Related link: http://www.oreillynet.com/et2005/
I resolved early last year to automate my work as much as possible. I keep a question in the back of my mind “Is this painful? Do I do this task multiple times?” If so, I look for a shortcut.
I’m at ETech this week. This gives me the opportunity to watch many, many people as they work. Of course, having a highly trained pain detector isn’t very pleasant.
Hey, that guy’s using Vim! Cool! Wait… he’s using the cursor keys to scroll back and forth on the line. Should I say something? Should I tell him about the
Ahh, he’s changing the capitalization. Ouch.
r new letter. Should I mention the use of tilde?
Hm, someone else is using the command line… oh, to run multiple commands, one after another. First build the application, then restart the web server. Fortunately, she knows about the up key in bash cycling back through the command history. She’s also working in a different terminal than the programming window. Yet it takes up, up, Enter, up, up, Enter to be able to test the program.
It’s tempting to rewrite the command line to put the two commands together, using bash short-circuiting to launch the second command only if the former succeeds.
Now there’s someone ahead of me looking up a CPAN module the speaker just mentioned. I have a lovely Mozilla/Firefox keyword shortcut that lets me type something like
cpan Test::Plan and brings up the documentation page for the module. That’s much more convenient than me going to search.cpan.org, typing in the module name, changing the search type to look for a Module, and hitting the search button. Now I can use Ctrl T to open a new tab, Ctrl L to move focus to the URL bar, and type away.
I’m never sure of conference etiquette, though, so maybe I’ll just hope that the nice people whose work I’ve invaded inadvertently through my peripheral vision will read this weblog, consider a bit of pain in their lives, and look for ways to automate it away.
As for me, I’m missing my three-button mouse right now and wishing that secure IMAP were faster….
Are there polite ways to recommend shortcuts to people?