Wednesday, July 13, 2011

iTerm2 Does Not Suck

Ringing endorsement eh?

Well I've been using iTerm2 for a while instead of the default Terminal. Don't confuse iTerm2 with iTerm. While, I am confused about that, I haven't spent anytime figuring out the diff.

The first problem with iTerm was the colors. It has a very good color palate (MacOSX builtin I presume) and a option in the Pref panel that will send you off to a page of Preset Palets. I was happy to find one that approximated the MacOSX Terminal colors I had come to like. With that color pallet installed I moved over to my next issue.

AntiqueWhite background w/ black foreground. On a PC running Linux AntiqueWhite out of rgb.txt was fine. I entered the same RGB codes for AntiqueWhite into Terminal Prefs and was happy. Entered the same codes into iTerm2 Prefs and not so easy to find. But selected the Emacs pallet and AntiqueWhite2 seemed to give me the happys.

I am transitioning from Emacs, screen. Even my screen command control character is C-o not the default C-a, because, duh, C-a is beginning of line in Emacs. But screen doesn't do top-bottom splits. After a friend suggested iTerm2 I gave it a look then went back to Terminal/screen.

The big change came when I was writing very wide log lines to the terminal. I needed a terminal with full screen width. Given screen wouldn't give me top-bottom splits, I tried iTerm2 again. The commands were easy to learn ⌘-t for new tabs; and ⌘-[ and ⌘-] to go back/forth between panes; and ⌘-⇧-[ and ⌘-⇧-] to got back/forth between tabs.

The scrolling is easy: just mouse scroll up/down in the window; no worries about the lack of scroll bar.

All it all, I've definitely moved from emacs/screen to TextMate/iTerm2 and I think I am more productive because of all the little things I gain. I just feel like all the key strokes programmed into the nerves of my hands are being wasted. I don't even remember alot of the emacs commands. I just pull up emacs, do the command, and look at what my hands do. Then I can say "oh yeah. That's C-space hilite region C-x r t blah blah blah.

NOTE: the unicode characters above, ⌘ and ⇧, may not display correctly on non-Mac OS's. I found them on this page

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