Telegram, one of the largest instant messaging applications, introduces bot support some time ago. Their main purpose, it seems, is to have a sort of interactive communications with users. However, you can use the API for much more prosaic, but constructive purposes.
2020 just arrived and it's time for something new. I have been using Drupal since 2006, so we have been together for almost 14 years! It's an impressive journey and I am look back with satisfaction - Drupal is simple to use if it fits the requirements exactly, and I stoically avoided touching any of its smelly PHP bowls. However, with the arrival of Drupal 8 I realised, that I couldn't migrate to it even my simple and straightforward sites. Therefore, I decided to slowly migrate to Django + Wagtail. This will require some coding in Python on my side, but I don't mind that.
The number of large software systems in the world is growing steadily. Old first generation solutions get improvements and are made more sophisticated. Completely new areas open up for automation. More systems, more lines of code. More complexity everywhere. And, inevitably, more questions about the behaviour. And, of course, more errors, from bugs in the systems themselves to malfunctioning of external dependencies and processes.
Microsoft is continuously improving its record with the open source community. First dumping massive chunks of .NET into github, then actually making very dedicated effort to clean it up and make it portable to Linux and Mac. Now comes another step, albeit smaller, in the same direction. Visual Studio 2017 will support CMake projects in a native way, without the need to generate .proj and .sln files first. This is great news, because it saves some effort for those working on cross-platform C++ products.
For quite some time I wanted to have a Drupal theme that would allow me to have a bootstrap based theme together with the look and feel as dictated by the Material Design principles from Google. Mainly because I like the way these two look and because I myself have very limited abilities in creating pretty user interfaces.
I have released a new product: Event Importer for Google calendar. It allows importing iCalendar files (.ics), downloaded via browser quickly and easily. Possible use cases: event export from Facebook, Meetup, other online services, e-mailed .ics files etc. Please give it a try and let me know what you think.
I have been introduced to Markdown format some time ago and today I find it extremely convenient for most of the writing I need to do. Markdown is essentially "markup without markup" - it requires you to do very little in order to format your text and it can be easily converted in a number of other formats, such as PDF, Word, ODT, LaTeX, HTML, Docbook etc. From experience I found that the most convenient environment to edit Markdown files is OpenOffice (or LibreOffice). Not only is it free and open source, it is actually quite convenient.
WPF allows you to create localized applications with relatively little effort. The localized strings are put into resource files (.resx), one per target language, and maintained as needed. The editing facilities of Visual Studio, however, are not designed to help the localization efforts, however. The GUI can only show one resource file at a time.
Offlineimap - a utility, used to synchronize between IMAP servers and Maildir style mailboxes on Unix systems, is very convenient. It can be used to back up your mail, stored on a remote IMAP server. Unfortunately, some releases of the utility are quite buggy - the latest version from the previous maintainer was simply broken, refusing to connect to many remote servers. It appears, however, that there is a new maintainer for the project. The GIT repository can be found here. Caveat emptor.