Forget droplets, use Dterm!

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A few days ago, on one of my regular del.icio.us/popular procrastination research trawls, I discovered DTerm, a HUD style, context-sensitive, drop down command line thingemy. It’s pretty cool, with useful features like ‘insert selected items’, and ‘copy results’ and after a couple of updates I can see it being totally great.

Here’s a quick screenshot: Dterm

I’d recommend taking at look at their site for a more complete screencast with some useful ideas.

If you’ve previously used droplets for things like launching TextMate, this might be perfect for you, since instead of having to click, you can just bash the hotkeys, and type mate letter.tex or whatever. You could also dispense with the open terminal here droplet all-together. I’m thinking of trying to hack the glob select droplet (above) to work from the command line as well, but I’m not sure how easy that will be.

Here are a couple of other ideas I’ve had:

  • du -shx ⇧⌘V – to view the size of the currently selected items (works in finder/textmate/etc.).
  • open . – to view the current directory in finder.
  • ⌘↩ – on it’s own to fire up a Terminal in the current working directory.
  • Basically, most things you’d normally switch to the terminal for, you can do with DTerm.

Since I use zsh instead of bash, I found (after talking with Decimus’ support) that I need to launch Dterm using:

env SHELL=/bin/bash open /Applications/DTerm.app
Otherwise it’ll use zsh, which stops tab completion from working properly. Using this method, you could also pass other options, such as TERM, which DTerm doesn’t currently set itself. The command I’m using at the moment is:
env SHELL=/bin/bash TERM=dterm open /Applications/DTerm.app
Give it a try!

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