You can kill the background for speed, if you wish.[x]

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Stupid Vim Tricks

Today I had an SVN log that was in descending order by date (most recent at the top), and I wanted it in ascending order (most recent at the bottom). Now there may be a flag on the svn log command to do this, but I thought I'd see what I could do with Vim. One of the most useful tools for doing such things is macros. I read this article a while back about using macros over regexes for many situations, and it's proved to be a very useful technique, and one that looked to be of use here, too. Here's what the svn log looks like:

r21783 | jbradsha | 2010-08-04 14:41:02 -0700 (Wed, 04 Aug 2010) | 2 lines

Log notes

r21765 | jbradsha | 2010-08-03 16:09:05 -0700 (Tue, 03 Aug 2010) | 2 lines

Log notes

r21519 | jbradsha | 2010-07-22 16:51:04 -0700 (Thu, 22 Jul 2010) | 4 lines

Log notes

And so on.

The log notes can be of any length and number of lines, so obviously this wasn't going to be a straightforward task. But it ended up being pretty easy with macros. What I wanted to do was sort those blocks by revision number. To do that, I figured the easiest way is to get each block on one line in a way that I could revert, sort the lines, and then put them back. So I put my cursor on the first character of the first line and did this:

:'<,'> s/[\r\n]/#!#/g
:% sort
:% s/#!#/\r/g

Which quite nicely did the trick. Here's what each bit did:
  1. Started recording a macro labelled "j" (for "join")
  2. Started visual selection mode
  3. Searched for two newlines followed by ----: this selects up to the end of the line before the end of the current block (by going two lines before the beginning of the next)
  4. Within that selection, replace all newlines with a unique symbol (#!#), making it all one line ready to be re-exploded afterwards
  5. Move down one line to the beginning of the next block
  6. Stop recording the macro
  7. Run the macro 100 times (I had less than 100 commits to sort)
  8. Sort the now-one-line commits, increasing in number (sort! would reverse the sort)
  9. Replace my delimiters with newlines, restoring the original format
It may sound and look horrendous, but it was pretty straighforward, and macros are a lot easier when you're actually doing them. I just love the power and flexibility you have to do such things in Vim - I can't compare it to emacs, but no other editor allows you nearly this amount of power or flexibility. And if I had wanted to do an even more complex sort, I could have easily piped it out to a command line utility instead of using Vim's built-in sort. But for my purposes, this was plenty.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Presenting: Wreck's This?

Woo hoo! Jen featured this in her Saturday post this week. It's awesome that so many people have enjoyed this crazy thing! Downloads/ringtones are available down below the video.

Among my blogs that I read sometimes sporadically are Cake Wrecks, a wonderful project by a woman named Jen (with frequent contributions from her husband John) dedicated to sharing the results when, as the motto goes, "professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong." It's always entertaining, and I've been especially amused by the occasional geeky and/or childhood references that make their way into her posts - a quick, subtle Veggie Tales reference, the inevitable display of Star Wars butchery - as well as classic and fantastic word journeys that are inexplicable in their hilarity.

But all of this reached a fantastic new height, when a whole post was set to the tune of one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movies - What's This? from Nightmare Before Christmas - I was delighted. I have both of the awesome cover albums from Nightmare Before Christmas, and both the original and Fall Out Boy's cover are fantastic* - if you haven't heard the latter, do yourself a favor and check it out. Suffice it to say, I loved this post already. But then, at the bottom, was a fantastic and hilarious video of John and one of their friends SINGING the blog post, and doing a pretty decent job of it!

I couldn't help but imagine how awesome it would be to back this terrific effort with some music - and fortunately, I've done enough twiddling with Audacity that it was quite possible to try, anyway. So try I did, and this was the result. Before listening, you should probably read the original post if you haven't already. Read it? Okay, I call this...

Wreck's This?: A Parody:

But of course, I couldn't stop there. I e-mailed Jen and John, and they loved it, and agreed that it was simply begging for a video/slideshow to go with it. And who am I to keep such a thing from being in existence? So I fired up Openoffice Impress to get a slideshow up and running, recorded my clicking through it to the music with xvidcap, and then hopped over to Blender (which is fantastic as a video editor, by the way) to edit and put everything together. And yes, I'm a Linux man, through and through. Anyway, after all that, I came out with this:

...and now my work is done. Hopefully.

Update: Thanks for all the comments, here and over on Cake Wrecks. It's great to see my augmentation of the original Cake Wrecks genius bring a bit of joy and laughter to so many people! For you crazies that want to download it, here's a Normal-quality (~128k, 3.7MB) and High-quality (256k, 6.3MB) version.

And for those of you who are even more crazy, and want ringones, I made a few:
"Popular" by John
Donkey Tank Surprise!
Dumpa dumpa dumpa dumpa whee-you whee-you
Meteorite-bird Fiiiiish (with subsequent ring!)
Can we wrap this up?
If you have Bluetooth on your phone and computer, you can send them to your phone that way. Otherwise, there are internet sites that should be able to do so. From some brief looking, Myxer looks like the most legit/easy way to do this (you can even upload the full song above and chop to make custom ones!). The file it sent to my phone didn't play, but sometimes my phone is weird like that. So good luck?
If you want to chop them up without Myxer (like for Bluetooth), the tool I used is Audacity, which is really easy, I promise - just open one of the full songs above in it, select the portion you want, and hit File->Export Selection. Done!

My favorite part of this whole thing is still "I'm with Jen and John and we're doing this thing... but it's dumb." Cracks me up every time. I still kind of want to put it in a video with the pictures being sung about, but for now this will suffice. Hey, look! I did! The song was surprisingly easy to put together - my compliments on the singers for being remarkably on tempo. The middle was a little iffy, as the tune didn't exactly line up to anything actually in the song as far as I could tell, and the "rappy" part at the end gets a little muddled, but it works, and finishes strong. My favorite part is that the timing of the phone call works perfectly in the space that's not filled by actual lyrics. Thank you, Jen, John, and "the other Jen", for an awesome blog, post, and song.

I think this all should be good, being a parody and all, and I doubt anyone will get riled about it anyway. Jen and John loved it, and agreed that it was begging for a video - hence the addition.

*While many of the other additional covers on Nightmare Revisited are fantastic (Rodrigo y Gabriela, Korn, and even All-American Rejects and Plain White T's are all wonderful), Flyleaf's version of What's This? just made me very sad.