1. 67

It can feel (especially in my circles) that good software doesn’t really exist these days, so I really like seeing what other people do actually like.

Are there any pieces of software (or maybe SaaS) that you would recommend almost without caveat? Or maybe something you don’t use but makes you glad, happy or hopeful.

    1. 48

      Postgres is my favorite piece of software. After that, I rather like the Fish shell.

      1. 2

        Postgres routinely comes up whenever I’m asked about software I particularly love, or about software I have functionally near-zero complaints about. In fact, it’s one of only a very, very few pieces of software I file into that latter category. What an absolute meld of art and science that team has put together.

    2. 34

      One program that I love is Syncthing. Who would’ve guessed that the sentences “continuous peer-to-peer file synchronization” and “it just works” could ever appear together.

      One that I certainly couldn’t recommend without caveats but nevertheless makes me very happy is the alternative Discord and Slack client Ripcord. It looks great and presents a remarkably better interface to these two proprietary services. Long may it live.

      1. 16


        You mean like how if the admins of any of the “servers” you use find out you’re using this on discord, they’re required to narc on you and get your account banned? =(


      2. 9

        Syncthing is excellent. 3+ years, 4 machines (3 Mac, 1 FreeBSD), 120GB here. No hiccups. Love it. I’ve even built a SwiftBar plugin that works against the localhost API to show my machines and their sync states.

        1. 1

          I personally using Resilio (formerly btsync) for same purpose.

      3. 2

        That’s a pleasant surprise to hear. I used Syncthing quite heavily a long time ago (6-8 years?) and it worked great up until it didn’t, and then required a lot of manual screwing around or a full repo wipe to get a wedged state un-wedged. Not a common occurrance, but not an uncommon one either. It did what I needed but when I had the opportunity to ditch it and just use a NAS instead I had no regrets. Sounds like it might be worth taking another look at for wandering laptops and such.

      4. 2

        :O just tried out ripcord, and it’s amazing. I could feel the latency difference vs the web app as soon as I popped it open.

    3. 32

      yt-dlp has probably saved me (and my kids) from watching hours upon hours of ads. The kids just watch the same things over and over again, anyway.

      1. 18

        Hundreds of hours of ads, thousands of web player hickups, and trillions of CPU cycles. Two tips for commands:

        • yt-dlp --all-subs --continue --prefer-free-formats URL to download videos with all subs, continuing any broken downloads, and using free formats where possible.
        • yt-dlp --continue --embed-thumbnail --format=bestaudio URL to download audio file with thumbnail.
    4. 27

      I’ll be That Guy™️: Emacs. It might stretch the definition of “almost without caveats” a bit thin, but that level of modularity and extensibility is my ideal — both as an end-user and as a software designer.

      1. 4

        Was coming to mention it. I’ve just tried vterm again, and adopted it. I have a good terminal emulator in Emacs, how cool. I discovered the vterm-copy-mode, bound to C-c C-t, so we can scroll around (even if some output is still being printed) (it was working with evil). Directory tracking is awesome: cd to some directories, then find-file (or projectile-find-file etc) will work from this directory. The other way around is possible with vterm-toggle: call the vterm buffer, press C-Return to have the terminal cd to the last buffer’s directory.

        I just had to adapt a couple keybindings that were caught by evil’s insert mode (or my own config), and learn that a couple were available behind a C-c (use C-c C-u to erase the current line, C-u is still reserved for Emacs).

        And I load nice themes (modus-operandi/vivendi) to make life even more fascinating.

    5. 27

      Tailscale: Securing access to my various servers and getting access to devices at home when away was always such a pain and slightly complicated in the past. Now it’s dead easy and I don’t have to think about it. It just works.

      Shottr: I didn’t think I needed a screenshot tool before I came across Shottr, and now I use it all the time. It’s great for being able to preview screenshots, add markup, etc. It’s a really great little tool.

      1. 4

        Some alternative i love and that do the same things:

        zerotier for securing my home network. Equivalent to tailscale, zero-conf, just works. It makes it very easy to secure access to a local instance of home assistance.

        flameshot for screenshots

        oh and since it’s not mentioned yet, for mobile: binary eye for anything qr code and barcode scanning

    6. 17

      I keep a “gripes” file where I list all the things that bug me about the software I use.

      At the top is a “hall of fame” section listing programs with only one or zero complaints.

