Thursday, August 18, 2011

SVN Keybindings in Eclipse Indigo (3.7)

This really got me today. I just setting up a new instance of Eclipse Indigo (3.7) and when I set up key bindings for SVN, they didn't work. I looked at the team menu and the shortcuts were shown. But they didn't work. Many nails were bitten.

I found the solution in this StackOverflow post answered by Russell Davis: SVN key bindings not working in Eclipse. The issue is due to a breaking change in Eclipse 3.6. The fix: in the "Customize Perspective" dialog, go to the "Command Groups Availability" tab and check "Team" and "SVN".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Limitations of Gmail on iPad

Updates. Wednesday 21 September 2011, 08:35:51 PM: yay, I am wrong! Use two fingers to scroll up/down a nested scrollable area. For Atomic users: disable 2 finger swipe up/down gestures first!

The iPad interface for Gmail is fantastic - but still, as a mobile interface it is very limited. Just like on the iPhone (and Android?) you don't get access to all of your settings. For example, you can't use the mobile interface to change what pop accounts Gmail connects to - nor can you do this through the Gmail HTML interface

A couple of days ago, I wrote about using Atomic Web browser on the iPad to get access to the desktop version of Google Checkout, which worked nicely. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as nicely for the Gmail desktop interface on Atomic Web Browser: I can get to the Accounts and Import settings page, but cannot scroll down to the section containing the pop accounts!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Text macros in iOS - insert a date on the iPad

I have written before about how to insert dates into various windows applications and how this was solved instantly and globally and magically with Autohotkey. Today I worked out how to solve this - and so much more - on the iPad and iPhone.

The answer is TextExpander Touch - which gives you text based macros (called "snippets"), combined with the hopefully growing list of apps that support TextExpander. So far, I am regularly using BlogPress for writing blog posts (such as this one) and WriteRoom for text notes sync'd with DropBox.

J. Kevin Wolfe (that's Wolfe with an e) wrote the most useful review I have found for TextExpander: Review: iPad's TextExpander leaves you shorthanded (he is being ironic). He lists two of the most important snippet expansions, which I have copied below.

  • Paste contents of the clipboard: %clipboard
  • Place the cursor: %|

Here are the mappings I have made for dates.

  • Abbreviation: dd1; content: %date:EEEE d MMMM YYYY, hh:mm:ss a%; sample output: Sunday 7 August 2011, 01:18:36 AM
  • Abbreviation: dd2; content: %date:YYYYMMdd-HHmmss%; sample output: 20110807-012007

In this Smile blog post: More TextExpander Date and Time Formatting Options the creators of TextExpander write that it uses the Unicode Date Format Patterns, so go nuts and create your own!

My biggest gripe with this arrangement is that although TextExpander is uber-cool, it will only work with apps that come pre-baked with TextExpander support. This means it won't work in any of the "standard" iOS apps like Safari, Notes, Pages, SMS or Email. I personally doubt that Apple built apps will ever support TextExpander unless Apple buys the company (but I'm not starting any rumors). It means that you can only use TextExpander in one or more of the apps that support TextExpander, c&p'ing your content to an unsupported app as required. Personally, BlogPress suddenly became 100% cooler than I thought it was, and I will become very attached to WriteRoom from here on in.

One further note, don't forget to tap the + icon within Snippet Groups and tap Add Predefined - you can get predefined snippets for CSS, HTML and some good auto-corrections for common mis-spellings.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Getting around mobile interface for Google Checkout on iOS

When I tried to renew my credit card details on Google Checkout today, I used my iPad - I am on holiday and don't have access to a PC. On my iPad, however, Google Checout only offers the mobile interface which doesn't have the pages needed to modify account/credit card details - nor does it offer a link to the Desktop interface.

Solution: download Atomic Web Browser, paid version ($0.99) > tap settings icon > select "Identify Browser As" > select Safari Desktop. Use this browser to access Google Checkout. Problem solved!

What this does is change the "User Agent String" which tells the server what browser you are using. I changed it to tell Google I am using Safari on a desktop rather than the mobile version of Safari on an iPad - so Google served me the full Desktop version of the website, with all the controls I needed to change my credit card details.

Note that while this worked in this case, it might not be appropriate for all uses - sometimes a website might require resources that simply aren't feasible on an iPad. An example would be a site with Flash content, or ActiveX scripts etc.