Reference Management in HTML

[EDIT – this article has been superceded by a newer one – click here to view it]

Writing well-referenced material is a chore. If you’re using LaTeX, then you’re in luck because it works with BibTeX to lessen the tedium. If you’re using a word-processor, you’re still in luck as you can use something like EndNote to manage your references. How about if you are writing a blog, or an HTML book, or contributing to a Wiki? Then, it seems, you’re out of luck.

Until now. Enter JSNote (Javascript Note). It works pretty much the same way that BibTeX does with LaTeX. You maintain a list of references in a separate file, and in your material you cite those references by means of calling a javascript function. For example;

// Filename /downloads/references.js
addRef ({name : "john",
year : "2012",
volume : "17",
author : "Charles Dodgeson",
title : "Obtuse Works of Mathematics in 'Alice in WonderLand'",
addRef ({name : "boehm_1",
year : "2006",
month: "May",
conference: "ICSE '06",
author : "Barry Boehm",
publisher: "ACM",
title : "A View of 20th and 21st Century Software Engineering",

And then, in your HTML you pull the jsnote.js script in, as well as your list of references and use them like so:

<script src="/downloads/jsnote.js"></script>
<script src="/downloads/references.js"></script>
<p>I now will reference Boehms article<script>cite ("boehm_1")</script>and then reference Johns article like this<script>cite ("john")</script></p>


The practical result is that the citations are all printed properly. The above example looks like this. Note that the list of references in reference.js works exactly like it would in BibTeX, namely that you can put the arguments in any order, or even leave some of them out if you don’t want them displayed. As long as each reference in the references list has a name, jsnote will be able to cite and display all the information you gave when adding it as a reference.

Literate Programming Is Not Dead Yet.

Get jsnote.js
Get a sample references file

Memory accounting routines for C

Managing memory is Hard. Very Hard. If you are programming in C you have a few options, notably valgrind. However, if you find yourself in the situation that I find myself in now in which valgrind cannot work, then you need something more.

For example, I’m writing code in ECL to call out to a few C libraries (that I’ve written myself). Valgrind is incompatible with ECL. In fact, it might just be incompatible with any GC-language. Whatever. I still need to keep accounting of my memory during testing.

Hence, I wrote this little replacement/wrapper for malloc. It stores all allocated memory as a list of blocks internally. It stores the filename, function and line number and the amount of memory that was allocated by each invocation of xmalloc. Usage is fairly standard:

int *foo = XMALLOC (sizeof *foo);


Easy? You can look through the header for all the options (how to dump the list of blocks allocated, some general statistics on allocation, etc). Also, this can be turned off while the program is running, and normal malloc() is then used.


Download the the xmalloc library

iBurst USB Drivers for Linux

Got iBurst yesterday, along with a USB modem. The salesperson assured me that the modem works under Linux. Well, chalk one up to the forces of sales and marketing, because the modem definitely did not work, and the enclosed CD definitely did not have drivers for Linux. I downloaded the open source drivers (ibdriver-1.3.5) from sourceforge, but the compilation failed.

So, having “fixed” the compilation problems by means of removing the pcmcia functionality, I offer the updated drivers to the world. This iBurst USB modem driver will work under Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Redhat, CentOS, slackware or anything else that has a linux kernel 2.6 and above (including kernel 3.0). Download it here (choose your kernel).

Note that this is self-extracting script, so before running it make sure that it has execute permissions set. Please let me know if this does not work by emailing me the output of the executable. If it does work, then you can thank me in your will (of course, if you don’t own much, then just leave a comment here thanking me:)

Download iBurst USB Modem Linux driver (kernel v2.6.x)

Download iBurst USB Modem Linux driver (kernel v3.0.0)

Download iBurst USB Modem Linux driver (kernel v3.2.0)