Fish shell now has underscore as a number separator (my feature request)

Posted on 7 Oct 2022 by Edward Betts

In November 2021 I filed a feature request for the fish shell to add underscore as a thousand separator in numbers. My feature request has been implemented and is available in fish 3.5.0, released 16 June 2022.

The fish shell supports mathematical operations using the math command.

edward@x1c9 ~> math 2_000 + 22
edward@x1c9 ~> 

The underscore can be used as a thousand separator, but there are other uses for a number separator. Here's a list taken from a post by Mathias Bynens about the number separator in JavaScript:

// A decimal integer literal with its digits grouped per thousand:
// A decimal literal with its digits grouped per thousand:
// A binary integer literal with its bits grouped per octet:
// A binary integer literal with its bits grouped per nibble:
// A hexadecimal integer literal with its digits grouped by byte:
// A BigInt literal with its digits grouped per thousand:

Programming languages are gradually adding a number separator to their syntax, I think Perl was the first. Most are languages use underscore, but C++ 14 uses an apostrophe for the number separator.

Tags: fish, feature-request

Find link needs a rewrite, the visual editor broke it

Posted on 15 Jun 2022 by Edward Betts

Find link is a tool that I wrote for adding links between articles in Wikipedia. Given an article title, find link will find other articles that include the entered article title but no link to the article. There is the option to edit the found articles and add the missing link.

For example, you might want to find missing links to the gig economy article.

I originally wrote the tool in 2008 when the MediaWiki software didn't have a rich-text editor. Wikipedia articles were edited by writing wiki markup in MediaWiki syntax. Since then MediaWiki has evolved and now has rich-text editing via the visual editor. Users don't need to know how to write wiki markup to modify an article.

Within MediaWiki there is a user preference to disable the visual editor and stick with editing via the original wiki markup.

Find link edits articles by taking the article text, adding the missing link, and sending the user to the changes view of the modified article on Wikipedia, if they're happy with the change they hit save. This only works with the original editor, it doesn't work with the visual editor.

English Wikipedia has had the visual editor enabled by default since 2016. For somebody to use find link they need to disable the visual editor in their Wikipedia preferences first.

Fixing this bug means quite a significant change to how the tool works.

My plan is to rewrite find link to save edits directly without needing to send the user to Wikipedia article edit change view page to make the edits. Users will authenticate with their Wikipedia account via OAuth and give permission for find link to edit articles on their behalf.

Some of my other tools use OAuth for editing OpenStreetMap and Wikidata, so I'm confident about using it to edit Wikipedia.

The source code for find link is on GitHub.

I'll post updates here as I make progress on the rewrite.

Tags: wikipedia, tools

Fixing spelling in GitHub repos using codespell

Posted on 13 Jun 2022 by Edward Betts

Codespell is a spell checker specifically designed for finding misspellings in source code.

I've been using it to correct spelling mistakes in GitHub repos sine 2016.

Most spell checkers use a list of valid words and highlighting any word in a document that is not in the word list. This method doesn't work for source code because code contains abbreviations and words joined together without spaces, a spell checker will generate too many false positives.

Codespell uses a different approach, instead of a list of valid words it has a dictionary of common misspellings.

Currently the codespell dictionary includes 34,466 known misspellings. I've contributed 300 misspellings to the dictionary.

Whenever I find an interesting open source project I run codespell to check for spelling mistakes. Most projects have spelling mistakes and I can send a pull request to fix them.

In 2019 Microsoft made the Windows calculator open source and uploaded it to GitHub. I used codespell to find some spelling mistakes, sent them a pull request and they accepted it.

A great source for GitHub repos to spell check is Hacker News. Let's have a look.

Hacker News has a link to forum software called Flarum. I can use codespell to look for spelling mistakes. When I'm looking for errors in a GitHub repo I don't fork the project until I know there is a spelling mistake to fix.

edward@x1c9 ~/spelling> git clone
Cloning into 'flarum'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 1338, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (42/42), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (23/23), done.
remote: Total 1338 (delta 21), reused 36 (delta 19), pack-reused 1296
Receiving objects: 100% (1338/1338), 725.02 KiB | 1.09 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (720/720), done.
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling> cd flarum/
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (master)> codespell -q3
./public/web.config:13: sensitve ==> sensitive
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (master)> gh repo fork
 Created fork EdwardBetts/flarum
? Would you like to add a remote for the fork? Yes
 Added remote origin
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (master)> git checkout -b spelling
Switched to a new branch 'spelling'
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> codespell -q3
./public/web.config:13: sensitve ==> sensitive
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> codespell -q3 -w
FIXED: ./public/web.config
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> git commit -am "Correct spelling mistakes"
[spelling bbb04c7] Correct spelling mistakes
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> git push -u origin
Enumerating objects: 7, done.
Counting objects: 100% (7/7), done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads
Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done.
Writing objects: 100% (4/4), 360 bytes | 360.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 4 (delta 3), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 0
remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (3/3), completed with 3 local objects.
remote: Create a pull request for 'spelling' on GitHub by visiting:
 * [new branch]      spelling -> spelling
branch 'spelling' set up to track 'origin/spelling'.
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> gh pr create 

Creating pull request for EdwardBetts:spelling into master in flarum/flarum

? Title Correct spelling mistakes
? Choose a template Open a blank pull request
? Body <Received>
? What's next? Submit
edward@x1c9 ~/spelling/flarum (spelling)> 

That worked. I found one spelling mistake, the word "sensitive" was spelled wrong. I forked the repo, fixed the spelling mistake and submitted the fix as a pull request.

The maintainer of Flarum accepted my pull request.

Fixing spelling mistakes in Bootstrap helped me unlocked the Mars 2020 Contributor achievements on GitHub.

Why not try running codespell on your own codebase? You'll probably find some spelling mistakes to fix.

Tags: codespell, github

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