Saturday, December 16, 2006

urlscan 0.5

If, like me, you use the mutt mailreader, you may at some point have tried out the urlview program to quickly jump to URLs in emails. urlview is a nice concept, but it has a few limitations, the worst of which is it doesn't decode quoted-printable emails (so, e.g., CGI urls containing equal signs get escaped and become useless).

With the increasing number of dynamic URLs and quoted-printable emails out there, this has rendered urlview more or less useless for me. A couple weekends ago, I got annoyed enough to do something: I wrote a quick-and-dirty Python replacement for urlview, called urlscan. I'm not proud of all the code, but thanks to Python's great standard library, it can decode just about anything you throw at it; it also extracts some context around each URL, so there's less guesswork involved in picking URLs.

I've uploaded urlscan to unstable (it just went in today), in the hopes that someone out there will find it useful. Enjoy. :-)