Nov 07

Last week, Browserling, world’s leading cross-browser testing company, announced that they’re launching a network of online developer tools that offer simple, free and easy to use utilities for programmers.

They’re starting with four sites in the network and will be expanding their network to thirty websites. Each site in their network covers one specific programming category. There are no ads, popups, blinking download buttons, or other garbage. Just useful utilities that work in your browser. All utilities are created by skilled software engineers and they just do the right thing.

Let’s review first four sites in the network.

#1 Online JSON Tools


Online JSON Tools for Programmers
Online JSON Tools

Online JSON Tools is the first website in Browserling’s online tools network. It’s all about working with JSON data structures and objects. You can perform all the most common operations, such as minify JSON, beautify JSON, validate JSON, escape and unescape JSON, convert JSON to XML, CSV, TSV, and YAML, and encode/decode JSON to/from base64 encoding.

Soon you’ll also be able to syntax highlight JSON and edit it in your browser, display a summary of JSON object statistics, flatten JSON objects, convert JSON to HTML tables and LaTeX tables, compare two JSON structures, and encode and decode JSON to and from percent-encoding.

#2 Online String Tools


Online String Tools for Programmers
Online STRING Tools

Online String Tools is the second and the largest website in Browserling’s online tools network. It’s all about working with strings. There are over 100 tools in this website and many more are getting added every week. Online String Tools allow you to encode, decode, convert, filter, replace, and generate strings right in your browser.

For example, you can URL-encode and URL-decode strings, HTML-encode and HTML-decode strings, base64-encode and base64-decode strings, slash-escape and slash-unescape strings, generate random strings and generate strings from regular expressions. You can split strings, join strings, convert strings to binary and ASCII codes. And much more.

The upcoming tools in Online String Tools website will be a multi-replace string tool that allows you to replace multiple strings at once, online diffing tool that will show changes between two strings, Levenshtein distance calculator, which will also let you view the distance visually, a string rewriting system, Zalgo string generator, and a string typo generator.

#3 Online CSV Tools


Online CSV Tools for Programmers
Online CSV Tools

Online CSV Tools is all about working with Comma Separated Values (CSV) files and data. It currently offers over 20 CSV tools. You can convert CSV to JSON, XML, TSV, and YAML. Encode and decode CSV to and from base64 encoding, and perform various row and column operations, such as swap CSV rows, replace, append, insert, and delete CSV columns and transpose CSV.

Here’s a list of CSV tools that Browserling has planned adding in the next few months. You’ll be able to convert CSV to a PDF document and HTML, Excel, and LaTeX tables, then create images of CSV data, generate SQL queries from CSV files, merge CSV files, change quoting of CSV fields, delete empty CSV rows and columns, minify CSV and also diff two CSV files to find differences.

#4 Online XML Tools


Online XML Tools for Programmers
Online XML Tools

Online XML Tools is a collection of useful XML utilities for working with Extensible Markup Language documents and data structures. You can beautify XML, minify XML, escape and unescape XML, validate XML, and convert XML to various other data formats, such as JSON, CSV, YAML and XML. You can also encode and decode XML that’s been stored in base64 encoding.

Some of the upcoming tools in XML tools collection will be XML syntax highlighter and XML editor, then you’ll be able to view XML document statistics, and compare two XML files for visual differences.

#5 And beyond

Browserling is adding 25 or more sites to their network in the next 2-3 years. Here’s a list of upcoming sites:

  • Online TSV (Tab Separated Values) Tools
  • Online YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) Tools
  • Online PDF Tools
  • Online IMAGE Tools
  • Online AUDIO Tools
  • Online BROWSER Tools
  • Online CSS Tools
  • Online JS (JavaScript) Tools
  • Online CRYPTO Tools
  • Online RANDOM Tools
  • Online FILE Tools
  • Online TIME Tools
  • … and many more!

If you love what Browserling is doing you can follow @browserling on Twitter or follow Browserling on Facebook.

Feb 14

Note: I wrote this article at the end of 2011, but I got busy with my RV trip across the western USA, Canada and Alaska and never published it.  Better late than never.  Though publishing this article now in 2013 invalidates the first sentence…

  

The best thing about making annual predictions is that by this time next year, nobody will remember how wrong we were.  So let’s boldly go where every other tech blogger has gone before, and peer into the future of the tech market in 2012.

