Writing a vim plugin - Grepfrut

I use grep.vim to grep in multiple files within vim. It usually works pretty well, but I recently needed a little more freedom in how I specify the files in which I want to search, and found that it can’t do what I want. I looked at the code and found that modifying it to do what I want would be hard with the current design, so I decided to create my own plugin.

The plugin I’m going to create is going to be very simple. It is going to provide simple greping functionality with a similar UI to grep.vim, but will allow more freedom on filtering which files to search.

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Introduction to assembly - Assembling a program

I have been working on learning C++ for some time now. I can write and read most code, but there are still a lot of things I don’t understand. One thing that I have noticed about good C++ developers is that they usually know a lot about compilers and the operating system in which they are working. Following their example, I’m going to try to learn about those subjects too.

I’m writing an article about assembly because I have found in some occasions, C++ code being explained in reference to the generated assembly code. Although I had an assembly class in college, I don’t really rememeber anything, so I will have to start from the bottom.

In this article I’m going to be using the x64 (also known as x86-64) architecture, since it’s the architecture most commonly used by modern home computers and servers (for example Intel Core i7).

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Load bash preferences when SSH to a host

I have a laptop computer where I customize my bash using a .bashrc file. Whenever I SSH to a remote host, I always find myself trying to use aliases or other functionality that I have set on my laptop, but they are not there. Today I found a little trick that I can use to copy my .bashrc configuration to a remote host, so I can feel at home.

What we need to do is copy our .bashrc file to the host we are going to SSH to. Something like this would work:

scp ~/.bashrc user@host:/tmp/.my-bashrc
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Lock hierarchies to avoid deadlocks

In a previous post I explained how mutexes work and the problem of race conditions.

In this post I introduce another common problem with mutexes, which is deadlocks. Deadlocks are situations when a program can’t make any progress because it is waiting for a mutex that will never be available. This might sound stupid, but it’s something that actually happens very often.

A naive example could be this:

#include <thread>
#include <mutex>

std::mutex mutexA;
std::mutex mutexB;

void doSomething() {
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> gA(mutexA);
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> gB(mutexB);

void doSomethingElse() {
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> gB(mutexB);
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> gA(mutexA);

int main() {
  std::thread t1(doSomething);
  std::thread t2(doSomethingElse);

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Aggregate initialization in C++

I previously wrote an article about variable initialization in C++, but sadly, initialization of variables in C++ is a complicated subject with a lot of options.

Aggregate classes

Before talking about aggregate initialization, we need to know what an aggregate is. Aggregate classes have these properties:

  • All its data members are public
  • Doesn’t define any constructors
  • Doesn’t have virtual functions
  • Doesn’t inherit from any class
  • Doesn’t have any in-class initializers

An example could be:

class Person {
  std::string name;
  int age;
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AVL Trees

I wrote an article about Binary Search Trees a few weeks ago. AVL trees are a specialization of Binary Search Trees.

AVL trees (named after their inventors, Adelson-Velskii and Landis) were the first kind of self-balancing tree to be invented, so their implementation is somewhat simple compared to newer self-balancing trees.

This type of tree allows you to perform insertions, deletions and searches in O(log n). This tree keeps track of the heights of all the nodes. Every time one node is inserted or deleted, the balancing factor (difference between the heights of left and right subtree) of its ancestors is checked. If the balancing factor is greater than 1 or lower than -1, then the tree is rebalanced.

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Spell and Grammar checking on vim

I recently moved my blog to Jekyll, which means I now write my posts in my favorite editor. One problem I encountered is that vim doesn’t check my spelling by default, which means I probably had a lot of mistakes in the last posts I wrote.

Because I prefer people thinking I know how to write, I decided to look for a tool that would help me with this.


The first thing I had to do was install Java Runtime:

sudo apt install default-jre
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Binary Search Trees

A Binary Search Tree (BST) is a binary tree where the nodes are ordered following these characteristics:

  • The left subtree of a node contains only nodes with values lower than the node’s value
  • The right subtree of a node contains only nodes with values greater than the node’s value
  • The left and right subtree each must also be a Binary Search Tree
  • There must be no duplicate values
  • A unique path exists from the root to every other node

The possible operations on a Binary Search Tree are: Search, Insert and Delete. An update is just a delete followed by an insert.

Binary Search Trees are pretty easy to implement and let you insert, delete and search in O(n) in the worse case scenario. There are self-balancing Binary Search Trees, that are harder to implement but offer O(log n) performance. I’m not going to cover self-balancing trees in this post.

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Advanced top for system diagnosis

In a previous post I went over the basics of top. In this post I’m going over some more advanced features that can be used to diagnose problems.

Top will by default refresh every 3 seconds. If this is too often for you, you can specify how many seconds to wait between each refresh:

top -d 10

d stands for delay.

Another useful option is to hide idle tasks:

top -i

The letter i can also by used to toggle idle tasks while top is running.

If you are interested in processes belonging to a specific user:

top -u adrian
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