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Competition November 19, 2007

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There’s a good product out there, which does most of what I had in mind with Anthias: Hotwire-shell

On the + side, it has a professional look and seems pretty stable. But on the -ve side, it is very slow, and doesn’t yet support complete terminal emulation (so you can’t run programs such as vim).

Time to dust off the old svn repository and start anthias again. I was waiting for Qt4/KDE4 to stabilize, and now seems a good time to get my hands dirty again.


syntax highlighting August 4, 2006

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the next thing on the agenda is syntax highlighting, and i have spent a lot of time trying to design a good highlighting system. the goals are,

  • simplicity. shell syntax is not going to be very complex, and consequently the highlighting code should be simple (esp on the shell side).
  • configurability. no assumptions of shell syntax need be made.

i happened to see the source code of SpeedCrunch and the documentation of the QString::split() function, and a design struck me. it is as follows,

  • the shell as well as anthias will parse the current command string into tokens. the string will be split into tokens that match a regular expression. the reg-exp will be specified by the shell to anthias.
  • whenever the current command string is modified by the user, anthias will send the raw string to the shell, and also parse it locally into tokens.
  • when the shell receives the current command string, it will also parse it into tokens (using the same reg-exp), and specify the syntax-id for each token. the syntax-id will be nothing but a number that will be mapped to some text-formatting style. the shell will also send the entire command string back to anthias, to keep the two in sync.

SVN repository up July 17, 2006

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Since the code was now substantially sized, it was time to create an SVN repository.

I spent a good part of the weekend reading up on SVN, and experimenting with a local repository.

The following repository structure seems to be fine,


The repository can be browsed online or checked out anonymously with,

"svn co https://svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/anthias/"

Mockup version 4 July 15, 2006

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After a gap of nearly 3.5 months, I am proud to release mockup version 4. You can get it from here.

New features include:

A demo shell
The demo shell and the anthias terminal communicate over a socket. Currently, the demo shell only provides a list of completions to the terminal.

A basic completion system
The terminal now shows completions for program names. General filesystem completions are not yet supported.

Aside, the new design for the website is now live! It’s my first attempt at CSS; so please excuse any design/coding mistakes. 🙂

The next version will probably be 4.1, with some more enhancements to the completion system. In particular, the demo shell will work more closely with the terminal to provide possible completions.

Breaking through July 5, 2006

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I have been looking at free options for hosting a wiki dedicated to Anthias. I had created one on editthis.info. But their service seems to be irregular.

I have created another wiki on Wetpaint. The service is superb, but I hope they come out with simpler-looking styles. Most likely, this will be the new wiki home.

Qt 4.2
Trolltech has released Qt 4.2 which has significant new features. The feature I am particularly thrilled about is “text completion”. I was trying to use the KCompletionBox earlier, but it hasn’t been working lately. Infact, last week I spent an entire day to try and port KListBox to QListWidget, but abandoned the effort after seeing the Qt 4.2 announcement.

So, now I will be free to design the completion UI.

New website design
I am testing out a new look for the Anthias website. Comments and code are welcome.