      • rofi
      • mpd
      • openssh (didn’t used to qualify but then they implemented include in their config file format)
      • tmux/tmate
      • pandoc
      • erc
      • exwm (simulation keys are the only thing that makes browsing the web tolerable)
      1. 5

        Great idea to keep a “gripes” file. I constantly find myself getting annoyed with the software I use and then forgetting about it, only to find myself getting annoyed again. And only tracking issues with software when I plan to do something about it (in my projects list). I’ve just setup a list called “Software Grinds”… for things that really grind my gears. https://youtu.be/GospVDNp6EM?t=13

    7. 16

      Surprised this hasn’t been mentioned yet: UBlock Origin.

      1. 2
    8. 15
      1. 2

        20+ year user here, can concur. I also find the developer blog very enlightening.

    9. 12

      As a hobbyist, I love Blender.

      The basics of laying out objects by moving, scaling and rotating them feels fun. Using the same workflow to edit the shape/contours of an object feels like an amazing freebie. You can do a much harder thing in the same way that you were doing the easier thing.

      After the basics, Blender is feature rich for all the different kinds of workflows you can imagine. You can manipulate how things look using a visual node based system. You can sculpt things. You can draw/paint textures. You can animate. You can generate things semi-programatically using modifiers or a visual node based system or if needed you can just automate things with Python.

      I am sure there are gaps for professionals in different areas, but as a hobbyist Blender is an amazing piece of software.

    10. 11

      NewPipe on Android. Recently I had to use YouTube on a friend’s iPhone and oh my goodness, how horrendous it is!

      NewPipe is fantastic. You can even download videos for offline uses!

      On the desktop, fish shell is great. The only thing I miss from bash is the “sudo !!” to repeat the previous command as root, but otherwise I love the sane defaults and all the little helpers. It’s one of the first things I setup on a fresh Linux install.

      1. 9

        You can alt-s to toggle sudo on your current command. If the prompt is empty it will automatically toggle sudo on your last command!

      2. 3

        +1 for NewPipe! It is stunning how good that app is compared to the official experience. Also, the developers deserve all the praise in the world for the fact that when the video extractor breaks due to YouTube changing something on their end, we reliably get a fix pushed out within days if not hours.

      3. 1

        I agree, NewPipe provides a much better YouTube experience. I recommend the fork NewPipe x SponsorBlock x Return YouTube Dislike, which can use the crowd-sourced data returned by the SponsorBlock API to skip unwanted sections of videos such as reminders to like and subscribe.

        You might notice in NewPipe x SponsorBlock’s README that the first installation method is a link “Get it on IzzyOnDroid”. If you’re not aware, IzzyOnDroid is more than just an APK host. I recommend installing the app like this, which will allow you to easily update it:

        1. install F-Droid and give it permission to install other apps
        2. add the IzzyOnDroid F-Droid Repository to F-Droid (because F-Droid’s default repository only contains mainline NewPipe)
        3. install IzzyOnDroid’s NewPipe x SponsorBlock package
    11. 11

      Scrivener. Easily the best long form writing software around, and unfortunately good enough to keep me locked into macOS on my laptop (Asahi seems stable enough though these days, so I’ll probably set up a dual boot soon. It’s not urgent though, as I have a fairly powerful Linux desktop for gaming and development that I can easily remote into with Tailscale, another great piece of software).

      It’s proprietary, but the file format is simple enough (metadata in easy to understand XML, and content as RTF), that you could write a converter tool pretty quickly. I’m not remotely afraid of my files becoming inaccessible to me.

      1. 3

        Checkout novelWriter (https://novelwriter.io/) if you want to explore FOSS option. I don’t have experience with either tool to give a review/comparison.

        1. 3

          I’ve tried it (and manuskript, another similar tool), but there’s really no comparison at the moment. Last time I used novelWriter, HiDPI support was lacking on macOS (Scrivener isn’t the only thing tying me to it unfortunately), and font-rendering was piss-poor (not a reflection on the authors of the novelWriter, it seemed to be related to HiDPI support and GTK+, which… yeah… there’s a reason I use KDE Plasma/QT on Linux).

          It also didn’t have the same support for notes/supporting documents that scrivener does. In Scrivener, I can drag and drop a web page or PDF into my project, and it’ll be archived there in full as something I can refer back to and annotate. To use an analogy: novelWriter is like Kate, usable and somewhat extendable, whereas Scrivener is like IntelliJ, batteries and even a UPS included.

          Don’t get me wrong, I like more minimalist setups occasionally. I maintain a laptop from the late 90s that dual boots NetBSD/FreeDOS and often write in WordStar on it. But for something long form, like a novel, where I need to maintain notes and references, I haven’t encountered anything as good as scrivener.

      2. 3

        I love Scrivener. It’s like an IDE for novels. :)

        1. 1

          Exactly how I’d describe it! It’s just damn good software and well worth the price.

