I recently packaged these 3D thumbnailers for Arch Linux and this act inspired me to dig into this topic a bit and make some of my own. First off, what’s a “thumbnailer”? It related to this Free Desktop specification and I’d summarise it as:
A thumbnailer is a program that can generate a small preview image (called “thumbnail”) of a specific file type. File browsers know about thumbnailers by reading configuration from
.thumbnailer files which specify which program to call for a specific MIME type, and which arguments to use to get the desired output.
For more details and practical examples of what these files look like and what you can do with them, see this blog post by Radu Zaharia. For most of the 3D thumbnailers I packaged, the thumbnailer programs are small purpose-built scripts, written in Python or Bash, that understand the specified format and how to get a PNG image out of it. The thumbnailer config just specified which order it wants its file input and output arguments in. However, as Radu’s blog post points out these can also be more advanced one-liners using programs you already have installed, so I decided to try that out and this post I’ll cover 2 such examples: Audio & GIMP.
tl;dr: Copy-pastable version at the end of the post Continue reading
Yesterday I found a typo in a pull request description while browsing another team’s project which I stumbled upon. I mentioned it to the author but it turned out that that part of the text came from the repository’s pull request template, which means every pull request will have this amusing but irritating mistake. I sent them a pull request, modifying the template, to fix the mistake at the source and avoid it in future, and thought that would be the end of it.
It turns out that template was written once and then copied across to new repos, which means this typo actually exists in almost all the pull requests in all of that team’s projects. Well that escalated quickly. This is the point where the average person probably says “OK whatever, it’s not worth it for something so small, there are too many repos, it’s just a small typo, never mind” and stop. A very determined person might actually start opening browser tabs and psyching themselves up to do pull requests. I open my terminal emulator and start writing a for loop. Continue reading
I’ve decided to give Wakatime a second try. It’s a tool that tracks the time you spend programming on different projects by integrating into your IDE. This works well for typical development work where you open your IDE in the morning and type code in it, do commits with it, and everything else related to the project and Wakatime will track that.
I don’t work like that though, so I had two issues with it last time, both resulting in a lower reported time spent working:
- I spent most of the day working on different remote servers and it would be a hassle to set it up in the text editor on each of them and it would undoubtedly cause slowdown on the older servers
- I use the command line tools as my IDE, so the time recorded opening the text editor to make some changes is not representative of the time spent working
This time it’s different because nowadays I virtualise most of the services I work with, using Docker on my local machine, and I’m hoping that using the Wakatime Z Shell integration will give a better record of time spent working on a project. Continue reading
How and why I normalised my Go paths and personal/local home paths.
Like many people, I have my own scripts and stuff in a
bin directory in my home directory. Actually it’s a symlink to
~/.local/bin because I saw there was a
~/.local/share which some programs use to store user-specific things and I wanted to be consistent.
Then I saw some people have
~/src and I thought that looked like a Continue reading
I keep forgetting this, but it’s really useful when working in the command line so I’m writing it down now. I use the grml zsh configuration in my shell and it has several very good features; a cool one I’d use more often if I could remember the shortcut is “in-place mkdir”. The key sequence is:
That’s Ctrl and x, followed by an uppercase M.
Here’s an example use case: Imagine you’re writing a command to do something with a very long path, like moving a file deep into a source tree
mv File.java src/something/very/long/
except half-way in your realise some of the directories in that path don’t exist. No problem! Usually you’d have to cancel that command, create the missing directories and then type it again. Now you can just type
Ctrl-X, Shift-M, the directories are created and you can just press enter to use them. Much less annoying! This can even work for different directories in the same command; move the cursor to the directory you need and zsh will create that one!
For other useful shortcuts, see the reference card.