Browsing articles from "November, 2014"

Giving Firefox Developer Edition a Go

By Rob Warner  //  Development, Software  //  1 Comment

I love that I can run Chrome on my work MacBook Pro, my personal MacBook Pro, and my iPhone 6 Plus and keep my browsing history in sync. I love that I can install a plugin on one Mac and have it available on the other. I love that my logins are available whichever device I use. I love that I can bring up my open tabs from any device. My web experience transparently moves with me, and it makes life so much easier.

I just launched Firefox, as I do periodically to keep it up to date, and noticed the message on the home page:

Choosing Firefox isn’t just choosing a browser. It’s a vote for personal freedom online.

Ouch. I’m not really clear on Firefox’s business model, but I know Google’s: to sell me to retailers, advertisers, or anyone else that aims to profit from me by knowing more about my habits, my data, my income, my purchases, et al. I can’t pretend that I’m outraged at the arrangement — I generally have nothing to hide, and I’d rather see advertisements for things I’m interested in than for things I care nothing about. Lately, however, I’m getting more creeped out about privacy invasion, and I’m tentatively deciding to cloak myself a bit better.

Like most web developers, I leverage Chrome’s Developer Tools in my work, and would sorely miss their absence. The release of Firefox Developer Edition might be able to fill that void. I’ve just downloaded it and will try to use it for my web development. I have high hopes.


Clojure, Emacs, and Evil Mode

By Rob Warner  //  Development, Software  //  1 Comment

I work with one of those functional language kooks who end every thought with “Haskell,” use xmonad or Ratpoison while scoffing at GUIs, and edit everything, even selfies, in Emacs. Serendipitously, he just walked by, read my opening sentence, and said, “Actually, Emacs DOES support graphics editing. Haskell.”

Also at work, a group of us are learning Clojure, evidenced by our once-a-week Clojure Club meetings. Progress has been slow but steady and we’ve found a lot to like about Clojure.

One uncomfortable truth has emerged in these meetings, however: most of us are Vim users, and Clojure Cool Kids clearly prefer Emacs. We’ve been trumpeting that Vim + Fireplace >= Emacs, but I see resolve crumbling. It’s not just us, of course — other Vim users chasing Clojure are wrestling with the same editor conflict: do we really have to forsake our beloved modal editor and familiar key bindings to achieve Clojure zen?

This morning a club member displayed his weakening resolve via email with this gem:

Have you ever tried evil mode for Emacs? Maybe it could provide a robust Clojure environment without having to type meta-control-bucky-O shift-N to delete a line

“Evil” is collapsed from “extensible vi layer”, and grants you some form of vi emulation in Emacs. You can find it here, and apparently many Vim users adopting Clojure are finding it as well. I emailed back:

Not sure how I feel about Evil mode. Somehow, it feels like you’re marrying Emacs but having an affair with Vim. If you’re going to commit, you’ve got to commit!

His response, which actually made me LOL, was:

Don’t think of it like an affair. Think of it like asking Emacs to wear a nice dress. It’s installing a nice text editor into the Emacs operating system!

Haskell man refused to see the levity and frumpily chimed in:

It’s definitely cheating. It’s like writing getters and setters in JavaScript. Haskell

I’ve gotten as far as installing Emacs and Projectile, but haven’t embraced Evil yet. And I’ve made any edits to ~/.emacs.d/personal/config.el in Vim. But I’ve been eyeing my unread copy of Gnu Emacs Manual and thinking how deeply I want to commit to Clojure. Haskell.


I'm Rob Warner, and I'm a software developer. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, and work for Availity, LLC. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Availity.