These are some of the projects or contributions that I’m sufficiently proud of to talk about. Nothing groundbreaking or even significant, but each of them made me happy in some way.
XBindJoy is my take on a macro-binding program for gamepads and joysticks. The twist is that it’s actually implemented as a tightly-focused API for reading input devices and sending synthetic X events in GNU Guile, giving the user dramatically more power than they have in other macro-binding tools.
I built XBindJoy because I wanted a better way to use my Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander, which is sort of the illegitimate offspring of a throttle lever and a gaming keypad. Its original drivers used the three thumb buttons and the three-position slider as layering toggles, giving the device a fantastic number of bindings. The gamepad-keybinding programs I could find were, by comparison, disappointingly limited, so I built my own. As a secondary goal, I used XBindJoy to teach myself a bit about C, X11, the Linux joystick and event APIs, and embedded interpreters.
Tridactyl is a Vim-like interface for Firefox. I use it for a major chunk of my interaction with the internet, like I did with Pentadactyl before it and Vimperator before that. I can’t claim credit for starting the project, or even doing much of the work, but I am responsible for a couple notable code cleanups, features, bugfixes, and bugs:
Vimperator-style hint filtering
This feature allows you to select a link by typing a fragment of its link text. No more having to locate and precisely type out a hint’s randomly-selected identifier - you’ve already read and comprehended the link you want to follow, just type it in!
Container-tab ecosystem citizenship
Several popular Firefox extensions use Firefox’s Containers feature to isolate particular sites, ensuring they’re only ever opened in specific containers by closing tabs that try to open links in the wrong container and reopening them with the right one. Configuring two or more extensions to contain the same site in different containers can lead to them fighting over the site and opening infinite tabs. Some extensions thankfully implement APIs that allow other extensions to cooperate with them, so I taught Tridactyl to coordinate with several of the more popular container-management extensions to avoid conflicts.
Move UI stuff to the UI thread
The WebExtension model provides several contexts for extension code. Some code runs in a per-firefox-instance “background” context. Some code runs in a per-tab “content” context. Some code runs inside the page itself via injected script elements. Tridactyl originally did nearly everything in the background process; keystrokes would be caught by page code, messages would be sent to the background context, the background context would make a decision, and a message would be sent back to the focused tab telling the injected script what to do. This caused some major problems, such as commands happening on the wrong tab. I did some refactoring to move a bunch of state that should have been per-tab into the per-tab scripts, dramatically improving stability and performance. I also introduced a catastrophic security bug in that refactor, though, so go me >_<.