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2011/08/15

Command Line Comments

Just read Life on the Command Line, wherein the author explains how he does everything everything everything on the command line these days

I'm largely sympathetic. Honestly. And I'm close. Look at my work Linux box and you'll see a good half-dozen terminal windows open. I'm a programmer whose two primary programming styles are command-line/batch/crontab and web programming, so I am much more comfortable with those styles and their explicit order than the GUI developers.

But I have sort of a guilty secret.

I spend most of my programming time using KomodoEdit.

I have a fairly custom .vimrc that allows me to do cool things in vi, but beyond crontab editing and other things that look for $EDITOR, I only use vi when I want to do lots of specific and repetitive find-replace stuff or need to do small changes, or when I'm using SSH to connect to a system and not using SSHFS to mount it. My heavy lifting for editors is done via KomodoEdit.

And that isn't it. Not by a long shot.

I have a significant amount of music. I used to use Rhythmbox as my media player because it allowed me to use and thus alias a command-line interface. On that system, I would have rhythmbox-client --play ,rhythmbox-client --pause , rhythmbox-client --previous and rhythmbox-client --next aliased to play , pause , prev and next .

I stopped for a few reasons. I now have a Windows machine that I use for testing web dev in different browsers, and, when I play my media, I play via Windows Media Player, in part because playing and queueing media that I have but didn't have in my media library made Rhythmbox unhappy. But, between Amazom, Google, Rdio, Pandora and Spotify (which I love), I hardly listen to that huge library anymore, because either I have much of that library up already or I'm streaming stuff I want but don't have. And those tools don't give me a command-line option.

It gets to what tool is powerful enough to allow me to do what I need to. With music, I need it on and going, and paused on occasion.

Don't get me wrong. I'm with him at least in part about mail sorting. Before web tools and Thunderbird, my preferred mail client was PINE, but there's functional reasons that I can't remember anymore that I moved the one remaining command-line mail account from the nmap-based sorting from mh/nmh to procmail. IIRC, I liked the syntax for mh better but I found that SpamAssassin worked better with procmail, and I desperately needed SpamAssassin. The sorting choices I get from both Gmail and Zimbra are both clunkier than a nice mh or procmail script. But I spend little of my time in email, so that shouldn't make much of a difference.

Anyway, interesting read.