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    Alfred, iTerm

    I can never get a concrete reason why to use these over Spotlight/Terminal.app. There used to be a significant difference, but today I can’t think of a compelling reason.

    Edit: Ditto for flu.x

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      Personally, I couldn’t let go of having shortcuts to switch to the nth tab. Thus, iTerm beat Terminal for me.

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        I use Alfred primarily for various workflows that I have set up. That’s not something that can replicated with spotlight.


        I have a few smaller ones that I’ve designed myself.

        I use the Github Repos Workflow constantly: http://www.packal.org/workflow/github-repos

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          I happily used Spotlight for years. Then, a couple OSX updates back, it stopped properly indexing applications. I never was able to fully figure out what the problem was, as there was seemingly no pattern to which applications would be excluded. At one point it stopped including Chrome in the index, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. (More specifically, I believe it still included them in the index based on testing the command line interface, but Spotlight simply stopped showing them.)

          I switched to Alfred, and it immediately worked “perfectly” - which is to say it performed identically to how Spotlight did before the updates. It’s been a few months now, and I have no complaints with Alfred, it does everything Spotlight did, and is much faster.

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            Weird! In your position I think I would have done the same thing.

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              I have the same problem and switched to Alfred for the same reason.

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              iTerm is waaaaaaaay ahead of Terminal.app.

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                I keep getting replies like this, but still no concrete reason.

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                  I think it’s because there aren’t great reasons anymore. Yes, you’ve got some tmux integration and similar I guess, but e.g. tmux support requires (or at least used to require) custom-built versions of tmux that kept it from being as useful in practice as you might think. Meanwhile, Terminal itself has added tons of features that used to be iTerm-only and added some of its own (e.g. window groups), and while there’s some comments below that iTerm has smoother scroll, I have noticed that using Terminal can actually speed up programs I run if I’ve got them dumping directly to stdout (because it can get stuff on the screen faster).

                  I used iTerm for many years, but I’m also back to Terminal. Ditto for Alfred, similar reasons.

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                    Terminal.app has added

                    • Mouse Reporting
                    • Ligatures (which is still in beta for iterm)
                    • Vertical and horizontal character spacing
                    • Key macros
                    • Tabs
                    • Window groups
                    • Custom entry commands
                    • STDout Search.

                    The difference between iTerm and Terminal.app is becoming more superficial. At this point the largest difference is the degree of customization, and people who care about this seem to be more evangelical about it.

                    That being said I still use iTerm for two reasons.

                    1. Hotkey Quake like drop down terminal window.
                    2. Its what I’ve been using.
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                      Only things missing from Terminal.app are:

                      • True Color support
                      • Hotkey dropdown
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                    smoother scroll, true color support, greater tmux integration, splits.

                    On the other hand I think Terminal.app has the edge with better font rendering and slightly smoother performance (latest Beta version of iTerm2 is much much better in that regard, but Terminal.app has still edge on that front, but it’s locked on 30fps, so it’s not that much greater in the end).

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                      Btw I’m still using Terminal.app because I found it much more stable, and I’ve stopped using tmux for terminal splitting and tiling. Now I use Tmux mostly for attaching and detaching and security reasons, as tmux increases input latency which I cannot stand!

                      And most important of all is that I didn’t want to become addicted/attached to my personal dev environment. I have been through customization hell with Emacs and Vim, now I am back to really minimal 200 Loc configs in both, using mostly stock stuff on macOS, and some universal UNIX programs. I have around 10 applications installed on my macOS, rest is stock Apple stuff and it works really well!

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                        What phl said :-) also, better splitting. Better full screen mode.

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                        I recently tried switching back to Terminal.app, but couldn’t get the colour schemes to show correctly. Terminal does something to the colours to add more contrast, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/29487/is-it-possible-to-disable-terminals-automatic-tweaking-of-colors-in-lion

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                      To be fair to flu.x, that’s a relatively recent addition, and still allows a lot more control (at least on macOS) over the timing, degree, and transition curve to red-shifted light. The rest, I’m with you.

