Workflow

Changing Operating systems is never a fun proposition, unless you’re like me and enjoy learning things all over again. Or in my case, re-learning things all over again.

See, I started with MS-DOS, and moved to windows up until XP. During that era, I ended up stumbling upon Mandrake Linux, and gave it a shot. That started almost 13 years of me using some flavor of Linux as my daily driver OS. That is, until I realized just how toxic many people in the FOSS community were. And still are, but that’s neither here nor there for the subject at hand.

Now, I’m back to using Linux—Fedora 30 KDE in particular—and it’s like riding a bicycle all over again. I remember a lot of what works, what doesn’t work, what will break the moment I look at it ( KMail… ), and how to do some basic scripting. Remembering about Bashpodder certainly gave me reason to study the bash scripting guides again.

Because of that, I was able to automate how I start working on short stories.

#!/bin/bash

if [ "$1" != "" ]; then
    mkdir ~/Documents/sync/stories/WIP/$1
    cp ~/Templates/info.txt ~/Documents/sync/stories/WIP/$1/info.txt
    cp ~/Templates/story.tex ~/Documents/sync/stories/WIP/$1/$1.tex
    kile ~/Documents/sync/stories/WIP//$1/$1.tex &
    disown
else
    echo "Please provide a filename, without file extension."
fi

This is the script I wrote to help me out. All I have to do is use newstory with some sort of filename (without spaces), and it creates a folder with that filename. It then copies a prepared infodoc to keep information about the story it (tags, author comments), and creates a LaTeX file from a template with the filename I chose earlier, before opening the latter in Kile for me to write.

Before this, I was using a template in Pages or Word, and had to manually create everything myself. This method has become so much faster for me. A single command sets up the environment I need, and starts the editor so I can begin working. That was something I was missing on other operating systems. And I’m well aware that I could do this in MacOS, but there aren’t all that many good LaTeX environments for my tastes, and none for MacOS 10.6.8.

I also found replacements for TextExpander (Autokey), Jumpcut (clipboard control built into KDE), iMovie (KDenLive), BBEdit (Kate), and numerous other pieces that I’d begun to rely on in MacOS. Enough that there’s only one piece of software I couldn’t easily replace: Inform. The GUI version is too old for Fedora, so the version listed on the website won’t install on my system. Thankfully, the terminal version works, but not having a GUI to edit in will make things interesting.

But in all of this, I’ve had to change up my workflow, and that does take time to get used to. Instinctively going for the dock has to change to me going for the kicker menu, or launching from a terminal. Using Spotlight with Cmd+Space needs to change to the Kicker Menu’s search box. And so on…

And that means some slight downtime, but at least it’s not catastrophic. And it helps that I’m making this decision myself, and not having to do so because of work or hardware reasons.

social