Tag Archives: reference

rfc and httpdoc: Two terminal references

I have a couple of simple but related tools today, both from the same author. At left is rfc, and at right is httpdoc.

2015-04-25-6m47421-rfc 2015-04-25-6m47421-httpdoc

I’ve known about rfc for a while, but got a reminder about httpdoc earlier this week via e-mail. Since they both have the same style and same creator, it makes sense to lump them together.

rfc, when supplied with a number or a topic line, will pull the text of that RFC from the web and dump it into your $PAGER. No fancy formatting, no color-coded document histories, just one-shot quick access to RFCs all the way back to … well, back to number 1.

The home page has a three-step process for “installing” rfc into your $HOME directory, although I daresay it could be rearranged to allow for more than just one person to use. In any case, it takes very little effort and rfc itself won’t bog down your system, seeing as it’s just a bash creation.

As an added bonus, rfc will keep its documents stored locally, so you don’t have to re-download a request. If you rely on rfc frequently, you’ll probably be interested in some of the built-in actions — like update or list, which give rfc a little more oomph, and search, which … well, you should be able to figure that one out. 🙄

httpdoc is similar, in a way. As you can see above, httpdoc becomes an offline reference tool for HTTP documentation. In the screenshot above, I only showed the 404 status code, but httpdoc can also return documentation on header fields, if you need that.

I can see where httpdoc is still being updated even in the past few days, so I expect there will be more references to come.

httpdoc is written in go, so you’ll need that installed before it will play along. There are also some environment variables that you’ll want to adjust before using it, but it’s nothing complicated.

Both of these tools might strike you as too simple to be noteworthy, but that will depend a lot on your perspective. I use things like dict on a daily basis, and even have it hot-wired for thesaurus entries as part of my .bashrc.

If you have a similar need for RFC or HTTP documentation at the command line, then you might find both of these install-worthy. Necessity is the mother of invention. Or is it the other way around … ? 😉

Tagged: documentation, html, http, reference, references

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bibcursed: Light and speedy reference management

I think bibcursed might actually qualify as an office application, in the same way sc and slsc are spreadsheets, and jed and textadept are word processors.

bibcursed manages and edits BibTeX bibliography files, and does it through a series of menus and a captive interface.

2014-12-17-6m47421-bibcursed-01 2014-12-17-6m47421-bibcursed-02

I’ve used some bibliography tools in the past, and even some reference management sites or plugins, but they were usually browser based, and quite taxing on single-core machines. That’s the way things are going, to be honest.

Finding bibcursed now makes me wish I had known about BibTeX a few years ago. It probably could have saved me a little time on more than one university project.

Getting back to bibcursed specifically, everything is arranged through the startup menu, with options to search, change and add as you see fit. bibcursed can’t do much unless you are ready to work with a .bib file, and the one you see above was chosen at random from the vast information repository we call The Internet.

No color, and controls are very simple, but given that bibcursed is more functional than frilly, I find no fault with that. Onboard help is a bonus, and I should mention that bibcursed gave me no grief for very small terminals or very large ones.

I don’t have any context for using bibcursed aside from this brief adventure. But should the opportunity arise in the future, I should like to give it a try, and see how it behaves in a real-world situation.

It can’t be much worse than those online reference managers, that weigh down on my old Inspiron like a ton of bricks. … 🙁

Tagged: bibliography, management, reference

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