    12. 10
    13. 9

      esbuild gives you a lot of modern frontend web dev conveniences without buying into the whole JavaScript ecosystem. Out of the box you get minification, bundling, asset digesting, a dev server with live reload and (if you want) npm imports.

    14. 8
      • Vim, without question, though I’ve been browsing some of the forks recently.
      • Zsh. Very thankful that Apple uses it as default login shell now, since I’ve used as my Linux/BSD default login shell for almost 15 years.
      • I am still attached to ag at the hip. It was the first thing I installed in my new Gentoo chroot, before even eix. I can’t manage to bring myself to switch to rg yet. That’s partially because we use rg at work and it feels weird using it personally.
      • Speaking of eix, eix. If you are on Gentoo, it makes life a lot easier.
      • At lower levels, the musl libc makes me glad, happy, and hopeful. I’ve moved all of my personal production systems to either Gentoo/musl, Void/musl, or Adélie. No more glibc anywhere.

      I will say that I’ve been surprised by all the responses of Postgres. I didn’t even think of it. It is just always there, being a great database. So I’ll +1 Postgres.

      1. 2

        I’m interested by your list of distros. Why no Alpine, and I’d not heard of Adélie before (sadly their web presence seems to be having troubles right now, or I’d have researched it more). It sounds to me like your list of underlying CPU architectures in production isn’t just x86_64!

        1. 3

          All of my development takes place on ppc64 (a Talos II) or aarch64 (a Mac Studio M1 Ultra). I founded Adélie and still contribute to it (though no longer lead it) which is why I tend to use it. I’ve encountered a lot of QA issues using Alpine in the past and while they are quick to fix things, I’d rather just use something that already works. From my past experience that is not Alpine.

          If I had to use a glibc/systemd distro I would use Fedora. It has a great community, great QA, and fantastic docs. One thing is I just really don’t want to deal with journald when I don’t have to. I find syslog-ng easier to configure to push to remote log servers than journald, and that is not a positive take on syslog-ng.

          Production for my startup is split between aarch64 (Oracle Cloud) and x86_64 (Vultr/Akamai). As soon as the other cloud providers catch up and provide alternatives to x86_64, I’ll be the first to migrate off. I can’t stand the performance penalties that Spectre mitigations have on there, even in the current generations. DD2.3 Power9 and the M1 prove that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have performance and still have security.

    15. 8

      If you can recommend it without caveat, then it’s not weirdly-fitting enough to be worth being a personal favourite!

      I like how I can bend even the basic assumptions of StumpWM by adding customisations step by step, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a non-Lisper…

      Does remind count if I like it as a backend but dislike its input syntax (and I generate the input files from another format)?

      Does ImageMagick count if there are gripes but it’s just too useful (with a reasonable path between the easy cases that are made easy, and the complicated horrors that are still made possible)?

      On the clearly good generic specific tool side…

      • xdotool
      • pv
      • ncdu
      1. 1

        In that case, Upspin. I don’t even use it, but I love the code, concept, and design decisions and I’ve wanted to further play with it myself.

      2. 1

        Does remind count if I like it as a backend but dislike its input syntax (and I generate the input files from another format)?

        I’ve heard about remind multiple times but have never tried. That is, until now! I watched the introduction video and started playing with it. It looks great.

        I’m not sure if I like its syntax. What format do you use instead?

        1. 1

          A custom monstrosity generating multiple remind files at once; one to print summaries from, one to run multiple minute-grained advance warnings using the scripts integrating with my StumpWM setup.

          For incremental-development reasons, I autofetch .ical files via this custom format, not directly to Remind format.

    16. 6

      Some gems I haven’t seen mentioned yet:

      • Midnight Commander (mc): dual-pane file manager with included viewer/editor/diff tool. It’s showing it’s age, but extremely useful when I need to browse/search output from batch simulations at work (I made a cheat sheet for it) - I’m dreaming of building a more modern, more easily extendable clone using Textual
      • xonsh: a Python-based shell which makes it much easier to do basic looping/conditionals right on the command line
      • Fork: a nimble Git client for Mac and Windows
      • rclone: I use it for cloud backups to pCloud
      • Firefox: web browser that does care about privacy and is still has small but significant market share
      • Skim: a better PDF viewer than macOS’s Preview
      • macos Mail: no-frills, reliable mail client
      • Bitwarden: password management
      • Python (+ many excellent packages on PyPI): easy to overlook, but providing a very nice programming environment both professionally and for hobby projects
    17. 6

      I have recently wrote a blog post titled “Work-related tech I use privately” on my software choices. Hope that plugging link here is ok.


