Open source software I use for development

I love open source software, and I try to use it whenever possible. The ability to be able to fork the codebase and add (or fix) functionality you need means you’re not reliant on a third party for a bug fix.

In an effort to share more open source software, here are a couple of repositories for tools that I find useful day-to-day for development:

  • Super Productivity - An open source time tracking / task organization tool that integrates with Jira, GitHub and GitLab.

  • Pandoc - This is a great tool that enables easy conversion between markup formats. I mainly use it to write documentation in a markdown editor and then convert it to MediaWiki format.

  • ScreenToGif - ScreenToGif allows you to record your screen and save it as, you guessed it, a GIF. I find this incredibly useful for sharing quick demos / new functionality in video format.

  • Draw.io - It’s worth noting this project is open source, but closed to contributors. I use it to make UML diagrams and flowcharts to describe functionality and system architecture changes.

  • Git Recall - This a really useful tool that allows you to quickly browse through commit diffs in the terminal.


Posted on August 28, 2021

MarkText - An Open Source Markdown Editor

After switching over my blog to Gatsby and using markdown, I have been on the lookout for a decent markdown editor to use for writing. Up until now, I have been using a combination of Dillinger.io and Markdown Navigator Enhanced in PHPStorm.

I switch between a windows desktop computer and a MacBook throughout the day, so having the same software on both platforms was vital to me. I also wanted something open-source, as I’m trying to focus on making more open-source contributions.

Well, I’ve found something that satisfies both of the above: Mark Text.

An image of MarkText software

I could talk about all of its features and how its interface is beautifully minimalistic, but you can read all about that on their website or if README.md is more your thing, check out their Github.


Posted on November 30, 2020

Software I’m using to track tasks & time

So lately I’ve been trying to manage my time better, with countless personal projects and legacy applications to support I find not properly tracking what I’m doing to surprisingly be more of a waste of time than tracking my time, even when you take in the time lost by tracking said time.

Firstly, I already use Trello for organizing my tasks across bigger projects, I’m pretty sure most people do, it’s one of the best task management tools for things that are just general planning rather than bugs. For managing bugs I’m using JIRA or Github Issues depending on if the project is open source or not. I’m generally trying to do as much open source as possible lately. For more general tasks I’m using Todoist , which I recommend checking out if you haven’t, it has a very clean and simple interface.

So with all that in mind I set out to find an application that could potentially work with all of the above as well as give me time tracking. Handily enough I found Toggl , which is completely free until you want to export invoices etc, which I don’t really have a need for right now.

Toggl just takes all the hassle out of time tracking, after installing it’s browser plugin Toggl integrates with most task tools. Github issues , JIRA , Trello , and Todoist just to name a few.

So not only do they make it really easy, but how they actually output your data is really handy also.

Screenshot of Toggl

Another one for any of you programmers is WakaTime.

Screenshot of Wakatime

Wakatime allows you to install a plugin in your IDE of choice, pretty much all are supported, it basically reports on what programming languages your spending the most time using. Their graphs are not as pretty as Toggl’s but I still enjoy them!


Posted on March 29, 2015

Jelly SMS – Use your web texts from your desktop

JellySMS is now abandoned, I’ve removed any links to it.

jellysms.jpg One program I’ve been using a while now and is a serious lifesaver for when I’m out of credit is “Jelly SMS” (previously just jSMS). You need to have the latest Java installed for it to work but it is cross-platform. It basically lets you send web texts from your desktop without having to login to your network’s website.

The latest version of the software even supports delivery reports, and support is very good, I’ve noticed it not working maybe twice in the last year (due to o2 redesigning their website), both times the issues where fixed and an automatic update was out within two days.

They also now have an android and iPhone app, for anyone in possession of those luxuries!


Posted on April 08, 2010

Create a URL Shortener With Your Domain

If you use URL shortening services like TinyURL , it may be worth your while to setup a domain shortening service on your own domain. This is quiet easily done with a WordPress plugin now.

YOURLS is a free PHP script created by Lester Chan and Ozh Richard that allow you to create something similar to TinyURL.

  • It is easy to install.
  • It has a statistic side that allows you to keep track of all the URLs you are currently using.
  • It also easily allows you to choose between making your service open for all or just for you.
  • It lets you have customizable links instead of random characters.
  • Lastly it has a bookmarklet that allows you to make TinyURLs on the fly!

Download it and try it out!


Posted on September 24, 2009