Lesser known tools for everyone.

Midnight Commander or MC

A twin pane, curses based file manager for use in the terminal.

Probably, the most powerful FM available, anywhere.

* filesystem bookmarks
* access remote systems using SSH
* dive into .zip, tar, DEB, JAR etc. using VFS
* run commands in a sub-shell without leaving MC
* built-in editor & viewer or configure your own
* hotkeys
* completely configurable
* and lots more

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I have configured as my editor within MC, as it is a bit like having an IDE on remote systems.

There are plenty of file manager type plugins for Vim, but none are as powerful as Midnight Commander.

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@fitheach I witnessed huge flame wars between fans of MC and Far

but maybe it's an ex-Soviet thing :blobcat:

Ha, I missed those flame wars!

Both inspired by Norton Commander, so maybe some rivalry to be expected.

@fitheach Vim is nothing like having an IDE. It's like having a rusty teletype with missing keys.

@fitheach @simon_brooke
When I finally learned enough vim to be able exit it when accidentally dropped in it, I felt like a wizard. :)

@priryo @simon_brooke
When you are used to point & click style editors something like Vim can be daunting. For GUI use there is gVim.

Get hold of a Vim cheatsheet and you can feel like a guru in no time 😃

@fitheach @simon_brooke
Yeah Portable gVim makes some of my mundane work less mundane. I'm learning spells, not typing emails.
I like the "modes" idea, it matches how I write, or want to write -- spitting out words is not editing them, keep it separate. But I'm not a programmer and all the functionality is programmer-centric. Operating on "lines" instead of sentences, for example or paragraphs.
I think a glossier writer-focused modal editor could find a niche.

@fitheach @simon_brooke
Hmm, LimeLight is the only one of those which appeals, I don't use or miss grammar / thesaurus things.
And the idea of a plugin to make Vim's interface even less "distracting" / more minimal brings me out in a cold sweat :)

@priryo @simon_brooke
I don't use a grammar thingie, but I do find a thesaurus incredibly useful.

When at home I have a dictd server which provides several dictionaries and a thesaurus (English). Really useful. It does mean I have to copy'n'paste, but that works for web-based editing.


Frankly, the only reason we're arguing about the merits of forty year old editors is because modern software development environments are so dreadful. I was thinking of putting effort into becoming a maintainer of LightTable, but I realised that if I wanted a really good Clojure IDE I wouldn't start from there.

Sorry, I'm having a day when depression is getting the better of me. I shall shut up for a bit.

@fitheach Love both vim and mc here :)

I use the ctrlp plugin for most of my file browsing in vim, and I have a separate terminal for doing more complex file tasks.

If file browsing in Vim I'll use :Explore but most of the time i use MC then f4 (which I have set to Vim).

@fitheach I use MC all the time when doing Debian development as it's the only sensible method of seeing what's been installed in the debs I'm making. So far that's all I've been using it for though, maybe it would help me with other things too I just never tried.

MC is one of those tools that you have to put a little bit of work into, to gain the most from it. Doing so pays dividends in the long run.

I use the same config everywhere just by scp'ing my mc.ini file. I then instantly have my familiar keystrokes on a new system.

@fitheach Can you share your mc.ini? It would be interesting to see what features you're using often enough to have set key bindings for.

@fitheach I really like #ranger for my part, default key mapping is just perfect for me.

It delegates all useful external features to appropriate tools.

How does ranger do multiple file renaming? Regex?

@fitheach I'll rather use shell by pressing "S" to do that.

Thanks. Fantastic resource you have there.

Cries out to be hosted using a static site generator. Without a ton of javascript, you can't view anything on Gitlab.

@fitheach Yeah... But it's that or have it on a site owned by Microsoft. If I knew of another w3m (text-browser) friendly site to put them on, I would. I'm working up to making a .io static site on GitLab and maybe that will help, but I don't know.

@fitheach Huh I did not know half of the things it can be used for. Thanks for sharing!

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