    18. 5

      Hammerspoon is very good if you’re on a Mac. Just today I added a little call that updates a few things I’m doing to respond automatically to monitor add/remove situations — window placement, audio sources, all sorts of things. It’s like adding a layer of Lua underneath everything going on in the system, allowing you to tap into it and assign hotkeys, fix behaviors, whatever you need.

      1. 1

        I really need to make the dive in and use Hammerspoon. Now that I’m splitting my time between the office and home, I’m constantly frustrated by having to totally reconfigure what desktops are where and what windows are on what desktop when I hook up to my different external monitor set up between work and home.

        1. 2

          To link it with another comment I made on this thread, as with many of my tools I sync the config using Syncthing (using a symlink). I recently wrote an onHost() qualifier function (if onHost(‘foo’)…) so that I can have a few machine-specific configs going on in an otherwise shared setup. The two recent additions mentioned above are an AppleScript call to Stay upon monitor changes to readjust everything, and a re-setting of default audio output to accommodate a quirk in AirPlay screen mirroring. I would say most of what I do with HS is useful additions, but being able to massage issues like these is also very useful. You might also like Moom for a little manual window adjustment.

      2. 1

        I love Hammerspoon too. Its use case for me was a bit niche, but it was the only thing I could find that did what I needed it to.

        My use case? Shutting down Linux VMs when the lid closes. Multipass (by Canonical) is great for spinning up VMs, but there is some weirdness when the VMs are suspended when the mac’s lid closes, so a simple Hammerspoon script to shut them down was an easy solution.

    19. 5

      Even though I think our industry and its products are generally a wasteland, I was surprised to be able to come up with quite a few examples of great software when I started thinking about it.

      PostgreSQL and sqlite are remarkable pieces of software.

      I’d say VSCode is surprisingly good; it has problems but it’s something that seems like it can’t possibly function as well as it does so it’s notable for that at least. Dash is great for documentation. jq is cool for a bit of JSON processing. iTerm has been fading into the background and not bothering me for years. AdGuard just chugs away in the background and is quite good for my sanity.

      Fastmail is pleasant to use and doesn’t seem to cause me any issues. Stripe is a good product with good UI for payment processing. Signal works well for messaging. Bear is great for my personal cross-device knowledge base. DuckDuckGo is a decent enough search engine without surveillance thrown in.

      On the PL front, I have a soft spot for Elm - it influenced both the quality of compiler error messages and the front end frameworks.

      There are also many small mobile apps and games that are useful and just work year after year.

      What’s interesting is that the products from most of the industry behemoths (who should surely possess the capability to make good software) are comically bad. Even putting aside the downright evil aspects of surveillance and monopolistic tendencies, things like Google products, AWS products, Spotify, Twitter, Netflix are absolute rubbish – not in all ways of course, but in many important ways like UX or performance or reliability. Perhaps it shows that in order to become an industry behemoth, it’s necessary to focus on things other than software quality.

    20. 5

      I keep recommending Kate editor for anyone who likes a good GUI editor: https://kate-editor.org/ It’s slowly becoming my favorite editor ever.

      OpenMW is great for Morrowind fans :) https://openmw.org/en/

    21. 5

      Mac Apps:

      Unix, etc.

      • zsh
      • fzf and z
      • cargo/rustc
      • Emacs
      • Nix
      • QMK
      • ZMK
    22. 5

      Software I use that makes me happy (I work mostly on Linux, and occasionally mess around on macOS and Windows stuff):

      • +1 to Tailscale
      • sqlite
      • Reaper
      • Blender
      • Zig
      • workhorse libraries like numpy for numerical stuff, raylib for graphics programming, imgui for GUIs, streamlit for fast python prototyping
      • utilities like fzf, fd, rg, rsync
    23. 5

      The FLOSS that’s good enough to pay for is KeePassXC and Nix. Other than that, JetBrains IDEA.

    24. 5

      trash-d is a small and simple trash/recycle-bin implementation designed to be a drop-in replacement for rm. I alias rm=trash and forget that it’s there until accidentally deleting something and knowing I can restore it.

      Full disclosure: I am a contributor to this project.

      Other things that I expected to see mentioned already, but have not been:

      • bat, exa (hey, I like programs that fit in neatly with their environment and improve it)
      • transmission-d
      • mpv
      • feh
      • Hakyll
      • GHC
      • newsboat
      • Unbound
      • magic-wormhole
      • WeeChat
      • Jitsi Meet
      1. 2

        trash-d sounds interesting, though my first thought it why not just use some shell script that copies the file to a “trash before invoking rm on it with any additional parameters given?

