Doxygen – Automated Documentation Generator

I’m quite liking Doxygen. Feels like Javadoc done right. I never liked having to manually feed files to javadoc, but Doxygen has a handy dandy UI to recursively feed it directories and files, and has all kinds of pattern matching and filtering at the file level. Cool.

There’s even a MacOSX package that includes the command line and GUI wrapper.

The output isn’t bad, either. I’ve only run it on a few apps now, and they are rather lacking in documentation (well, consistent documentation, anyway ;-).

One of the cooler things about Doxygen is the ability to have some (or all) of your documentation separate from the source code (or, by default, do it the same way Javadoc does). King’s been complaining about the lack of header files in java, and this kinda sorta almost makes up for that. But not quite.

Check out the documentation for the EduSource ECL API.

Searching again ( extremely natural language queries? )

I was just trawling the apache access logs on commons.ucalgary.ca, trying to see how the new website is behaving, and came across this gem in the search query section of awstats:

i am trying to write a short paragraph on about myself in self-efficacy. please help me.

Looking more closely, the query came from Yahoo! Search, on the third page of results (it’s not showing up now, though…). I wonder if the polite plea at the end of the query really helped? For some reason, I picture this person trapped in a spider web somewhere…

Search Variables (simple vs. advanced search)

Tim Bray is right on with this (and welcome back to North America, Tim!).

People don’t want to have to muck around with 15 fields and widgets in a search form. How on earth would I know if the term I’m looking for is in the Title, Creator, Description, URL, whatever field? Unless I already knew what I was looking for, in which case I probably wouldn’t be using a search engine…

We need to build Simple Search (i.e., a single text field with a “Go” button) to be smart enough that it’s all that is required. I can’t remember the last time I used the Advanced Search form in CAREO, aside from testing/debugging the form itself.

Which would you be more likely to use?

Advanced Search

or

Simple Search

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if APOLLO didn’t even have an “advanced search” form (unless the users scream for one, that is).

Up for air

I’m popping up for air, and seeing that a whole lot of stuff has been going on…

I’ve been under a heavy load of artificial urgency – and just recently realized that things are actually progressing quite well despite it all. Lately, I’m finding it harder and harder to keep this artificial urgency in perspective – things seem so darned important and demand immediate attention. Whether they deserve it or not – that filter has apparently been disabled. I wonder if there’s some kind of Bayesian filter for external (meaning “outside of my skull”) demands 😉 A friend pointed out that I’ve been in a dark, dark place lately. Time to fix that.

The Learning Commons website was just revamped, with a much easier layout (you can actually FIND stuff now!).

The migration from CAREO to APOLLO marches on, with significant interest from a metric boatload of folks, some of whom actually want to collaborate (yay!).

I’ve been working on a “learning object metadata editor” as an APOLLO app – it’s basically a generic XML editor, that can be fed some XPaths for editing in a form-based interface on a web page. It’s working quite well in my little sandbox, but it’s not ready to be released into the wild quite yet. It’s basically the only thing holding us back from throwing the switch from CAREO to APOLLO, though…