While looking around for a particular utility, I ended up on Google Code just dredging through all the projects they have online. As I went through, I kept opening tabs to more and more applications that sounded interesting. I found enough applications worth sharing that I decided to post one per day this week and highlight some hidden treasures of Google Code.
Day #3: Mirth
Mirth is an application that brings popular comics from the newspapers (and particular websites) into its stand-alone window and loads them efficiently. This means faster load times and no distractions from ads or site design issues. Right now, it’s limited in scope, but given the nature of the open-source projects hosted on Google Code, it’s a firm foundation if you wanted to branch off and modify the code to include more comics that you read and remove other comics that you don’t.
You can view a screenshot of the application at the developer’s website. Mirth does not require installation and comes as an executable and a few DLLs.
Mirth currently displays these comics:
- Adam@Home by Brian Basset
- Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson
- Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
- Curtis by Ray Billingsley
- Dilbert by Scott Adams
- Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau
- Family Circus by Bill Keane
- For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston
- FoxTrot by Bill Amend
- Garfield by Jim Davis
- Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley
- Mallard Fillmore by Bruce Tinsley
- Mother Goose & Grimm by Mike Peters
- Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
- Opus by Berkeley Breathed
- Rose is Rose by Pat Brady & Dom Winner
- Rhymes With Orange by Hilary Price
- Stone Soup by Jan Eliot
- Zits by Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman
Mirth allows you to toggle through the comics with a set of keyboard commands, which make it easier to use than navigating most of these sites.
- <tab> – Switch to the next day of the next comic (equivalent to <down> followed by <right>)
- <left>, <right> – Switch to the next or previous day of the current comic.
- <up>, <down> – Switch to the next or previous comic, in alphabetical order.
- <space> – Scroll the current comic. Useful for comics too tall to fit in the window.
- <esc>, Ctrl-Q (Cmd-Q on the Mac) – Quit Mirth.
Mirth is basically a browser that skips everything but the comic. It makes for a very lean and easy way to view your favorite comics. Mirth also loads the next comic in the list while you’re reading the previous comic. You should be able to just tab through and read every comic on the list.
While the program hasn’t been updated (from what I can tell) in a year, the additions coming in the next version seem very ambitious and could really make it more useful than just depending on aligning with the developer’s tastes. If Mirth reaches 1.0, there will be some cool new features that would allow you to add the comics you want. Worth keeping an eye on.
Check out Mirth from its Google Code page and download it here.