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Jun 09 2009

No hierarchical test suites in Selenium IDE.

I’m writing a bunch of test suites using Selenium IDE right now, and while attempting to make some nice, modular test suites with reusable chunks of tests, I kept running into this error when trying to run the test suite in the IDE:

Error loading test case – no command found

I was puzzled. I poked around the documentation a bit and saw responses that said to make sure to open the test suite with the “Open Test Suite” command, which is what I was already doing.

What I didn’t see mentioned anywhere was that test suites can not be hierarchical.

I had split up my constants into a few different files, based on what those constants were, and wanted to write one test suite to import all of them in the correct order. I was then trying to call that test suite from within another test suite when I got the error.

Comment [1]
Sep 11 2008

Linux Launchy has arrived!

One of the few things that’s really been holding me back from switching my home desktop machine from Vista to some flavor of Linux was that Launchy, a program I use all the time, was only available on Windows.

But no more! A Linux version of Launchy has been released.

I’m going to get it set up on my EeePC first and then make the switch to Linux on my desktop machine.

Get Launchy

Comment [5]
Jun 18 2008


If you’re a command line junkie and haven’t visited Goosh, you’re missing out.

Comment [5]
Jun 16 2008

Firefox 3 - Quick Impressions

  • It was a little slow to load, but page load time seems faster.
  • I switched to the small icon set. The big forward/back buttons were way too big for my tastes.
  • The page text feels crisper.
  • Lots of my favorite extensions, including Firebug, haven’t been updated to work with FF3 yet, which makes me a sad panda.
  • Love, love, love the new “remember this password” and bookmarking UIs.
  • I think I like the Awesome bar…but it’s just so…so…different. It’ll take some time to really be sure.

Haven’t got Firefox 3 yet? The servers have re-grouped after the massive traffic attack from this morning at release time, so go get Firefox 3 now!

Comment [3]
Mar 19 2008

Snippet: jQuery Linkifier

Here’s a very basic jQuery linkification snippet that I put together recently.

$(document).ready(function() { var linkable_content = $('div#linkable').html().replace(/(https?:\/\/[^ ;|\\*'"!,()<>]+\/?)/g,'<a href="$1">$1</a>'); $('div#linkable').html(linkable_content); });

Now, this can’t be used in all circumstances. It doesn’t check to make sure that you’re not trying to make a link out of the href in a pre-existing link, so it should only really be used when you’re sure that it’s just plain text that you’ll be working with.

I could have done this server-side, but using jQuery to linkify the URLs prevents search engine bots from following the links, which got around the problem I had of wanting some links followed and others ignored.

Updating this snippet to work with a class (.linkable) instead of an id (#linkable), and to include ftp:// URLs is left as an exercise for the reader. ;)

Comment [2]
Mar 05 2008

I <3 my EeePC

About a month ago I picked up an EeePC off of Craigslist and I’ve fallen completely in love with it.

It’s a 4G Pearl EeePC, with the standard 7inch screen that was upgraded to 2G of ram by the fellow who sold it to me.

To all you girl-geeks out there, if you’re looking for a computer that fits in your purse, this is it. It also attracts a lot of attention and comments. When I went through security at the airport a couple of weeks ago, the baggage handlers were shocked it was a real computer, wanted to know how much it was and where they could get one.

I’ve been happy using the default Xandros OS, and have found it very easy to use and have even done a bit of telecommuting work with it with no issue. A quick Ctrl-Alt-T and I’m command-line mode and editing in vi.

I’ve only got two complaints:

  1. I can’t connect to my office’s secure wireless network because the key is too long.
  2. The Shift and Page Up keys really ought to be switched. I can’t count the number of times I’ve hit Page Up in the middle of typing something.

There’s not much I can do about the too-long wireless key, but there are instructions online on how to swap the Shift and Page Up keys on the EeePC

Comment [2]
Jan 02 2008

PuTTY plugin for Launchy v2.0

I’ve written in the past about how much I like Launchy and all the wonderful plugins that are available for it, so it’s no surprise that I upgraded to v2.0 as soon as it was released.

This broke one of my favorite Launchy plugins, the PuTTY Launchy plugin by Matthew Cowell.

Happily, he’s since released a beta version of a v2.0 compatible PuTTY plugin. I just installed it, and it works wonderfully.

What’s my favorite part about the plugin? The option to recognize the hosts you’ve saved in your PuTTY config as Launchy keywords.

Try it for yourself!

Get Launchy
Get the PuTTY plugin for Launchy.

Comment [2]
Oct 10 2007

Bedbugs vs. Zombies

I know that the focus of this blog is generally tech, coding and other geeky pursuits, but I feel the need to digress for a moment, so please bear with me.

A few months ago, we had bedbugs.

We alerted out landlord, two rounds of pesticides were applied and the bugs are now all dead and we haven’t been bitten in months. Victory!

But this story goes back to the day of the first pesticide application.

We had to be out of the apartment for several hours after the spray was applied, so we opted to grab dinner and then catch a movie. Which movie did we pick? 28 Weeks Later.

This was, in retrospect, probably the worst movie that we, a couple who were battling bedbugs, could possibly pick.

To illustrate, I have created a Zombies vs. Bedbugs chart.

Zombies Bedbugs
Can survive for a long time without feeding Can survive for up to 18 months without feeding
Feed on human brains Feed on human blood
Multiply quickly Multiply quickly
Getting bitten can turn you into a zombie Getting bitten can turn you into a zombie due to significant sleep deprivation
Ignorance & selfishness can allow them to spread into previously unaffected areas Ignorance & selfishness can allow them to spread into previously unaffected areas
Follow you wherever you go Follow you wherever you go
Can infect anyone, regardless of class, gender or nationality Can infest anyone’s apartment, regardless of class, gender or nationality
Difficult to eradicate Difficult to eradicate
Creep me out a bit Creep me out a lot
I don’t check my room for zombies every night I do check my bed for bedbugs every night

So you can see, watching 28 Weeks Later while fighting a bedbug infestation was not a wise choice. We came out feeling defeated and numb. It took several episodes of Family Guy to cheer us up enough to face crawling into bed.

In summary: bedbugs are the new zombies.

For more information on bedbugs and how to fight them, check out BedBugger

We now return you to your regularly geeky programming.

Comment [7]
Sep 13 2007

Geeklust: Todoist

Okay, so this isn’t a physical product, but it deserves a hearty amount of geeklust!

I’ve been a fan of Launchy for a while now, and I recently discovered, through my random web wanderings, that there was a Todoist plugin for Launchy.

Curious, I headed over to and signed up to see what it had to offer.

I watched a couple of screencasts, and then got to work adding projects, tasks and notes to my account.

Is it ever handy!

Not only can I add tasks to my Todoist via Launchy, there’s also an excellent Firefox extension which adds an “Add to Todoist” link at the bottom of every message in Gmail.

And on top of that, they’ve recently added Seinfeldian chains, so you can track completion recurring tasks.

Go check it out now. It’s fantastic!

Link: Todoist

Aug 20 2007

Using Online Worlds to Study Disease

According to this article, it looks like Blizzard is going to be collaborating with scientists to study the spread of infectious diseases.

A quote from one of the scientists:

“By using these games as an untapped experimental framework, we may be able to gain deeper insight into the incredible complexity of infectious disease epidemiology in social groups.”

Apparently Blizzard had an outbreak of a ‘virtual disease’ two years ago called “Corrupted Blood” which high level characters could endure, but which quickly killed lower level players. They had to reset the computers in order to gain control of it, after they were unsuccessful in closing off infected areas of the game.

I think this could be a really interesting study.