Serving raw files directly from Github

We usually create HTML files in our Github repositories, but how to show this data in the browser? RawGit is a solution to serve files with the correct content types.

Example: The WordPress readme.html file can be shown in the following URL:

https://rawgit.com/WordPress/WordPress/master/readme.html

You only need to follow the formula:

https://rawgit.com/USER/REPOSITORY/BRANCH/file.html

The advantage of using RawGit over Github Pages is that RawGit works with all branches, while Github Pages requires a gh-pages branch. Last not the least, the source code of this solution is also available in Github.

 

Excluding folders from indexing in Sublime

Sometimes we work in projects with tons of Javascript dependencies. Folders like node_modules and bower_components are a pain in the neck because every time that we need to find something in the project the content of these folders will be used in the search.

Sublime offers 2 settings to hide these files from the index. First of all, open the User Preferences (Preferences -> Settings – User):

  • binary_file_patterns: This option excludes files from the index but keep them in the sidebar.
  • folder_exclude_patterns: This option excludes files from the index and sidebar. This is why, for example, you don’t see the .git folder in a project.

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Replace git author using shell script

This is an old trick that saved me several times. Sometimes people forget to setup their name and email information. The following script is useful to fix mistakes:

 

My Sublime Text settings

Almost 3 years ago I wrote (in Portuguese) a post about my Sublime Text settings. Now, I updated my tips in an English post.

1. Free video course

If you know nothing about Sublime, please watch these free videos from tut+.

2. Package Control

First of all, you should install Package Control to manage plugins. Actually, you can install packages just copying the package files to correct folder, however, Package Control is easier than copy & paste. Open Sublime Text console (View > Show Console or ctrl + `) and paste the following line:
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Useful apps that I use daily

I decided write a post describing some tools that I use in my MacBook to enhance my tasks.

Alfred

How awesome is Alfred? It is totally awesome! Alfred is a great tool working as a shortcut to daily tasks. More than that, you can create customized workflows that improve even more your productivity. You must see:

  • Yet another layouter: you can use keyworks like top left, top right to resize and move windows. This is really useful for people who use multiple displays
  • Battery: it is a workflow that shows relevant information about battery, such as charge cycles, health and serial number
  • Alfred Workflows Forum: the community forum where people share their workflows
  • Packal: an unofficial directory of workflows and themes. My currently theme is the Elegant v4, but you can choose your favorite in several options.

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Data looks better naked

Data is usually explained in tables or charts, but people sometimes commit mistakes when they add in them redundant or boring elements. A good table or chart is worth a thousand words and the following three gifs show how to improve your presentations. Source

Remove to improve - the pie chart edition
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codestacker in Github

codestacker Some years ago, precisely on July/2008 I created codestacker. I know, there were several options to collect snippets, but I decided to code my own solution. More than that I have planned to develop a Textmate bundle and a Mac OS Widget (who cares?), however I did not code these functions.

In the latest days, I migrated all old data to a new app written in Rails 4.2 and hosted on Heroku. The source code is available in Github.

 

Uptime monitoring tools

Sometimes people cann’t believe in their infrastructure. This can be easily understood because maintaining complex software integrates several pieces of information. Moreover, people sometimes hire bad IT solutions and as a result, shit accidents happen.

I have been using some tools to report me web server down time. Here we go:

  • monitor.us: it is a powerful tool that provides several features. I am currently using it to monitor a specific term in a specific page. It’s a free feature and it can check a website from 2 different countries
  • Pingdom: it looks like a full solution to analyse performance issues and downtime
  • Pingoou: this a Brazilian option. It offers up to 3 URLs in the free account and notifications via SMS, Campfire, Hipchat and email in the paid accounts
  • SiteUptime: 1 monitor for free each 30 minutes. Actually is not the best deal
  • UptimeRobot: it monitors up to 50 websites for free

Building it own tool

You can alternatively build your own monitoring tool to check if a website is up or down. The concept is pretty simple: you can use your favorite language to create a script that loads a page and then you are able to check a specific string in the document. In the following example I used Ruby and Mechanize gem to request a status page.

In this case, I use Heroku to run this script. The emails are delivered by SendGrid, via Pony gem. There are no costs in the process.

This post is also published in coderwall.

 

Writing for IELTS and TOEFL

I took the TOEFL exam some weeks ago. This is one of most popular tests to prove English skills. It is considered by many people a tough exam because it requires not only English skills, but also time management skills.

The test takes 4 hours to be finished. The last part of the test is to write 2 texts in 50 minutes. In the first task, the student is supposed to summarise a text and a lecture, which lecture sometimes cast doubt in the passage. The second one is called independent task. In this task the student should write about a specific subject. During my preparation, I written more than 50 texts and I believe that practice makes perfection. After this hard work, I imagined create a simple app with exercises and tips to improve the writing skills.

Writing for IELTS and TOEFL has 100 exercises to practice writing. In addition, I collected several tips to improve writing skills, such as an effective checklist and an extensive explanation about linking words. All these tips are useful in my exam.

Writing for IELTS and TOEFL

The app is available on Google Play and Apple Store and it costs US$0.99.