The Future. Copyright © Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo. Image used under license.

1.  Microsoft will release Windows 8 and few will notice

There are 1.25 billion Windows users worldwide, including 500 million people on Windows 7.  And yet, most of the excitement and venture capital seems to be flowing to the mobile platforms of iOS and Android.  Ironically, one reason why nobody will notice Windows 8 is that Windows 7 is actually quite good and reliable.  And like Star Trek movies, every other version of Windows tends to be crap, so many companies will likely to skip the Windows 8 upgrade and wait for Windows 9.  But by then, will anyone be using a PC anymore?

Continue reading »

Feb 14

Theresa and Timm Martin in front of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

My wife and I have returned from a one-year RV trip across western USA, Canada and Alaska.  It was an amazing trip, truly the adventure of a lifetime.  Although this has nothing to do with software development, if you are interested, please check out our photo tour at National Park Explorers and our behind-the-scenes blog at TNTRV.

Now that I am back working, I will start updating this DevTopics blog again on a regular basis.  I’ve also turned on the comments again (I had turned off comments to stop the flood of spam while I was on the road).

Please comment below if there are any software development subjects on which you’d like me to write an article.

Dec 27

Here is a handy method to print a directory tree in Windows Explorer.

1.  Follow these instructions to open a CMD window while using Windows Explorer.

2.  Click on the CMD window’s upper-left icon to show the menu.  Click Edit > Paste to paste the following command in the CMD window:

dir /o:gn /s > %temp%\DirTree | notepad %temp%\DirTree

Paste in CMD window

The directory tree will open in Notepad, where you can easily print or save it to a file.

Dec 21

Distimo Report. Copyright © Distimo B.V.Distimo has released its Full Year 2011 Publication on the mobile app market.  This report provides data on how the leading app stores grew in 2011, indicates which store generated the most revenue, and lists the most downloaded apps of 2011.  The free report covers the app stores during the period of January through November 2011 in the United States.

Following are some of the key points in the Distimo 2011 report:

Continue reading »

Dec 20

If you change the nameservers of an Internet domain, it may take a few minutes or even hours before the changes appear in your web browser. 

A brief delay occurs while the new nameserver values propagate over the global DNS.  But typically that happens within minutes.

The greater delay is usually from the DNS cache on your PC and in your browser.  DNS values are stored locally to speed website lookup, and they’re updated infrequently such as once per hour.

Continue reading »

Dec 19
Christmas Gifts 2. Copyright © Wong Mei Teng. Used under license. On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:

Twelve cores debugging,
Eleven named-pipes piping,
Ten laptops loading,
Nine apps compiling,
Eight mice a-moving,
Seven smartphones syncing,
Six geeks a-coding,
Five I-D-E’s,
Four calling cards,
Three iPads,
Two monitors,
And a cartridge for my H-P.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace to You!

(Originally published Dec 24, 2010)

Dec 17

2012 is a great time to be a kid — or an adult who’s a kid at heart.  With computer technology and miniaturization accelerating at an exponential rate, gadgets and toys are becoming more powerful and sophisticated every year.  This is especially true with geek gifts, which tend to exploit the latest technological advances.

Following is a list of our favorite geek gifts, all available now for purchase online:

Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard

This miniature keyboard is a great accessory for your PC, laptop, PS3 or home theater PC.  Only 6” long and 2-1/4” high, this QWERTY full-function keyboard fits in your pocket and works from up to 90 feet away.  The keys are backlit for easy use in the dark.  The touchpad works well when holding the keyboard horizontally or vertically.  It has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.  View Product
 

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Easily download pictures from your digital camera to view on your Apple iPad.  The kit includes two connectors: The Camera Connector features a USB interface to connect your digital camera or smartphone to the iPad.  The SD Card Reader imports photos directly from your camera’s SD card.  Then when you sync your iPad to your PC or Mac, the photos on your iPad are added to your computer’s photo library.  View Product
 

Continue reading »

Nov 25

True story…  After Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the in-laws, I was talking with a nice older woman in her 60s.  Eventually the conversation shifted to my favorite subject, computers. 

The woman, whom I’ll call “Helen,” told me that she doesn’t own a computer anymore since her “scare.”

“Did your computer get attacked by a virus?” I asked.

Continue reading »

Nov 11

See you again next century!