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                        To be even fairer, it’s “f.lux”, not “flu.x” ;)

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                      good to know that the impulse to shit on everything is still alive and well on the internet

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                        Yes. This. Wasn’t this site created as a high quality alternative to hacker news and reddit? The tone in this thread shows zero difference. We can do better than that.

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                        A lot of these are cool, I guess, but others…

                        • Day One has recently switched to a subscription model that limits you to one journal if you don’t subscribe—and they implemented that as a feature cut for existing users, at least on iOS. (This ignores the fact that, nice as its UI is, it’s basically an offline personal blog…)
                        • Xccello is literally a wrapper around a web browser that’s stuck on Trello. The story with Spotify is similar. Why not just point people directly at something like Fluid?
                        • iStat Menus technically does more than just Activity Monitor with its Dock icon set to update, but I’d love to know why I care. What value are you getting out of it that I’m not?

                        Likewise, there’s a lot of heavy repeating going on.

                        • I doubt real people use both Keyboard Maestro and Typinator and Karabiner and SnippetsLab and Popclip. Yes, they all do subtly different things, but I’m extremely dubious any one person uses all of them.
                        • Ditto for e.g. MacDown and Ulysses and Marked, or Fantastical and Next Meeting and MonthlyCal. I understand in some cases using overlapping but meaningfully different tools (Mellel, Pages, and ConTeXt are three I use, for example, and most designers I know use both Photoshop and a lighter-weight editor), but the sheer amount of heavy redundancy here makes me wonder if he even understands how to use all the apps he’s recommending.

                        For me, these issues conspire to make the list borderline worthless. It ultimately stops feeling like a curated list of one person’s macOS setup, and instead just feels like a poorly organized, barely curated list of “neat” macOS stuff. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but I wouldn’t value it highly either; I know from being bored in meetings I can assemble a similar list in about twenty minutes.

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                          I’ve noticed a recent proliferation of so-called awesome lists. Like awesome-python, awesome-react, etc… They seem to just be a list of tools or libraries written in a particular language. Sometimes they seem to be curated to a particular purpose, but otherwise they read like a collaborative brain-dump into Github. The awesome-python one is a good example of this - completely unopinionated, and often reading like it’s just authors plugging their libraries. On Hacker News there’s a guy who’s guaranteed to show up plugging his awesome-react list anytime React or Redux is mentioned…

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                            Much of the modern-day tech-web seems to be something of a soup of self-promotion.

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                              I think people do the awesome lists because it is an extremely easy way to get a lot of GitHub stars and exposure.

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                                Why the negativity?

                                I find those lists pretty useful. I’ve found numerous great libraries and tools through them. Things that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. There is simply so much out there. Curated lists are great.

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                              What the hell, you’re better off without any of this shit. All this crazy never ending time sink… It’s not a wonderful world, it’s a nightmare.

                              Replacing some terminal emulator with another will get you exactly nothing in real world productivity, quite the contrary.

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                                Reminds me of this.

                                metaprogramming (verb.) The act of talking about programming, rather than doing any actual programming.

                                Hits painfully close to home. I gleefully clicked the link, and I’m not even a Mac user.

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                                Is this a parody of something?

                                There are so many redundant apps and oddly specific special purpose tools on the list it’s hard to believe it’s not a joke of some kind.

                                And who is this guy that I should even care about this?

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                                  Launchbar is a great Alfred alternative.

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                                    Honestly asking: what are its great features? What makes it potentially better than Alfred?

                                    I try LaunchBar every now and then and never get over the ‘if I pause typing for a moment, the next character will initiate a new search’-hump. Also, AFAIR it doesn’t use Spotlight and only indexes some directories by default.

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                                    i guess this is my favourite part of this list:

                                    Thanks ? You can support what I do on Patreon or look into other repositories I shared. Thank you. ?