Monday, September 15, 2008

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Campfire activity notifier for Gnome, KDE, or console

The 37signals blog points out a simply Ruby script for KDE that will give you a visual notification when a new message is posted to a Campfire chat room.

I have modified that script to work for Gnome as well as KDE, and additionally a text console. I also made a few other additions such as:

  • Allow you to specify a specific chat room(s) as a command line argument

  • Multiple chats rooms can be monitored concurrently using threading

  • Added the Campfire logo to the notifications

  • Added some initial status messages to display login status, room topic, and current people in the room

  • Display of the last 3 messages of the current day's transcript so you know what's going on without need to login

  • Filter out ads

Here is my version of the script:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

# == Synopsis
# Program to monitor a campfire chat room
# Modified from code provided at:
# == Usage
# campfireMonitor [roomName] [roomName] ...
# == Author
# Steven Pothoven and Snailbyte Ltd.

require 'rubygems'
require 'tinder'
require "cgi"

class App
VERSION = '0.1.1'

def initialize arguments, stdin
# default settings
campfireSubdomain = 'mySubdomain'
campfireUsername = ''
campfirePassword = 'password'
roomNames = ['Room1', 'Room2']
if arguments.length > 0
roomNames = arguments

@ui = 'gnome'
@campfireIconPath = '/path/to/campfire-logo.png'
# define you favorite audio player and audio file here for audio notifications
@soundCommand = 'mplayer /usr/share/sounds/pop.wav'

@campfire = campfireSubdomain
if @campfire.login campfireUsername, campfirePassword
alert nil, "CampfireMonitor", "Successfully logged in #{campfireUsername}"
@rooms = roomNames.collect { |roomName| @campfire.find_room_by_name roomName }
# remove any invalid rooms
@rooms.each do |room|
notify room, "CampfireMonitor", "Entered room."
notify room, "CampfireMonitor", "Topic is: #{room.topic}.".gsub("'","")
notify room, "CampfireMonitor", "Current users are: #{room.users}.".gsub("'","")
alert nil, "CampfireMonitor", "Failed to log in #{campfireUsername}"

# display notifcation message
def notify room, user, msg
if msg and msg.size > 0
msg = CGI.unescapeHTML(msg);
if @ui == 'kde'
system "dcop knotify default notify eventname \'#{user}\' \'#{''': ' unless room.nil?} #{msg}\' '' '' 16 2"
elsif @ui == 'gnome'
system "notify-send -i #{@campfireIconPath} '#{user}' '#{''': ' unless room.nil?} #{msg}'"
puts "#{':' unless room.nil?}#{user} - #{msg}"

# notify with sound
def alert room, user, msg
notify room, user, msg
if @soundCommand and @soundCommand.length > 0
system @soundCommand

def run
# first get any missed messages for today
threads = []
@rooms.each do |room|
thread = do
room.transcript( do |m|
if !m.nil? and m[:message] and m[:message].size > 1
notify room, m[:person], m[:message].gsub("'","")
threads << thread
threads.each { |thread| thread.join}

# listen for more messages
threads = []
@rooms.each do |room|
thread = do
notify room, "CampfireMonitor", "Waiting for messages..."
room.listen do |m|
if !m.nil? and m[:message].size > 1
unless m[:person] == "Ad"
alert room, m[:person], m[:message].gsub("'","")
threads << thread
threads.each { |thread| thread.join}


app =, STDIN)

I'm sure you can think of plenty more customizations such as command-line options for all the default settings, etc. But I wanted to keep it fairly simple.

One last thing, here is the cropped version of the Campfire logo I use for my notifications (campfire-logo.png):

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome (Chromium) JavaScript speed

Today Google announced and released their own web browser named Chrome (aka Chromium). They even made a nice comic book to describe the advantages of it.

One of the key features they advertise is faster JavaScript execution due to the V8 JavaScript VM. So, I decided to test it using my JS-BogoMips test.

Here are the results of my tests (Windows Vista on Intel® Core™2 Quad Q6600):
Firefox 3:
JS-BogoMIPS (3x) = (0.436779 + 0.446775 + 0.450888) / 3 = 0.444814

JS-BogoMIPS (3x) = (2.758552 + 2.884791 + 2.881541) / 3 = 2.841628

which is a 6.4x speed increase!