        1. 3

          @eterps is correct about the edge cases (did you know that trying to copy a FIFO hangs cp?) — and there are other reasons too:

          • Copying (within a filesystem) is a linear-time operation and will be slow on large files; moving is O(1).
          • trash-d does a little more than just moving a file to a temporary place. It implements the FreeDesktop.org trash specification, which prescribes the metadata necessary to restore deleted files.
        2. 2

          There are a lot more edge cases for that scenario.

    25. 4

      I tried a ton of note-taking apps over time and still consider Obsidian the best.

      1. 2

        Just spent all week taking notes with this at the Esri Dev Summit, loved it!!

    26. 4

      Emacs for org-mode, eshell, eglot and the various modes. I use a custom build with GNUstep as it produces a portable app bundle which can be used without installation. The GNUstep build has been remarkably glitch-free.

      Fossil is self-contained and almost perfect for personal projects.

      Some of the other favourites include a bunch of old and obscure programs:

      Berkeley par paragraph formatter - formats tight paras. Useful for margin notes in plain text files.

      xnedit editor - classic NEdit modernized. Has an interesting feature that I use a lot: the secondary selection when dragged wades into the text and can be used to move narrow paras to the side to fake margin notes in plain text files (yes yes, woe to the poor ba$tard who has to make further changes).

      sam editor - @lorddimwit’s much improved port of the sam editor from plan9. Great for working with lots of text: just sweep a rectangle anywhere within the window and put your text in. Remote editing over ssh works as well.

      tt terminal - @leahneukirchen’s 9term clone. The “hold mode” is simple and clever.

      1. 1

        Hey, where is this portable Emacs??? I know of Portacle (https://portacle.github.io/) but it is aging. I’d love to see more portable Emacs distributions.

        1. 1

          you need to build from source: install the latest GNUstep libs (Debian and OpenBSD tend to have the recent releases). Then, ./configure --with-ns should configure it to build against GNUstep. make && make install should leave you with an Emacs.app inside nextstep/ dir which is a portable app bundle. I move it to ~/GNUstep/Applications/ so that it can be launched easily with openapp Emacs.

    27. 4
      • zathura pdf reader
      • espanso automatic-as-you-type text expander
      • tldr example-focused mini manpages
      • snebu filesystem backups
      • pgTAP database test harness
      • pspg pager for tabular data
      • redshift and similar (I’m using wlsunset on wayland)

      already mentioned: Postgres, PostGIS, SyncThing, rofi, ripgrep, KeePassXC, jq, mcfly, mpv

      1. 2

        I found tealdeer rust version of tldr easier to install and use, also it supports local pages so you can have your own cheatsheets for non-standard utils or your private scripts.

    28. 4

      Recently I had a shocking experience when I was searching for a simple static file server and couldn’t find a good one. That was until I found https://github.com/static-web-server/static-web-server

      The old standbys of nginx/apache don’t have good defaults, are not memory-safe, and have super verbose config that has to be provided as a file which makes it annoying in Kubernetes (gotta have a mounted ConfigMap).

      Caddy is the other big one, but the containerized version runs as root and not all config can be passed as flags, requiring that ConfigMap. It also feels a little too feature-rich for the Unix Philosophy.

      There’s also sftp-go and filebrowser but shockingly neither of them let you download a file with an HTTP GET request at a reasonable path like “example.com/folder/file.txt”

      So yeah I settled on https://github.com/static-web-server/static-web-server and have been quite happy with it!

      1. 2

        darkhttpd? python -m http.server? Or does good have specific speed or security considerations?

        1. 2

          Yes the use-case I had in mind is for serving up large archived files (which is the kind of server that you might easily forget to patch), so the lack of production-readiness rules out http.server and the memory unsafety rules out darkhttpd for me.

      2. 1
      3. 1

        Have you seen https://github.com/lucaslorentz/caddy-docker-proxy?

        It takes care of Caddy configuration for docker. It’s a little awkward to use labels for the config but it works fairly well. It’s probably an overkill for just serving static files but it’s about as good as it can get in the dockerland if you have a number of web-facing containers. Then you don’t need to run another process to serve files from a volume.

    29. 3

      The classics: PostgreSQL, OpenSSH,, sshfs, curl, OpenNTPD, nginx, tmux, sudo/doas, ffmpeg , fzf, ripgrep

      Sometimes when I just want a plain simple graphical editor leafpad/mousepad

      Something like vi(m), for example nvi on the command line

      Clementine for music. Though I have to admit I rarely open it these days.

      Redis, especially if you don’t overlook that you can make it an actual cache (eg set it to be an LRU cache) even though I haven’t used it in s long time. I hope the core is still simple.

