A few years ago, I made a little command line tool (specific to macOS)
that I’ve used significantly more than I expected to, called
The problem I tried to solve is that some command line apps would benefit from fuzzy matching, but either they don’t let you customize their UI to add such a feature, or they make it painful to do.
So my solution was to add this feature entirely externally as a
purely native (Cocoa) GUI, and only communicate with the command
line utility through
choose works is that you pipe a line-delimited list to it
stdin, which then opens a small GUI window containing the same
list, and lets you type to fuzzy-match an entry. Once you choose one
with [Return], it exits with status 0 and prints that entry to
stdout. If you cancel with [Esc], it exits with status of 1 and
prints nothing. Some Vim and Emacs navigation shortcuts work too.
Check out the video demo (below) of the most simplistic use-case:
choose to output a single entry chosen from the output of
/bin/ls -1 (aliased to
Check out the github repo and
install it via
brew install choose-gui. There’s more options via
Here’s an Emacs Lisp snippet where
C-x f looks in your current git
repo (assuming you have magit installed) for all checked in files and
lets you fuzzy-match, opening the chosen file in the current buffer:
;; better find-file-in-repository ;; assumes you have magit and maybe other stuff (defun choose/find-file-in-git-repo () (interactive) (require 's) (let ((root-dir (magit-toplevel default-directory))) (if root-dir (let ((default-directory root-dir)) (let ((f (s-trim (shell-command-to-string "git ls-files -co --exclude-standard | choose")))) (unless (string= "" f) (find-file f)))) (call-interactively 'find-file)))) (global-set-key (kbd "C-x f") 'choose/find-file-in-git-repo)
And the rough equivalent for Vim:
" find file in git repo function! ChooseFile() let dir = expand("%:h") if empty(dir) | let dir = getcwd() | endif let root = system("cd " . dir . " && git rev-parse --show-toplevel") if v:shell_error != 0 | echo "Not in a git repo" | return | endif let root = root[0:-2] let selection = system("cd " . root . " && git ls-files -co --exclude-standard | choose") if empty(selection) | echo "Canceled" | return | end echo "Finding file..." exec ":e " . root . "/" . selection endfunction " shortcut nnoremap <leader>f :call ChooseFile()<cr>
My name is Steven Degutis, and I've been writing software professionally for a decade. During that time, I've written many apps and websites, quite a few technical articles, and kept up-to-date with the rapidly evolving software industry.
If you have software needs for web, mobile, or desktop, and are looking for a seasoned software professional, please reach out to me at email@example.com to set up a phone call.
- Self-employed – present
- Clean Coders – 5 years
- 8th Light – 2 years
- Big Nerd Ranch – 1 year
- Self-employed - 1 year
- Web: full-stack
- iOS (UIKit)
- macOS (Cocoa)
- REST APIs
- AWS / EC2 / ELB
- HTML5 / CSS
Over the past decade, I've written a total of 172 technical articles on various programming languages, frameworks, best practices, and my own projects, as I kept up-to-date and active in the software industry.
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- 2017 — "Clean code" isn't actually clean
- 2017 — Passion in your field is overrated
- 2017 — What I learned in 5 days of writing an experimental website
- 2014 — Age of the Polyglot
- 2013 — How to Program
- 2013 — Ignore the Naysayers
- 2013 — Writing Clearly
- 2012 — Reinvent the wheel
- 2010 — Good usability
- 2009 — Twitter is the wrong tool
- 2009 — We're all pretty bad at driving
- 2008 — Why I Code
|August||NDD: Narrative Driven Development|
|August||The truth about TDD|
|August||Macroframeworks vs Microframeworks|
|March||Notes on Haskell Extensions|
|February||Second thoughts on front-end tools|
|February||First thoughts on front-end tools|
|February||Some thoughts on GUIs|
|February||First thoughts on OCaml|
|February||First thoughts on Haskell|
|August||Age of the Polyglot|
|August||The history of Mjolnir|
|August||Quitting the GUI wars|
|June||Lua: my new favorite extension language|
|January||My programming life-goals|
|January||Lingua Latina, Pars I|
|January||Allocating an AST on the stack|
|April||Ruby Accessors Considered Pernicious|
|March||Reinvent the wheel|
Here are some of the projects I'm most proud of. They were created using a variety of technologies, running on several different platforms and OSes. They're all finished products, and many of them are open source.
I made Docks in 2009 for users who wanted to swap out icons in their Dock with a single click. Its unique functionality and design aesthetic attracted the attention of Apple, Engadget, MacWorld, and led to an acquisition of my start-up by Big Nerd Ranch.
This toy was made in a weekend to entertain my 1 year old daughter. It lets you create bubbles with your fingers, which then simulate physics by bumping into each other and falling.
When I couldn't find an app in the App Store that let me make very simple lists extremely quickly, I made one myself. I use it almost every day to organize and track my activities.
I created this app to increase my productivity by letting me move windows around in macOS using keyboard shortcuts. It grew into a community-driven highly extensible app, using Lua for its plugin system.
Implementing this elite social network gave me experience integrating both Apple Pay and credit card payments (via Stripe.com) seamlessly into web apps, for a frictionless and pain-free payment experience.
This isn't just any chatroom. In this web app, you can see what everyone is typing while they type it. I made this in order to scratch my itch for making real-time apps and games, and learned how to use WebSockets in the process.
This was written in 2009, before the time of Slack, when IRC was the main way for programmers to get short-term assistance from each other. Its purpose was to be a beautiful app with an emphasis on simplicity and usability over technical power.
This is an app I actually use every single day. It lets you move windows with global keyboard shortcuts. Since it uses Vim-like key bindings, it should feel pretty natural to any programmer. There's no configuration needed; it Just Works™.
As an evolution of Phoenix, Hydra was my first attempt at embedding a full Lua virtual machine into an Objective-C app, to make a lightweight and efficient window manager that focused on speed, low memory usage, low CPU usage, and overall being gentle on laptop batteries.
These may be tiny, but they're interesting technical feats.
|Lua4Swift||Swift framework for embedding Lua with a native Swift API.|
|choose||Command line fuzzy-matching tool for macOS that uses a GUI|
|music||Command line music daemon for macOS that only speaks JSON|
|hecto||Command line text editor with an embedded Lua plugin system|
|ZephSharp||Window manager for Windows using Clojure for scripting|
|management||Minimalist EC2 configuration & deployment tool in Ruby.|
|go.assert||Assertion helper package for writing tests in Go.|
|go.shattr||Go library for printing shell-attributed strings to stdout.|
|OCDSpec2||Objective-C based testing framework with Xcode integration.|