Chautauqua and other stuff

I never though that something like Chautauqua still exist, but here in Boulder it does. Then, you get today an excerpt from Pirsig work, talking about Chautauqua, Channels, Depth.

What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua…that’s the only name I can think of for it…like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. “What’s new?” is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question “What is best?,” a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and “best” was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.

Thanks, Robert.

Dash Docset for IDL & Postgis

UPDATE#4 [03 March 2013]

All the docset are [finally] available on github > https://github.com/kidpixo !!

 

UPDATE#4 [03 March 2013]

 I wrote a little bash script to get man page in Dash  from shell (here the code at github)

The cose is really simple:

#!/bin/bash
if [ "$1" ]
then
    eval "open dash://man:"$1
else
    echo "No argument supplied!!"
fi

You have to do the typical stuff on your own:

  • Write the code in a file like dman.sh
  • make it executable
    chmod +x dman.sh
  • add the path to the script to the $PATH or move it somewhere like /usr/local/bin/
  • for the last option i suggest to change the ownership to root
    chown root:wheel dman.sh

    and permission to

    chmod 775 dman.sh

UPDATE#3 [01 March 2013]

I added all my docset to my Github repository  .

New products include (direct link to download):

IDL 8.X and ENVI 5.0 are huge, around ~65Mb, 29Mb compressed to .tgz due to a lot of images, so no complains!!

Have Fun!

ORIGINAL POST

I found extremely useful the nice piece of software called Dash, a snippet manager, text expander and documentation browser for mac. It includes already several documentation, but I was searching for two special thing, IDL (Interactive Data Language) & Postgis2.

After struggling for a couple of days to do it the “right way” (download the source and run doxygen), I did it my way following the tips by the Dash coder.

Long story short, I downloaded the existing documentation from http://postgis.refractions.net/documentation/manual-2.0/ and created per-hand the sqlite db,that you can find here >  PostGIS 2.0.2 docset

I was so excited from results, then I did it also for IDL and you can find it here > IDL 8.1 docset (It’s huge, around ~65Mb, 29Mb compressed to .tgz due to a lot of images, so no complains!!). As bonus, it include also the great IDLdoc from Michael Galloy.

UPDATE#1 [01 Sept 2012]

I played a little more with sqlite & python, now in the IDL docset you have the right name (as extracted from the html file in the documentation) and a division between function,class and method. Maybe I’ll publish a docset production python script and the docset itself on github, when I’ll have time.

UPDATE#2 [03 Sept 2012]

I produced a sort of IDLdoc to Docset translator, in form of a python script. To translate an existing IDLdoc documentation just follow this steps:

  1. build the directories structure as described in http://kapeli.com/docsets/ ( or use an empty docset I prepared here http://bit.ly/Sg7C0n)
  2. copy you documentation in IDLdoc.docset/Contents/Resources/Documents/
  3. run the IDLdoc_docset_creation.py in the Resources/ directory

Optional : change the IDLdoc.docset/icon.png and adjust the IDLdoc.docset/Contents/nfo.plist

The python code does the following:

  • scans only 2 level deep in the Documents folder
  • deletes some files (all-dirs.html,all-files.html etc)
  • sets as start page the dir-overview.html changing it to index.html
  • gets the title from each html page
  • modifies the html erasing the top banner
  • writes all in the sqlite DB docSet.dsidx

In order to run properly you need to have the sqlite3,urllib,BeautifulSoup and glob modules along your python distribution.
Have fun!

 I didi it!Technical info : In both the cases I just defined every html file as a ‘fund’ type, I’ll be refine the thing in the future.

Thanks again to Kapeli, Michael, the PostGIS team!

Just a little thank to the IDL Team for two reasons: 1. we are paying for the software 2. most of the time is a real trouble.

BONUS: following this twitter discussion I integrated all in my Quicksilver workflow. I love QS!

Calibre as Ebook Viewer

I had often the problem to quickly open an epub with Mac, and now that Stanza is on the decline, I’m using often the ebook viewer integrated the Mighty Calibre

With default install you’d use it as a shell command like:

/Applications/calibre.app/Contents/MacOS/ebook-viewer Hitchhikers_GttG.epub

It is not that comfortable, so I wrote a simple automator action that get the selected file in Finder and pass the argument to  ebook-viewer. It should be stable against  Calibre update. It doesn’t support multiple file, but it would be easy to implemente, comment here if interested.

Image

It wil be installed as Service of the Finder > you will find it in the contextual when alt-clicking on a file.

I personally use the combo QuickSilver+Service Menu Module, that make all the Services available in the QS’s actions menú.

Download the Automator Workflow here > http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4762299/ebook_viewer.workflow.zip