      OpenSMTPD, Dovecot

      restic for backups

      prosody (xmpp)

      Tor, where I also hope it’s still good

      i3 and i3lock

      Fairmail for emails on the phone (used to be a huge k-9 fan until it would sometimes randomly, silently, without error not send/finish sending)

      Conversations for messaging on the phone

      Keepassxc as an offline password safe

      ZFS for important data

      And with some slight caveats: urxvt aka rxt-unicode

    30. 3

      I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for tsort. But honestly, Postgres. Redis. mu is really good. I really loved Interface Builder and Project Builder, back in the day.

    31. 3
      • transmission torrent client: it just works.
      • photopea: great little image editor: I don’t install gimp anymore
    32. 3

      A few hings not mentioned yet: percol, gron, httpie, redis, pgcli, cinamon desktop, winmerge, notepad++, notepad2, rectangle, deluge. And the best software ever written: Winamp

    33. 3

      Right now? absolutely beeper. I know it’s “just matrix bridges” but it’s not. It’s amazing. You can even self-host the entire thing too.

    34. 3

      Darktable. I’m a regular user and keep being impressive just how much thinking and science goes into it, and how high-quality the resulting software is.

      Another two examples are Inkscape and Krita, although I don’t use either regularly.

    35. 3

      Libsodium. Every time I’m forced to work with other crypto APIs, I realize how good I had it with libsodium.

      1. 1

        Libsodium is a fantastic piece of API design. There are some clear limitations from the fact that it’s using C as a lowest common denominator, but it’s also trivial to wrap in more type safe things in higher-level languages.

        In the API design category, I’ve also really enjoyed Sol3, which makes it trivial to embed Lua in C++ programs.

        Recently, I’ve also been using Microvium at work. It makes a few usability concessions in favour of binary size, but on CHERIoT I can use it to have separate JavaScript compartments with a shared 14 KiB overhead for the code and then a couple of hundred bytes per hardware-isolated instance.

    36. 2

      One that surprises my is Infinity from F-Droid as a Reddit client as well as NewsPipe/Revanced for YouTube. These platforms are unbearable without ads dear to the sheer volume—to the point that I probably wouldn’t participate in them. On that note StevenBlack’s host block lists and μBlock Origin are the counterparts keeping the browser sane.

      I’m pretty thankful for OpenWRT—though I would love if its packages, LuCi, and it’s configuration scheme were backed by Nix.

      My heart also goes out to the great photography workflows provided by darktable, Hugin, DisplayCAL, colord, enfuse-enblend, panotools, ImageMagick, and all the graphics C libs. Here’s to 2023 as the year color management comes to Wayland.

    37. 2

      [Windows] I’m using FAR Manager since 1997 and I can tell that no other software elevated my productivity this high yet. Fully customisable, plenty of plugins, open source, etc. I used as an “IDE” at some point (before Sublime).

      Apart from that, for multi-laptop config (work + private) spacedesk and input director are life-savers.

    38. 2

      I like Zeal, simple Qt program for offline documentation. Usually faster than searching for the online equivalent.

    39. 2

      I can’t find the usability / UX of Paint.net anywhere in the Linux or MacOS world and it make me really sad / miss Windows often

      1. 1

        I’ve heard Pinta (a cross-platform fork) is good but don’t use it myself.

        1. 1

          Thanks you. Yeah also heard of it but sadly it’s not near Paint.net and was buggy AF last time I tried 😢

    40. 2

      I really like dropper ssh. Small, simile, and easy to install.

      For my Mac, I use Uncluttered. A notepad, file holder, and clipboard manager all in one. Easily accessed with a swipe down at the top of the screen.

      Bartender to hide the useful but not visibly necessary menu bar icons on the Mac.

      Tinycal for a simple menu bar calendar. Opensource and free.

      Hammerspoon for customizing the corner cases with simple Lua scripts.

      Helix editor for terminal based text editing. Shen I ssh into someplace, Helix is my go to editor.

      Visual Studio Code for everything else, except when I’m using Jetbrains IDEs.

      Notion for notes/todos/links. Works really well, even if it isn’t offline-first, which I would appreciate.

      Calibre for managing my growing library of e-books/PDFs.

      rclone for backing up said library to the cloud.

    41. 2

      Kdenlive. Impressive, stable, a pleasure to work with.


      (and Emacs, of course)

    42. 2

      Most of the software that I enjoy were already mentioned (some multiple times), so I won’t repeat those.

      But I want to add the flashcard application Anki (mostly AnkiDroid). I’ve learned so much since I started using it. It’s been 7 years I think. I just keep adding little (very little) nuggets of knowledge all the time.

