In my quest to become one with my Air, I've been in search of the best tooling to keep my workflow smooth. I did some playing around with MacVim, running rbenv in OSX, and various IRC clients. After a lot of hand-wringing and head-scratching, I think I've come up with the best solution.
Cheaters always win! 🔗
My fix is to give up and give in. Vagrant to the rescue! In all fairness, the choice to use Vagrant was sort of a team decision. We have quite a few devs, and find a way for them to work consistently seems like the perfect use case for Vagrant. So for day-to-day work, I spin up the project specific VM using the Vagrantfile in the repo, then just pull in my dotfiles using homeshick. This workflow allows me to always work in a consistent environment, no matter where I'm working from (even from a Putty session).
GUI Gotta Go! 🔗
In my quest to find the ultimate dev environment, I decided that, optimally, I should only need 2 windows open at any given time: a terminal and a browser. In order to accomplish this, I had to find console based replacements for everything I currently had gui apps for. This list included:
- Colloquy (IRC)
- Mail (duh)
- Pandora (yeah, I'm one of those people)
Irssi filled the first need nicely, as I've used it extensively in the past. I should have been using it anyway.
Mutt took care of mail. I still have Gmail running in a browser window for complicated attachments and alternate accounts, but Mutt is my primary mail reader, and it works great.
Pandora was a little harder, but I was finally able to get pianobar working, and working well. I was finally ready to commit to using the terminal to handle everything. The problem was visibility. Constantly switching tabs to check email or skip a song was becoming a huge chore. There had to be a better way. Then I remembered multiplexers.
Tmux is the new screen 🔗
I've been using screen for years to crank up long-running processes on servers, so my terminal wasn't tied up waiting for some 12 hour database rebuild to finish, only for the connection to drop at 99.7%, forcing me to start the whole thing over again. I had also used it to do some quick and dirty pair programming, but nothing fancy.
I rediscovered tmux, pushed through the initial pain of learning something new, and found the awesomeness that is true multiplexing.
It took some getting used to, and my setup would require a post all on its own, but I'm back to being productive again.