Friday Yak Blogging

If you are working under a tight deadline, then yak shaving is a mortal enemy. Nevertheless, yak shaving is a useful skill for a programmer to have. Multitasking and tangential thinking are often the only way to avoid local minima, in programming and in life.

Are you a yak barber? See if this story sounds all too familiar:

2:00 pm. Reading an interview with Paul Jansen (the TIOBE guy). The part about coding standards and tests really rubs me the wrong way, and I think I will blog about it.

2:10 pm. This blog will be much better with some pictures...

2:13 pm. My Grab application saves files as TIFFs by default. Not very web-friendly. Any way to change this? Hmm, not in the preferences.

2:14 pm. Jason sends me instructions for taking screen shots, which include instructions for using defaults write

2:15 pm. Wait a second. The built-in key commands for screen grabs are easier to use than the Grab application, I'll just use them.

2:19 pm. The built-in key commands save files to the Desktop. I promised myself that the next time I touched the desktop for any reason, I would clean up the 200+ files of cruft there.

2:21 pm. Decrufting of desktop proceeding well, except that opening text files in the default editor is surprisingly slow. How do I change the default application for a file type?

2:22 pm. Jason again: "Bring up the info panel for a single file. Choose the 'Open With:', and then 'Change All...' of that type."

2:24 pm. Awesome. Now several file types open in Emacs by default. But I bet there is an easier way to change a bunch of types all at once, by editing a plist file somewhere.

2:26 pm. Judging by file modify times, I probably should be looking at

2:27 pm. The Property List Editor does not have very powerful search and replace capabilities, so I open the file in a text editor instead.

2:27 pm. Surprise! The file isn't XML. Aren't plist files XML?

2:30 pm. Aaron: "I have the command line fu you need to convert a plist to XML, and back again after you are done." No thanks! I usually open files from Quicksilver anyway, and having spent nine minutes on Finder is enough. (What do you think I am--some kind of yak barber?)

2:31 pm. I should bookmark those screenshot instructions in I click on the Firefox toolbar item, and prompts me to login--but in a popup window that doesn't have the 1Password button. So I open 1Password directly to copy the password.

2:32 pm. Why do I have a super-secure password on anyway? I am likely to use it from a random browser where I don't have 1Password, so I will go ahead and change my password while I am here.

2:33 pm. Jason mentioned at lunch that Quicksilver can actually manage your social bookmarks, so I should go and install that plugin.

2:36 pm. Victory is mine. Plugin installed, original mission accomplished. I think. What was I doing again?

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