Impromptu: access the Wiki docs from the editor

When you're Impromptu-ing but don't know the meaning or syntax of a function, the usual thing to do is calling (help function-name) to get some help about that function, or (help function-name #t) if you want to see also the examples associated with it. The help text gets displayed in the log view, so that you can then copy/paste what you need from there. Quite useful, but nonetheless I always find myself fighting with the log window: too small, hidden away by other canvases, or not readable anymore cause after calling the help function I've evaluated other stuff that has moved up the much needed help-text.

Since a couple of months ago Impromptu has a wiki too - so I thought, it'd be nice to see a function's help in a browser window, and possibly contribute to its explanation too..

So, that's the rationale for this little script. By calling 'wiki' you can open up a web browser at the relevant Impromptu-wiki page.. as simple as that. >>>

First off, we need a couple of utility functions that are not included in Impromptu by default, for better manipulating strings, lists and webpages (UPDATE 9-Nov2010: some of this symbols have been included in Improptu 2.5, so I prefixed the one below with the utils: namespace):

;; utilities

;; (utils:list-flatten '(9 9 (9 9 9 ))))  = (9 9 9 9 9)
(define utils:list-flatten
   (lambda (l)
      (cond ((null? l)
            ((atom? l)
             (list l))
            (#t (append (utils:list-flatten  (car l)) (utils:list-flatten  (cdr l)))))))

;; returns a char from a string of length 1, or a list of chars from a longer string
(define utils:char
   (lambda (string_char)
      (if (string? string_char)
          (if (> (string-length string_char) 0)
              (if (> (string-length string_char) 1)
                  (string->list string_char)
                  (car (string->list string_char))))
          (print 'please 'enter 'a 'string))))

;; matches a single character in a string, and replaces it
(define utils:string-replace
   (lambda (s match replacement)
      (let ((ll (string->list s))
            (match1 (utils:char match))
            (replacement1 (utils:char replacement)))
         (if (= (string-length match) 1)
             (let ((z (map (lambda (x)
                              (if (equal? x match1)
                (list->string (utils:list-flatten z)))
             (print "i can match only single characters for now")))))

;; makes a string upper case
(define utils:string-capitalize
   (lambda (s)
      (string-append (string (char-upcase (string-ref s 0))) (substring s 1 (string-length s)))))

;; open-url: calls the default mac browser with a url argument 
;; disclaimer: I'm not an objc programmer... found an example at 
;; [](
(define utils:open-url
   (lambda (urlstring)
      (let ((urlobj (objc:call "NSURL" "URLWithString:" urlstring))
            (workspace (objc:call "NSWorkspace" "sharedWorkspace")))
         (objc:call workspace "openURL:" urlobj))))

Finally, the functions for opening the wiki page:

;; wiki url caller
;; e.g. (wiki objc:from-address) => goes to

;; wiki-escape: composes the url so that it matches the ones of the online wiki 
(define wikiescape
   (lambda (funname)
      (for-each (lambda (x)
                   (set! funname (utils:string-replace funname (car x) (cadr x))))
                '(("+" "%2B")
                  ("=" "%3D")
                  ("<" "lessthan")
                  (">" "greaterthan")
                  ("*" "%2A")
                  ("?" "%3F")
                  ("!" "%21")
      (utils:string-capitalize funname)))

(define wiki-inner
   (lambda (funname)
      (let* ((urlbase "[](")
             (newname (wikiescape funname))
             (url (string-append urlbase newname)))
         (utils:open-url url))))

;; macro wrapper and main function that gets called 
(define-macro (wiki name)
   `(wiki-inner (sexpr->string (quote ,name))))

That's it: load all of this code (or put it in a single file and load it at startup time) and you've got the wiki procedure available!

Cite this blog post:

Michele Pasin. Impromptu: access the Wiki docs from the editor. Blog post on Published on Feb. 15, 2010.

Comments via Github:

See also:


paper  Fitting Personal Interpretation with the Semantic Web: lessons learned from Pliny

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paper  How do philosophers think their own discipline? Reports from a knowledge elicitation experiment

European Philosophy and Computing conference, ECAP10, Munich, Germany, Oct 2010.

paper  Data integration perspectives from the London Theatres Bibliography project

Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l'étude des médias interactifs (SDH-SEMI 2010), Montreal, Canada, Jun 2010.