      Like, just today, I added cards about WireGuard. Very simple cards, to remember things like “WireGuard uses keypairs”, “it doesn’t take care of key distribution”. It’s simple, but it means that next time I want to setup a VPN, I’ll have this less to learn on the spot. It reduces the activation energy if you will.

      I must add: I mostly use Anki during “idle times” during the day.

    43. 2

      copy and paste from my website (links here https://zachpeters.org/stack). i apologize for the formatting

      Insomnia - Opensource API explorer
      asdf - Manage multiple runtime versions with a single CLI tool
      Logseq - Logseq is a privacy-first, open-source knowledge base that works on top of local plain-text Markdown and Org-mode files.
      direnv - unclutter your .profile
      Swinsian - Swinsian is a sophisticated music player for macOS with wide format suppor
      Amethyst - A tiling window manager for macOS
      iterm2 - a terminal emulator for macos
      VS Code - My go-to code editor
      Elixir - Elixir is a dynamic, functional language for building scalable and maintainable applications.
      Phoenix - Build rich, interactive web applications quickly, with less code and fewer moving parts.
      Tailwindcss - Rapidly build modern websites without ever leaving your HTML.
      just - just is a handy way to save and run project-specific commands
      visidata - Data exploration at your fingertips
      topgrade - Keeping your system up to date usually involves invoking multiple package managers. This results in big, non-portable shell one-liners saved in your shell. To remedy this, topgrade detects which tools you use and runs the appropriate commands to update them
      Dracula - Dracula PRO is a color scheme and UI theme tailored for programming.
      Sumatra PDF - PDF, eBook (epub, mobi), comic book (cbz/cbr), DjVu, XPS, CHM, image viewer for Windows. Small, fast, customizable, free.
      Scoop - Scoop installs programs you know and love, from the command line with a minimal amount of friction.
      Lazygit - A simple terminal UI for git commands
      Bacon - bacon is a background rust code checker
      Memtest86+ - Memtest86+ is a stand-alone memory tester for x86 and x86-64 architecture computers.
      Zellij - A terminal workspace with batteries included
    44. 2

      What a nice thread. Using these makes me happy:

    45. 2
      • supysonic - a subsonic-compatible music server. Works flawlessly with dsub and others. I find a mysql db works better than postgres.

      • tmsu - a a format-agnostic tagger. It doesn’t touch files; instead, it maintains its own separate database, and it can mount a virtual filesystem as well.

      • bitwarden - a cross-platform, cloud-based password manager. The premium version is dirt cheap, only $1/month, and it can store TOTP keys. This makes my life easier.

      • ventoy - A free multi-os EFI usb boot drive creation tool. This makes creating a rescue usb way easier - just flash ventoy, then mount the exfat partition it created, and copy iso files there. Easy peasy.

      • mpd - a cross-platform music server. I’ve been using this for years; I don’t know of any other music server that’s as versatile.

      • sonixd - a slick, cross-platform subsonic client. This lets me browse and play my subsonic library no matter what OS I’m using.

      • wireguard - gone are the days of having to maintain a zillion files and dependencies just to run a VPN on my home network. Wireguard makes it simple and easy to set up a vpn tunnel.

      • kdeconnect - seamlessly share your phones clipboard with your computer, and vice-versa, or ring my phone from my computer, or type text messages on my computer and send them on my phone.

      • jdownloader - a big, full-featured download manager. It can even solve captchas for you.

      • openbox - a floating window manager. Tiling WMs never clicked for me, and fluxbox was too crashy in the past.

      Not sure if this counts, but I also really like twilio. It has a nice api, a variety of language bindings, a plethora of high-quality documentation, and fair, super-affordable pricing. This makes it possible for me to set up reminders for myself that send a text, and lets me call my phone from my computer if I have misplaced it.

