Scripts to be "quick and efficient" - Servers Administration, Networking, & Virtualization
venam
Hello fellow nixers,
In this thread let's share our opinions on those brand new tools for "efficiency" that pop-up so often on tech-news websites.

I'm referring to scripts aliasing, prettifiers, curses wrappers, helpers of all sorts, fancier interfaces over old tools, etc..
Especially tools that are made to make other tools more usable or prettier.

Tools and scripts such as:
* autojump
* bashmarks
* lazygit
* bat
* prettyping
* colordiff
* httpie
* and much much more, you get the idea


Here's my stand on this topic:

I don't usually install any of those fancy wrappers for efficiency purposes because I keep switching between machines while working and I can't be bothered to install one in a place and not the other. I'd rather stay vanilla.
However, I still have maybe two or three color wrappers such as colordiff that I use quite a lot before sending patches or pushing online my changes.
Tools are tools in the end, if you can extend your environment to fit what you need then it's for the best. CLI are also easy to write so it let's anyone contribute with new tools.

Share what you think of tools wrappers and prettifiers, and don't forget to mention some of them too.
neeasade
tldr; emacs

I have been adopting a slightly different approach than mentioned above --
pulling more and more into the emacs interface, and using the plugin tooling
there. This gives me a relatively consistent interface to many tools without
having to learn different ncurses silo-type programs or install things on remote
machines. buffers, modes, keybinds, input, display are all handled in the
'emacs' way, so I can try out different plugins with not so much effort, and
extend what I don't like.

some highlights (in the flavor of the above tools):
- I no longer run terminal emulators by default -- instead I run emacs shells.
This means that I can treat STDOUT as text, manipulating past output for reuse
elsewhere.

- magit[1] is a good git interface that can do all I like (diffing,staging
regions/lines, branching, stashing..)

- restclient.el[2] is a nice http request wrapper that lets me execute requests
interactively and store them as text, giving me a postman-like experience. it
even allows elisp code in the mix so I can use stuff like pass[3] for auth.

- tramp mode [4] gives me a remote shell within emacs so I can use my tools
without having to install anything on the remote machine. I just add aliases
to shx[5].

When I look for tools like the above, my focus is on shortening the feedback
loop in whatever I am doing. The faster I can iterate on an idea/interact with
something the faster I can change and adapt. Having a consistent interface for
many things lets me do that.

There is much more, I don't want to wax too long if there is no interest here.
my config: https://github.com/neeasade/emacs.d

1: https://magit.vc/
2: https://github.com/pashky/restclient.el
3: https://www.passwordstore.org/
4: https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/TrampMode
5: https://github.com/riscy/shx-for-emacs
jkl
A tool that requires me to add a lot of scripts to be sufficiently pleasant will eventually be replaced by one that doesn't. Examples:

- I moved on from Vim to other editors when I found that I spend too much time in my .vimrc, stealing productivity.
- I am still in the process of moving on from GNU Emacs to other editors as I found that I spend too much time in my .emacs, stealing productivity.
- I am evaluating shells like fish for interactive use because they work out of the box exactly like I want them to, without "oh-my-something" and/or a shitload of plug-ins. For a very similar reason, I have resorted to the PowerShell on Windows now. It just works.

Opposing Zawinski's Law, one application at a time. (Also, probably, contradicting myself. Life is a flux.)
Steph
(03-09-2018, 08:43 AM)jkl Wrote: I spend too much time in my .vimrc, stealing productivity.

This is an interesting point, It's true that customization and productivity do not perfectly correlate, but many of the additions that people make to their .vimrc or .emacs are worth their time.

At what point does customization stop being an investment into your productivity, and start stealing productivity?
jkl
If your editor configuration needs more than two changes, your editor is probably the wrong choice for you.
neeasade
(03-09-2018, 10:02 AM)jkl Wrote: If your editor configuration needs more than two changes, your editor is probably the wrong choice for you.

right -- this view in my mind leads to the mindset of the OP -- install a new tool/editor that does do what you want, rather than do the editor configuration on your current one. I would rather do the latter.
venam
(03-09-2018, 09:09 AM)Steph Wrote: At what point does customization stop being an investment into your productivity, and start stealing productivity?
This is the crux of the question for me.
A lot of the tools/script/wrappers like the ones I mentioned in the OP aren't necessary but are for the eye-candy or to not have to learn the underlying command properly, maybe making it faster at the same time.
Not that there's anything wrong with that but you have to weight if it's worth it to add something on top of what you already have. It's the same kind of thinking about the IDE vs Editor+environment sort of talk, which is probably the reason why it was brought up here.

You can't run away from things you need to do your daily tasks on your machine now it's up to you to choose if you want to build that functionality from scratch or add wrapper around what you already have. I guess there's a balance.
Like jkl said:
(03-09-2018, 08:43 AM)jkl Wrote: A tool that requires me to add a lot of scripts to be sufficiently pleasant will eventually be replaced by one that doesn't.
If the tool gets in the way of your activities and is being unpleasant, that's when I'd start to think more about my usage of it.

It would be nice to hear from someone who uses a lot of those eye-candy and script wrappers tools to hear what they find appealing in them.
oda
(03-09-2018, 10:02 AM)jkl Wrote: If your editor configuration needs more than two changes, your editor is probably the wrong choice for you.

This is like buying a different car because the seat didn't come adjusted the way you like. Spending time to configure your tools is a worthwhile investment. I've spent maybe a few hours total configuring VIM and rarely need to tweak the configuration.

But the bigger time investment is learning how to use your tools. Crack open a man page rather than reach for an alternative. If you find yourself spending too much time configuring your editor, it might be time to step back and question if you're using it correctly.
neeasade
> At what point does customization stop being an investment into your productivity, and start stealing productivity?

The only way to get a gauge for this is practice and experience. When I first started customizing and automating things, it took forever and I was slow, and learning (and still am!). but now when I want to enhance my editor or script a task I have a handle on how long it will take and if it is worth doing, and can be honest with myself if this is really to be efficient or if I'm just looking for some fun (because it is pretty fun).
zge
(03-09-2018, 10:02 AM)jkl Wrote: If your editor configuration needs more than two changes, your editor is probably the wrong choice for you.

Why would this apply to editors, especially OS-ish editors like Emacs, but not real OSs? I barley know anyone who could just use a bare, unmodified linux install (putting preconfigured distros like Ubuntu aside), maybe OpenBSD people could manage it, but I'm not sure.

I have a quite extensive .emacs, and sometimes I might spend more time working on it that I would immediately want to, but I rarely regret it. Why? Since it helps me in the long term, which is exactly what customizations are about.




Members  |  Stats  |  Night Mode  |  Help