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.

Jul 17

Microsoft Popfly is a set of online visual tools for novice programmers and end-users to build Web pages, applications and games.  This was Microsoft’s attempt to bring programming to the masses, similar to Hypercard on the Macintosh, or the original Visual Basic on Windows before it became a real (complicated) object-oriented language under .NET.

But this fly lived for only two years.  Microsoft has just announced that on August 24, 2009, the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be taken down.  At that time, access to your Popfly account, including any games and mashups that you have created, will be discontinued.

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Apr 15

Grok2 has highlighted an old but excellent essay about why computer programming is fun.  This quote is from one of our industry’s groundbreaking books, The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.  First published in 1974, the book posited the computer law that “adding programmers to a late project makes it later.” 

Brooks’ innocent but insightful comments about his delight in programming the green-screen dumb-terminal IBM OS/360 is even more relevant in today’s world of high-resolution dynamic graphical displays and the global reach of Web applications.  The players have changed, the technology has certainly changed, but the joy of computer programming endures.

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Feb 05

You know it’s time to find a new job when your boss buys you one of these chairs:

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Jan 14

Experts from more than 30 U.S. and international cyber-security organizations jointly released a consensus list of the 25 most dangerous programming errors that lead to security bugs and cyber-crime.

The impact of these programming errors is significant.  Just two of these errors resulted in more than 1.5 million website security breaches during 2008.  These breaches allowed malicious software to take control of the computers that visited those web sites, turning their computers into zombies that committed further cyber-crimes.

Shockingly, most programmers do not understand or look for these errors.  Colleges rarely teach programming students how to avoid these errors.  And most software companies don’t explicitly test for these errors before releasing their products.

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Jul 17

A creed is a statement of belief or faith often recited as part of a religious service or organizational gathering.  The word “creed” derives from the Latin credo (I believe) or credimus (we believe).  Perhaps the oldest is Apostle’s Creed cited in Christianity.  However, the Rifleman’s Creed is arguably the most famous, made popular by the Stanley Kubrick war movie “Full Metal Jacket” (warning: language).  This has inspired me (with tongue planted firmly in cheek) to write a creed for our noble profession of software development.

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May 07

It’s widely accepted in the software industry that some programmers are much more productive than others. Many experts cite an order-of-magnitude productivity difference between the “best” and “average” programmers.

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May 06

All these jokes are now illustrated at my new Programming Comic. Check it out!

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Two bytes meet.  The first byte asks, “Are you ill?”
The second byte replies, “No, just feeling a bit off.”

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Apr 30

For many developers, the normal Google search engine is all they need to find source code on the Web to solve a particular programming problem.  But Google doesn’t understand code, so dedicated code search engines have emerged to bring code search to a new level.

Following is a list of all known code search engines and the tagline and “About” information from the site.  Please comment if you know of other code search engines, as I will keep this list updated.

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Apr 25

This is the first in what will be a series of articles, each highlighting an obscure programming language.

There are over 2700 languages spoken on Earth. And while there are only about a dozen popular programming languages, there are over 400 known programming languages, many of which you can see in this extensive “Hello World” collection.

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