Sarah and I had Thanksgiving dinner at our house the Sunday before. Sarah's parents and siblings came as well as my parents who came up for the a handful of days. It was our first time hosting Thanksgiving so I was a little nervous, but my parents helped us setup and get ready so of course it went well! I cheated a bit: I ordered a turkey online from Whole Foods where you can just tell them when you want to pick it up, they have it cooked and ready including garnish and you just need to warm it up. When we moved in together Sarah and I each had slightly different small dining room tables. Thankfully they're roughly the same height and width and we could put them together end to end and seat everybody with no room to spare. On actual Thanksgiving day we went over to Rachel & Anson's lovely new place for Thanksgiving and the annual game of Trivial Pursuit.
Sarah asked me if I knew of a syntax highlighter for the QuickBase formula language which she uses at work. I couldn't find one but thought it might be fun to make a QuickBase Formula syntax highlighter based on the QuickBase help's description of the formula syntax. Thankfully the language is relatively simple since my skills with ANTLR, the parser generator, are rusty now and I've only used it previously for personal projects (like Javaish, the ridiculous Java based shell idea I had).
With the help of some great ANTLR examples and an ANTLR cheat sheet I was able to come up with the grammar that parses the QuickBase Formula syntax and prints out the same formula marked up with HTML SPAN tags and various CSS classes. ANTLR produces the parser in Java which I wrapped up in an applet, put in a jar, and embedded in an HTML page. The script in that page runs user input through the applet's parser and sticks the output at the bottom of the page with appropriate CSS rules to highlight and print the formula in a pretty fashion.
What I learned:
I now have search and an archive available for my site. I previously tried to setup crappy search by cheating using Yahoo Pipes and now instead I have a slightly less crappy search that works over all of the content that I've produced on my blog, uploaded to flickr or youtube, or added to delicious.
The search is only slightly less lame because although it searches over all my content, I still implemented it myself rather than getting a professional package. Also, the feed supports the same search and archive as my homepage so you can subscribe to a feed of Cadbury if you're so inclined and just skip all this other boring stuff. My homepage and feed implement the OpenSearch response elements and I've got an OpenSearch search provider (source) as well.