Unzipper lens for unity

So I asked reddit what kind of lens they’d want to see in Unity, and to my surprise, their top answer was: “I’d like to see a lens that shows the contents of an archive without having to unzip it”.  I guess this makes sense if you want to verify the archive’s contents without having to extract it (to be sure there’s no iffy bits in there), and so I decided to take it on.  What I came up with was a non-visible lens that shows the archive’s contents (without unzipping it!)  if you type in the exact path of a .tar, .tar.gz, .tgz, or .zip on the home lens in the dash.

Now I’m not sure how many people this would be useful for, but if it’s something you’d be interested in, I built it in my ppa (not quite sure it’s ready for the scopes-packagers ppa).

To install:


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Now introducing: the unity github lens!

After writing + releasing the pypi lens, I was still in the mood for some random coding. Since I now feel I have a bit of a grasp on Unity Lenses (thanks to Michael Hall’s Singlet + Quickly), I decided I may as well keep going, and make as many lenses as people would find useful. So I began to think and ask around what people would find useful, and the top answer I got was GitHub. And to make things easier, GitHub has a nice API!

The GitHub Lens searches through repos as well as users. This will be useful if you want to search for say, “Google Voice” to see if anyone has any google voice api’s hanging around on GitHub. You could also search for your friends to see if they have a github account. Lastly, if you want to list all of the repos that a given user owns, simply search for their name with a ‘@’ in front of it. This will return all of their repos, and with a fun little bonus, will use their gravatar if they have one.

Check it out below:

github from chris wayne on Vimeo.

As usual, the code can be found on launchpad, at lp:~cwayne18/onehundredscopes/unity-lens-github

To install:



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Introducing Unity PyPi Lens

So I wanted to try my hand at some Unity Lens writing again (the first time being unity-lens-vm).  After thinking all day Sunday for what kind of lens I wanted, I eventually came up with a lens for PyPi.  For those that don’t know, PyPi is the python package index, which allows users to find and install almost any python module.  You can search either on the site (http://pypi.python.org) or by using pip search.

Now, instead of going through all that trouble, you can simply search for available or installed modules from the Unity Dash.  One thing that I was particularly concerned about was speed, especially with the slow pypi site, and ‘pip search simple’ taking 6 seconds on my machine.  To do this as quickly as possible, I pull the list of modules from a pypi mirror (http://g.pypi.python.org/simple/) and perform the searching myself.  To make it even quicker, the data is only pulled from the web on the first search ( the first search of each unity session), and then re-used.  Again due to speed, the results are limited to 100 results, as this is about searching more than browsing.  Clicking on a result will open it’s description page on PyPi.

Check out the lens in action!

pypi from chris wayne on Vimeo.

Unity-lens-pypi was written using Quickly and Singlet, on Ubuntu 12.04.  It is available in ppa:scopes-packagers/ppa.

I’m actually quite proud of this lens, as I find it more useful than pip search or using the site.  It’s certainly faster in most cases.

To install the lens:



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libfitbit packaged

Like many people who sit in front of a computer all day, I could use a little bit more exercise.  To help with this, I got the FitBit Ultra some time ago (http://fitbit.com) only to be disappointed in the lack of Linux support.  After some googling, I found a nice little client written in Python at https://github.com/qdot/libfitbit.  (Thanks to qdot for doing this!).  However, I noticed that this wasn’t packaged anywhere, and took this opportunity to brush up on my packaging.  Now, libfitbit is available in a PPA for Ubuntu users!

While this works for fitbits that are already set up, libfitbit is still lacking a system to enable the device.  What this means is you will need to download fitbit’s software on a Windows or Mac first, just for the initial setup.  After it’s setup, libfibit will now be able to handle syncing the device.

How to install it:

After a reboot or a sudo start libfitbit_client, you should now be able to simply plug in your fitbit and have it sync.

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Xpresser, now with 100% more special key support

So special key support is finally supported in my favorite GUI automation tool, Xpresser.  What that means is that now you can do all sorts of crazy stuff with it, like pretend you’re typing Control+Alt+T to open a terminal in Ubuntu.  The way that we wrote this ensures that all current Xpresser scripts using the type method won’t have any issues or loss of function, but any new scripts can now use that same type function to get some special key-presses.  How did we do this?  Magic.  That’s how.  Or, you know, with python.

This will allow fellow QA people to automate damn near anything using Xpresser.  Here is a sample script that will open up the Unity Dash directly to the Applications lens (by typing Super + A), and then search for a program, then hits enter to open it, then checks that it’s opened.  This could obviously be done with screenshots and clicking as well, but hey, I’m excited about this.

Simple isn’t it?  And here’s what that script does, in the form of a super-awesome-number-one screencast.



Documentation is being updated to show how to use this new functionality.  Updates will be in shortly.

This functionality can now be found in version 1.1.3 of python-xpresser, available now in ppa:xpresser-team/ppa.


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Obligatory Introduction Post

Welcome to chrismwayne.com, the personal/professional blog of Chris Wayne (as if you couldn’t have figured that out already).  I’ve decided to start this up so I could chronicle stuff that I do at work, and other nerdy stuff that I do.  Basically, I’m doing my part to get rid of the whole “I googled a problem and the only post I found is me asking about the problem.”  Or, to leave it to XKCD:

Of course there's always a relevant XKCD

So a short bio on me, my name is Chris Wayne, 24 year old QA Engineer working for Canonical.  I’m an Ubuntu member, and a free and open source software proponent.  Also, I like turtles.  I told you it was a short bio.

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