Your key to the best workflow in 2 sentences - Desktop Customization & Workflow

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
(This is part of the podcast discussion extension)

Your key to the best workflow in 2 sentences:

Most said that it was all about the quickness of access and manipulation of the desktop/most used program.
Ymbx raised an excellent point by saying that it was more about the Unix tools that facilitate how he uses commands (less, grep, sed, etc..). Which means his workflow is still the best on a Windows machine with mingw installed. I could also agree with that I would get a great workflow on windows if I could only use putty and ssh into my machine to work from there.
Grey Hair Nixers
Learn the defaults.

Many tools allow a lot of customizations, especially text editors. The thing is, if this level of customization is available, it is usually because the tool has a lot of functions/capabilities. A sane tool would propose bindings to these functions for easy/quick access by default. As all functions are accessible by default, it means you can use the full potential of the tool without tweaking it, so if you learn these defaults you can reach a high level of usability, and so, on each machine you would have access too, extremely quickly.
Learning defaults will also make you dig into your tools, and certainly learn a handful of neat little tricks!

The simpler, the better.

The unix philosophy strives for simple tools that are powerful for one specific task, and integrate well with other tools. When tools are simple, you can quickly learn them and get efficient again.
Simple tools are quicker to learn, easier to integrate and usually more robust (as they focus on a single task).
One great example is `dmenu` which can be used for basically ANYTHING requiring user input. Yet, it is simple enough to have it replaced by a similar application, like "thinglaunch": read list from stdin, outputs selection from stdout. That's only an interactive grep(1) command when you think about it, a great filter.
Grey Hair Nixers
I can't believe anyone here could give advices on having a great workflow!
Long time nixers
I'll give it a try:

Use what you can understand.

When you fully understand something, it is easier to fix it, to use it and to combine it with
something else.

Break your habit when it makes sense.

When you realise that something you used or did was wrong, search a better alternative and use it.
Even if it is painful, even if it is obscure. Drop QWERTY, drop windows, drop systemd, drop unix (for Plan 9).
If it seems more clean, move out of your comfort zone, dammit!
Grey Hair Nixers
(28-05-2016, 11:02 AM)pranomostro Wrote: Break your habit when it makes sense.

That's a good one. The hardest part is to figure out wether it makes sense of not
Long time nixers
(29-05-2016, 10:53 AM)z3bra Wrote: That's a good one. The hardest part is to figure out wether it makes sense of not

For yourself, of course. For me, for example, this stops when I would have to use
something that is crashing all the time, even if it is conceptually better.

You could compare it to the willingness to change your mind based on arguments (regarding
a certain topic). If somebody can prove his point in a discussion based on my
logical premises, I have to accept his opinion, whether I like it or not.

Some people hate doing this (or may never change their mind (extremists)), some are convinced quite
Long time nixers

Many tools are built to receive input and produce output, either from stdin or files. Or at least to interact with them at some point. This way, most can be integrated independently with each other.

This also makes the workflow reliable: If one part does not work on a machine, the rest can still be used.


I tried multiple approaches, but most of them was too complex in their working and to use afterward. By simplifying it, I gained in simplicity in my mind while working, including removing tools, particularly duplicated, and then, as everything is simple, I can interact fast with the machine.

I removed a lot of duplicates: No multiple buffers in vim, no vim splits inside tmux split inside window manager split: Only the window manager split. And then, vim windows, browser tabs, pdf documents are all at the same level, and I can compose them altogether.

- Drop QWERTY ......... [✓]

(23-05-2016, 01:38 AM)venam Wrote: Unix tools that facilitate how he uses commands

Oh, and all the shell scripts written out of these tools may also be part of the workflow then... These shell scripts automating repetitive tasks greatly improve workflow as well.
Long time nixers
(28-07-2016, 08:24 PM)sshbio Wrote: I removed a lot of duplicates

Yep. A high-entropy (of concepts) environment reduces complexity.
Long time nixers
Less is more. Simplicity above elegance.
(29-07-2016, 02:22 PM)Wildefyr Wrote: Less is more. Simplicity above elegance.

I would argue that more often than not simplicity is elegant.