The knights who say NIH!

Using open source for free tasks

Why all the effort? Online task lists are dissappearing left and right (for example Astrid and Wunderlist). You want your tasks under your control which means: You have an open file format storing the tasks. You can synchronize or serve the tasks with open source tools. I started with todo.txt to store my tasks. This works fine, but a format like todo.txt has one big disadvantage: it doesn’t have a concept of task identity so any syncing solution is flaky.

From Vim to Emacs and back again

This is the story of how I moved from Vim to Emacs and then back again. It’s a story of modes, plugins, stock configs, mobile devices and eBooks. Why switch to Emacs? My initial interest for Emacs was triggered by a blog post about org-mode. Org mode looked like the plain text productivity solution I had been looking for for a long time. Apart from everything being plain text based, the functionality offered covered most of my bases.

Simpletask moved to Git and Redmine

Manually sending emails on ticket updates and keeping git mirrors of the code for FDroid building and on Github was starting to take too much of my time. As a result I have decided to move the issues to Redmine and use git instead of fossil. Even though I love the one file approach of fossil, git just integrates better with tools like Redmine. Visit the source and tracker here.

Simpletask 4.1.2 released

The latest version of Simpletask adds a new feature that was pending for quite some time. It’s now finally possible to archive only selected tasks. This way you can archive your tasks in stages. The new archive menu is available in the overflow menu when you have selected one or more tasks. Additionally you can edit more than one task at a time by selecting multiple tasks and clicking the pen icon.

Site moved to Pelican

The site has been moved to Pelican for several reasons, but the most important one is that I can now keep my blog postings in the open and future proof reStructuredText format instead of having it all hidden in a database. I initially moved to octopress, but after a single day of use, the lack of documentation was already annoying. In contrast, Pelican seems to have excellent documentation. I have also decided to move towards reStructuredText (reST) because:

VIM is here to stay

After doing a bit more reading on the subject, it turns out that not only Sublime Text (ST) is closed, it is also very expensive and might disappear any time. I am not willing to build my workflow around tools like that. A sentiment Astrid user should appreciate. However I do think Sublime text has some very nice features. Below I will discuss several ways to transfer these items to vim.

Saying goodbye to VIM?

I was reading the site and saw some very good feedback on the Sublime Text editor. Curious to try it out. I downloaded it and tried the following steps: Project->Add Folder to Project->My Documents And then Ctrl-P just worked. If you consider the time it took me to make this work in VIM, I think I am sold.

My GTD System

Note to self Focus on the process not on the tools!! Process Ubiquitous capture Open formats I do not want my stuff ending up in some closed database or format which is not easily transferable to something else. This means that for instance Evernote is not the best match. Instead I use plain text files as much as possible. Todo file: todo.txt plain text format Minutes and documents: Markdown syntax

Improve performance of Android Emulator

When developing for Android, using the provided emulators can be an exercise in frustration. The emulator startup time is quite long and the applications run very slowly. Fortunately there is now a way to run the emulator with decent performance on x86 hardware. The steps to configure this are explained at See section 2 to make your emulator rip. Finally I can do testing on an emulator instead of on my personal phone.

Building fossil for Android

To build fossil for Android, the easiest way is to use the Android NDK. The changes needed to build fossil on a Linux machine can be found at After running the script, the Android fossil binary can be found in the obj subdirectory. This fossil binary works on Android and even allows you to host fossil repos from your Android device. A prebuilt binary can be downloaded from http://mpcjanssen.