    46. 2
      1. Scoop - similar to apt on debian. While it is not as complete as apt and similar tools, it is good enough to give me a peace of mind on Windows. So much so that, I wrote about it.
      2. DBeaver - great all round database management program.
      3. gpodder - flawed, but good podcast player on Windows.
      4. everything - the ultimate desktop search program that MS missed.
      5. winmerge - nearly as good as the paid Beyond Compare.
      6. barrier - free software kvm that is the spiritual successor to synergy
      7. Agree with other popular choices - postgres, sumatrapdf, keepassxc, syncthing, yt-dlp
    47. 2
      • Firefox with Bitwarden, duh
      • Helix editor for coding
      • Horizon EDA for absolutely delightful PCB design
      • ab-av1 for easy and smart video conversion
      • beets for managing a local music collection
      • PhotoSync (both iOS and Android) for a proper mobile-devices-only photo workflow that does what I want exactly (sync from Actual Camera and phone to iPad, edit the RAWs, then dump everything onto USB SSD with datetime based filenames)
      • Kalc is the best Soulver-like for Android that I could find
      • Layout from Instagram for combining photos together – no ads, no signup, though not updated in years and right now Play Store says it can’t be installed on my device even though it is installed, huh
      • PassAndroid is Passbook for Android, duh. For years I didn’t have a use for it, but a few days ago I went to the Paramore concert and it haven’t failed me :)
      • MyTherapy is the pill reminder app for Android without ads and mandatory accounts but with great design and a lot of flexibility in scheduling
    48. 2

      CPython. I’m currently reading CPython Internals, and while you can argue about the design of the language, the implementation is a joy to behold. It genuinely makes me happy to see a ~30 years-old C codebase that is so clean and to-the-point.

      Splid is an app to let you easily split expenses in a group. No accounts, no hassle, just works.

    49. 2
      • curl
      • gitui
      • helix
      • htmltidy
      • lighttpd
      • make
      • nnn
      • ocaml (csexp, ezjsonm, markup, tls)
      • peertube
      • rapper
      • rsync
      • ssh
      • sshfs
      • tinycdb
      • xmllint
      • xsltproc
    50. 2


    51. 2


    52. 1

      I think mcfly is my favorite piece of software right now. It makes shell history so much more useful.

      1. 1

        Are you using the fuzzy search, & if so can I ask what you have MCFLY_FUZZY tuned to? I suggested a default of 2 originally, have found I’m happier at 3, and don’t have any other reports to go on.

        1. 2

          I don’t think so; I haven’t set MCFLY_FUZZY to anything, or do anything else to configure it in any way. It’s been working well for me out of the box.

    53. 1

      I use Linux and I’m happy with most of the CLI/GUI tools I’m using.

    54. 1

      PicoLisp as unique ecosystem.

      1. 1

        What’s in the picolisp ecosystem? It seemed kind of self contained?

          1. 1

            I wouldn’t call that an ecosystem, I’d call that a self contained system.

    55. 1

      good code absolutely exists these days; more of it than at any point in history.

      code that is very high quality & i’m always happy to read through, in no particular order:

      • golang
      • openbsd - especially love referencing smtpd
      • most hashicorp stuff, especially consul & nomad

      there are a few proprietary apps that i think fit this category, but i won’t shill them here.

    56. 1
      • nvi
      • tmux
      • go
      • grep
      • sqlite
      • beanstalk
      • nc
      • tcpdump
      • wireshark
      • tailscale
      • excel
    57. 1

      Some of my favorites:

      1. KDE. It just keeps on improving with features that and utilities that become indispensable. I love how the taskbar are so customizable. Dolphin and Ark are really great applications for file management.
      2. CopyQ. Clipboard manager thats really powerful.
      3. mpv. Plays everything from command line and no bezels.
      4. TreeStyleTabs. Makes Firefox great at tab management.
      5. Telegram desktop app. Messaging apps should be this fast.
      6. Emacs.
    58. 1

      cURL, nginx and PostgreSQL.

      Special mention for GHC, the Haskell Compiler.

    59. 1
      • Emacs
      • SBCL
      • Debian
      • Go
      • PostgreSQL
      • OpenSSH
      • uBlock Origin
    60. 1

      Trello is incredible

    61. 1



      still rofi, but more and more replaced by fzf scripts.





      https://github.com/dharple/detox - would be good if it was a library, so that one could have one config, and have detoxing on the command line and in fileselector dialogs.


      GNU recode


      GNU awk and mawk

    62. 1

      Two pieces of software that I would recommend without caveat:

      • Magit is a magical git experience. I’d recommend it even to people who don’t already use Emacs, and have no desire to learn/use Emacs for anything else.

      • I got a 1Password Family account years ago and haven’t looked back. We have a shared vaults for our 11yo son’s accounts; and another for utilities wifi router, electricity, gas, water, broadband, grocery deliveries etc.

    63. 1

      Gotta say magit is the best git gui out there and probably one of the best pieces of software ever written.

      1. 1

        What do you like about it? I know many do.

        I find it clunky and the diffs are always wrong for me when I commit.

    64. [Comment removed by author]

    65. 1
    66. 1

      I had a good think, and my favourite piece of software by far is Obsidian.md, a close second is the IntelliJ IDEs specifically PHPStorm.

      Outside of those I document the small amount of software I use regularly on my /now page.