Hacking rake:stats to get gross LOC

Web App Autopsy has some juicy metrics such as the 100:10:1 ratio of anonymous visitors to free registered users to paying users. But they also have LOC counts which seem quite high, and which include things that rake:stats (a Rake task that’s part of Rails, which counts lines of source code and provides some basic analysis) doesn’t count. So, I hacked rake:stats to include them. Here’s what I did:
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GNU Screen and my screenrc

GNU Screen is a remote terminal multiplexer, described welll elsewhere.

I use it to eliminate the too-many-Terminal-windows problem on my laptop. I also use it to help me achieve some level of continuity on remote hosts, by leaving half-completed sysadmin tasks as-is until hours or days later even if I get interrupted or if the task is really long-running and I need to roam around with my laptop.

Today I decided to invest some time in making my command-line development environment launch with a single script. Here are the details.
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Console, a Windows console replacement

I’m not using Windows currently, but when I do use it and I need a command prompt, I’m suddenly reminded of the weakest link in the whole Windows user experience: the atrocious console window thing.

Many times I have searched for a replacement. It looks like there finally is such a thing, and its ultra creative name is Console. I haven’t tried it out, but if you need it, there it is.

(via Ben Kittrell)

Ad Hoc Software Planning with Graphviz

I’ve been playing around with Graphviz this weekend. I first used it a few years ago with a Perl script that sorta kinda knew Cold Fusion and JavaScript syntax and could output the Graphviz .dot file format, as a means of visualizing all the dependencies between source code files in a project with no compilation phase and no automated tests. It helped me answer a few questions that I had about the code: What should I write tests for first? What should I leave alone, because breaking it breaks a bunch of pages? What pages do I need to test in order to make sure that changes to a deeply-buried chunk of included code didn’t break anything? Having a simple tool that draws graphs of nodes in a fairly clean form can be really useful.
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Gray-hat business idea: MySpace integration hack vendor

With all of the zillions of companies building “widgets” for MySpace, Bebo, etc., it’s only a matter of time before the gray-hat crowd starts to see the dollar signs. Maybe they already have. But it seems like a large waste of effort for all of those strange little VC-funded startups playing remora to MySpace’s shark to have to keep figuring out new ways to get their code to embed in MySpace layouts.
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