Testing regular expressions

I’ve been working with regular expressions recently (a series of characters that define a search pattern) and wanted to share a useful testing tool I found.

https://regex101.com/ allows users to easily test expressions on sample strings and provides a useful explanation of the match conditions and information on any errors encountered.

If you’re new to Regex, give it a try.


Quick Tip: Determine Python Version

You can determine which version of python is installed on your computer by running the following commands in your computer’s terminal.

python -V


python --version

Quick-Tip: Escaping special characters in MS-DOS

The other day I needed to make a batch file, and encountered the problem of having characters (specifically spaces and parentheses), which needed to be escaped in order for the batch file to run correctly in MS-DOS.

An example of this problem would be having the following line in a batch file:

Incorrect example: C:\Program Files (x86)\Program\executableFile.exe

This example would result in an error stating:

’C:\Program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

This error is caused by multiple special characters which were not escaped. To solve this problem a ‘^’ should be placed before all characters which need to be escaped (eg. spaces, parentheses, etc). See the correct example below:

Correct example: C:\Program^ Files^ ^(x86^)\Program\executableFile.exe

7 helpful website development tools

I’ve been occupied with web development the last few months and thought I’d share some of the resources/development tools I’ve come across

Color Wizard

I often struggle with what colours compliment other colours when designing a website. Thankfully I don’t need to take a design class to learn this skill. At coloursontheweb.com, their colour wizard application provides a convenient method for selecting colours and finding out what other colours are complimentary.


Developing a website template but don’t have any written content yet? Not a problem. Simply head over to lipsum.com to generate some dummy text for you site, and see what your template will look like with pages of content.

Google Fonts

Looking for a unique font for your site? Or perhaps you want your site’s title to stand out from the body of the page? If so, perhaps Google fonts can help. Google provides a wide selection of different fonts which can be easily added to any site.

Font Pair

Now that you’ve added that fancy Google font to your site, you’re probably wondering what type of font compliments it for the main body of your page. Font Pair solves this problem for you, by providing a list of suggestions for a variety of different fonts.


Are you a poor speller? Or perhaps you have fat fingers like me? If you frequently make typos, than perhaps typosaur.us can help. Typosaurus provides a simple tool which allow users to submit their website URL and have Typosaurus check it for errors.


Font Awesome is a CSS library containing icon art. If you’re in need of a clean icon for your social media section of your home page, or simply lack graphic design skills but want to include an image on your site. Than take a look at font awesome. It’s a great library, which is easy to use and can add some extra polish to any design.


If you’re a web developer, than you likely know about this tool already. If you’re just starting out with JavaScript than do yourself a favour and bookmark this site right away. JSLint provides a simple interface for checking JavaScript code. Although some may find it strict in what it considers an error, the end result of using this site is the development of better code writing habits and a useful tool for finding syntax errors. It’s a wonderful tool, so take a moment and try it out the next time you have an error in your code.

D3.JS Widget Development Update

I’ve been working on a number of d3.js visualization widgets for my research, and wanted to share some of the results.

D3.JS Histogram spatial querying widget

A histogram visualization that is integrated with the Nunaliit atlas framework, and is used as a spatial querying method based on feature attribute data.

d3.js pie chart

This simple pie chart is used to visualize the dataset contained in the atlas.

JavaScript Namespace Design Patterns

I recently came across a great article on JavaScript namespace design patterns. As a beginner JavaScript developer, I found many of the approaches discussed in the article both insightful and clarifying as to why certain tactics are adopted in code. If you’re interested in namespace design patterns, you can find the article here.

Quick Tip: Viewing the Javascript’s Global Namespace

When programming in Javascript you can inspect which objects are currently populating the global namespace. A quick way to view this list of objects is to type the word “window” into your browser’s console (see screenshot below for an example). This will return the Window DOM object which will contain a list of all objects which are currently populating the global scope.

Chrome's console window

Screenshot of Chrome’s Console Window