I’ve started a new Twitter account @PerlRegex for Perl regular expressions. My original account, @RegexTip, is for regular expressions in general and doesn’t go into much detail regarding any particular implementation. @PerlRegex goes into the specifics of regular expressions in Perl.
Why specifically Perl regular expressions? Because Perl has the most powerful support for regular expressions (strictly speaking, “pattern matching.”) Other languages offer “Perl compatible” regular expressions, though the degree of compatibility varies and is always less than complete.
I imagine more people have ruled England than have mastered the whole of the Perl language. But it’s possible to use Perl for regular expression processing without learning too much of the wider language.
For the next few weeks, I’ve scheduled @ProbFact tweets to come out at random times.
They will follow a Poisson distribution with an average of two per day. (Times are truncated to multiples of 5 minutes because my scheduling software requires that.)
Learn basic medical vocabulary a little at a time by following my new account @MedVocab on Twitter.
See the full list of my daily tip Twitter accounts here.
The icon for the site is taken from one of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings.
I’ve started a new Twitter account @UnitFact for tweets about units of measurement, constants, dimensional analysis, etc.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m winding down three of my Twitter accounts.
But I have started a new one: NetworkFact. This account has tweets about graph theory, analysis of large networks, etc.
List of daily tip accounts
You can create an RSS feed for a Twitter account at RSS4Twitter, though they’re so overloaded that it might not work. You could also use BazQux RSS reader or try some of the alternatives mentioned in the comments here.
I’m planning to wind down three of my Twitter accounts: ShortcutKeyTip, MusicTheoryTip, and DSP_fact. When the scheduled tweets for these three accounts run out, I won’t post new ones.
On the other hand, I may start a new account. I have a topic in mind, but I don’t know how hard it’ll be to say interesting things about it in 140 characters. If I start a new account I’ll announce it here.
Right now I have 15 accounts. If I close three, I’ll still have a dozen, a baker’s dozen if I add a new account.
Update (August 11, 2013): I decided to start the new account I alluded to in this post: NetworkFact, devoted to networks, graphs, and related topics.
Twitter turned off their RSS support last month. This page gives several ways to create new RSS feeds for Twitter accounts.
Update (October 27, 2014): Here is a cost-free and ad-free Android app that is an RSS feed generator for Twitter.
The easiest solution is to create an RSS feed via rss4twitter. Another possibility is to use BazQux RSS reader. Finally, a couple server-side solutions are given here.
Here are links to RSS feeds for my daily tip accounts that were created using rss4twitter.
AlgebraFact (Algebra, number theory, miscellaneous)
Diff_eq (Differential equations)
TopologyFact (Topology and geometry)
AnalysisFact (Analysis: real, complex, functional, etc.)
CompSciFact (Computer science and programming)
UnixToolTip (Unix command line tools, Emacs, etc.)
SciPyTip (Scientific computing and Python)
RegexTip (Regular expressions)
TeXtip (TeX, LaTeX, and typography)
I’ve started two new Twitter accounts this week: @DSP_fact and @MusicTheoryTip.
DSP_fact is for DSP, digital signal processing: filters, Fourier analysis, convolution, sampling, wavelets, etc.
MusicTheoryTip is for basic music theory with a little bias toward jazz. It’ll tweet about harmony, scales, tuning, notation, etc.
Here’s a full list of my 15 daily tip twitter accounts.
If you’re interested in one of these accounts but don’t use Twitter, you can subscribe to a Twitter account via RSS just as you’d subscribe to a blog.
If you’re using Google Reader to subscribe to RSS feeds, you’ll need to switch to something else by July 1. Here are 18 alternatives.
I’ve started a new Twitter account: @diff_eq. This account posts once or twice a day about ordinary and partial differential equations.
More daily tip accounts here.
Last January there were 100,000 followers across all of my daily tip Twitter accounts. A year later there are now about 200,000 followers.
Here are a few similar Twitter accounts that other people run.
John Myles White brings up an interesting question on Twitter:
Ioannidis thinks most published biological research findings are false. Do you think >50% of tweets are false?
I’m inclined to think tweets may be more accurate than research papers, mostly because people tweet about mundane things that they understand. If someone says that there’s a long line at the Apple store, I believe them. When someone says that a food increases or decreases your risk of some malady, I’m more skeptical. I’ll wait to see such a result replicated before I put much faith in it. A lot of tweets are jokes or opinions, but of those that are factual statements, they’re often true.
Tweets are not subject to publication pressure; few people risk losing their job if they don’t tweet. There’s also not a positive publication bias: people can tweet positive or negative conclusions. There is a bias toward tweeting what makes you look good, but that’s not limited to Twitter.
Errors are corrected quickly on Twitter. When I make factual errors on Twitter, I usually hear about it within minutes. As the saga of Anil Potti illustrates, errors or fraud in scientific papers can take years to retract.
(My experience with Twitter may be atypical. I follow people with a relatively high signal to noise ratio, and among those I have a shorter list that I keep up with.)
I’m changing my electricity and magnetism twitter account, @GrokEM, into more of a general science account. The new name is @ScienceTip.
The image for the account is a helium spectrum.
Here’s a list of my twelve daily tip Twitter accounts.
There are now over 100,000 followers across my various daily tip Twitter accounts. The three most popular are CompSciFact, AlgebraFact, and ProbFact. The newest account GrokEM has the least followers for now.
Thank you everyone for following and for providing feedback.
I’ve renamed my SedAwkTip twitter account to UnixToolTip to reflect its new scope. If you were following SedAwkTip, there’s no need to do anything. You’ll just see a different name.
I have about a week’s worth of
awk tips scheduled. Then I’ll start adding in tips on
uniq, etc. And I’ll come back to
awk now and then.
These tools came from the Unix world, but they’re also available on Windows.
For now I’m keeping the original icon. I’m open to suggestions if someone has an idea for a better icon.
I’m going to expand the content of my SedAwkTip twitter account. I’ve covered the most commonly used features of
awk, and rather than go into more advanced/obscure features of these languages, I’m going to add tips on other common command line software.
I’ll probably change the name of the account to reflect the new content. I’ll cycle back to
awk tips now and then.
Update: I’ve renamed SedAwkTip to UnixToolTip.
The applications I plan to go into ship as part of Linux and OS X, and they’re available for Windows here.
Other daily tip Twitter accounts: