February 24, 2010
Command Line Panel Menus. It sucks when you ssh into a server, and you have no idea what the binaries are call. You know like I need to resize a partition on my server and I want to use “Disk Utility”…so its binary is named…. um… shit! I have no idea. More and more, it makes sense for the command-line and the desktop to be on similar pages. Typically I have X tunnelling on by default for ssh, so running X apps is no big deal, I just rarely want to run a gnome-session and all the pain of having nested panels, weird messages about daemons trying to start etc. I just want to launch a binary, but I can’t remember the damn name.
I was talking about building command line panel menus (maybe into setup), and Mccann had a whack idea I think is great: What if a blank tab-tab in bash (rather than offering to list all 3000 binaries, thanks but no thanks) autocompletes to a choose by number panel menu.
[seth@f-all ~] <tab><tab>
Menus: 1 - Applications 2 - Places 3 - System
Which menu (1-3)? 1
Menus -> Applications
1 - Accessories 2 - Games 3 - Graphics 4 -Internet
5 - Office 6 - Programming 7 - Sound & Video
8 - System Tools
Which menu (1-8)? 8
Menus -> Applications -> System Tools
8 - Terminal 9 - System Monitor A - Disk Utility B - Another Thing
Launch which application (1-B)? A
Launching Disk Utility: /usr/bin/palimpset --desktop-file --flags
And poof! Disk Utility starts up. Honestly, I can imagine using this to launch apps even when the panel is sitting right there… if I’m already in a terminal w/ my hands on the keyboard. Want to launch Gimp? Just that old familiar…. tab-tab-1-3-7 The desktop is getting pretty real… all the dbus, packagekit, networkmanager, etc magic have made it more than this funky thin veneer. Might be time to give back to console-land.