinjukuMr. Beemura - Walk in Shinjuku

How to integrate S. Covey's Weekly Compass into the GTD weekly review

There are two main approaches to self-management:

Both approaches are complementary and can be combined. I find that GTD is much more efficient than FC for day-to-day organization, but FC is much more developed than GTD for long-term thinking. Both methods coincide at weekly reviews. In this article, I describe in details how I combine both methods in my GTD weekly reviews, using Covey's weekly compass.

Logtilla and GeoIP: analyze the geolocation of web clients

This article presents a simple Logtilla log analysis module, log_geoip_stats, which gives the top N client countries, in terms of hits, from web access log files. This module uses the libgeoip-erlang library to get geolocations from clients' IP addresses.

Logtilla's internals: a tutorial on using ASN.1 and linked replies to interact between Erlang and port programs

I have recently released Logtilla, a framework for parsing and analysing web access log files, and showed in a previous article how to use Logtilla with a simple example. One of the most interesting aspects of Logtilla is in the inside. Logtilla demonstrates how to use ASN.1 to communicate between an Erlang program and a C port program. This article is both an introduction to the usual concepts of ASN.1, and a tutorial to apply ASN.1 to integrate Erlang and C programs. The protocol defined in Logtilla is simple, but the approach described can be used to implement sophisticated distributed protocols, especially appropriate for systems management applications.

First release of Logtilla, a web access log analyzer in Erlang

I have written a small Erlang framework for parsing web access logs, called Logtilla, hosted on GitHub. This framework supports parsing logs in the Common Log Format, or in Apache's Combined Log Format. Thanks to the use of a C port program to do the parsing, Logtilla is very efficient: it can parse and analyze 15,000 entries/sec on my 4-year-old laptop.

Coming changes in GNU Autoconf's Erlang support

I have sent patches to GNU Autoconf to add new macros for testing Erlang modules, include files, and functions: AC_ERLANG_CHECK_MOD, AC_ERLANG_CHECK_HEADER, AC_ERLANG_CHECK_LIB_HEADER, and AC_ERLANG_CHECK_FUNC. I have also sent a patch to fix the AC_RUN_IFELSE macro which executes Erlang test code, so that this macro cleanly fails if the code doesn't compile, and another patch to fix the AC_COMPILE_IFELSE macro, which tests that Erlang test code compiles (this is a long known Autoconf bug).

EUnit integration into GNU Autotest

GNU Autotest is GNU Autoconf's unit testing tool. and is very generic, portable and simple. Autotest is therefore well suited to run tests using other testing tools, such as EUnit (Erlang/OTP's unit testing tool), JUnit, etc. I just added to GNU Autoconf the AT_CHECK_EUNIT macro to run EUnit unit tests in Autotest testsuites. It is the first Autotest macro to integrate such an external testing tool, and will be included in the next version of GNU Autoconf (> 2.64). A complete, working example project using AT_CHECK_EUNIT can be downloaded in autotest-eunit-demo-1.0.tgz. This article shows how to use AT_CHECK_EUNIT by explaining the important parts of this example project.

News on Erlang support in GNU Autoconf 2.64

I have restarted actively maintaining the Erlang support in GNU Autoconf. Autoconf version 2.64 has been released on July 26th, which contains a few changes to its Erlang support.

Weekly compass implementation using OmniOutliner

I have extended my self-management (aka "time management") system today, on my Mac at work. I now combine OmniFocus for day-to-day management, OmniOutliner for higher-level management, and a small homemade AppleScript script implementing a weekly compass ala Franklin-Covey. I am sharing that weekly compass implementation below, as I have not yet found any software implementing that, except for the software edited by Franklin-Covey, although I am convinced that it is an important self-management concept.

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