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Playing with Regex on OSX


If you've ever been stuck with the problem of trying to build anything but a simple regular expression you know how painful it can be getting it to match just what you want.

When developing for .NET on Windows I was introduced to a brilliant free tool called Rad Software Regex Designer that gave you the ability to provide an example of the text you wanted to match and an area to slowly build up your regular expression while getting instant feedback on what it was doing. It even has dialogs to add specific regular expression commands in case your proficiency with regular expressions isn't high or you just forgot how to create a non matching group. After moving to OSX for work I went looking for a similar tool for the Mac. And after a while I found it.

RegExhibit is a GUI tool of OSX that uses the Perl regular expression library to help you build regular expressions. This should be fine for any other languages that use a PCRE library but make sure you check before deploying. The core part of the program are two text areas. you place an example of the text you want to match into the lower area and build up your regular expression in the top are. There are even tabs for doing matches and splits but you'll likely find yourself in the match tab for most of time. However it doesn't offer the same built in dialogs like the Rad Software Regex Designer so make sure you've got a regular expression reference handy.

This is a great tool that has saved my sanity several times already and I do recommend to anyone that has to play with regular expressions and is developing on the Mac.


Should we remember all of those that have fought for our freedoms?  

Well today was ANZAC day in New Zealand and Australia and if you don't know it's our remembrance/veterans day.

One of the things that's always brought up as a reason for paying respects to the servicemen and women is for their actions in giving us our current freedoms. Now I've always had a small issue with this as this does not recognize everyone who has put effort in to gain and maintain the freedoms and rights we have and to improve our country. Things like universal suffrage, healthcare, the welfare state, representative democracy, police and government oversight, the freedom to disagree with those in power without fearing retribution. All of these things are just as important to improving our country as well as the military is in showing other powers in the world that we can and will put our money where our mouth is.

I'm not trying to trivialize the efforts of the men and women in uniform. I'm just trying to expand on the belief we pay our respects to those who have given their blood, sweat, tears, and lives to improve our lives.

So, do you think we should start to make efforts to recognize these other groups who have fought just as hard to improve the countries we live in at the same time we recognize and pay our respects to those who have fought with bullets and bombs?


You Can Die in the Tutorial

Well I've now finished the Military career mission arc. Pretty solid introduction to PvE'ing touching on resists, aiming, firing, moving, etc. It finishes up with a mission that you will be destroyed in unless you were paying attention. It's nice to know some of the true nature of EVE makes it into the tutorial stuff. Also got a new frigate gifted as part of one of the missions. I am now flying a Tristan. Depending on what happens in the near future I may ditch it and get myself a Catalyst.

Now I'm off to a Sisters of Eve agent for what I believe is the start of the beginner epic arc. Never done an Epic arc so this should be quite interesting.


EVE Has a Tutorial?

Well here I am in the tutorial every new player gets dropped into.

This is already a vast improvement over the tutorial I got when I started. You get dropped into what I understand is a deadspace complex with a few asteroids and a single rat which orbits around. This is good because it gets people right into the game without being shocked by the menus and everything else you get when docked in a station. This part of the tutorial takes you through the core movement and combat skills. After that's done it gets you to dock up at the only station in system. This is interesting as they get you to use the dock order which warps you to zero automatically instead of getting you to warp to zero first and then dock. I can understand using just the dock as it leaves the explicit warp-to instruction till later. As a 0.0 veteran I'm more used to warping to zero before doing any action so the straight up dock seems a bit odd.

Another interesting addition to the tutorial is this big white box that floats around when the tutorial wants you to do something with the UI. I think this is awesome as it gives new players this big "LOOK HERE" thing to speed up their initial learning instead of the hunting for the 10px x 10px that might have been flashing back when I started. Another really nice feature of this is that if you have a window over the button or item then the overlapping window will become transparent so you can see the button or item the big white box is pointing to.

The way the tutorial only spawns items as you need them for a specific step in the tutorial is nice. Instead of flooding the new user with a million items you start off with nothing but a Civilian Damage Control and the first ship you destroy has the classic 1 piece of Trit waiting for you as loot.

The tutorial also links to EVElopedia pages on subjects that the space and time of the tut doesn't really allow.

The explicit tutorial steps for joining a player corp are great compared to when I started. Mainly because the tutorial now covers them.

The career missions are an interesting addition. I went and bought a combat frig before finding out that the next mission gave you one as a reward. So I'm going to follow the mission arc until finished so I don't jump ahead and waste any more ISK. Especially as I'm not going to help myself to my main's stash.

Well that was an interesting evening. Will continue to work at this and see what happens.


The Experienced EVE Noob

It's been awhile since I last played EVE so I've been looking back and trying to figure out why. Was it burnout or just boredom or something else? The conclusion I came to was a combination of burnout of trying to keep up with all the 0.0 and corpie happenings and just getting a bit bored of the ISK grind but I still love the idea and most of the execution of the game.

So the other day an idea popped into my head. Start from scratch.

Now like almost all long time EVE players I have one alt to go along with my main. But that alt was pretty much speed trained right into a role that I wanted at the time. She never had to mission, grind or anything because of her sugar daddy main. But it has been so long since I was that noob we all were sitting in that Moa fitted with missiles and small hybrids that I though it would be interesting to do it all over again but with the advantage of knowing what I'm doing.

Of course I'm making it harder for myself to keep it interesting. I'll be moving into deep lowsec and try to live there. The stomping grounds of loners and pirates. It should be interesting. I plan to post the occaisional update on what it's like to be an EVE noob through the eyes of an experienced player.