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Topic: Minimal Apps (Read 9189 times)

  • ersi
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Minimal Apps
If you thought Uzbl was a minimal WebKit browser, you should see surf

Quote
surf is a simple web browser based on WebKit/GTK+. It is able to display websites and follow links. It supports the XEmbed protocol which makes it possible to embed it in another application. Furthermore, one can point surf to another URI by setting its XProperties.
It does not do much else.


    no auto-update
    no built-in search engine access
    no cookie management
    no configuration file
    no extension system
    no password management
    no standard bookmark system
    no tabbing
    no toolbars
    . . . and no bloat.



On my machine I have currently the minimalist Webkit browser Luakit. In Luakit only the interface is minimal. Otherwise there's

- Tabs
- Bookmarks (!!)
- Search engines
- Cookie management
- Completely configurable keyboard controls
- Extensible whichever way by means of lua scripting language
- Flash plugin

Looks like I like under-the-hood tweakability :)

But this thread is for all likeable minimalist apps, not just browsers.

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #50
The latest Manjaro iteration of bspwm promotes the 'micro' editor which basically works like 'nano' but with keybinds more inherited from MS Notepad https://micro-editor.github.io/

Edit: On Manjaro the package is micro-manjaro and it comes with (gasp!) dependencies, i.e. it is not really minimal. The dependencies are st (the suckless terminal emulator) and xclip. /edit

There is also 'mg', a tiny version of emacs http://man.openbsd.org/OpenBSD-current/man1/mg.1
  • Last Edit: 2019-04-21, 10:38:16 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #51
Interesting. It's true that Nano's keyboard shortcuts seem a bit odd. Perhaps they have something to do with use in screen/tmux? It dates back only to 2000 or so, so it's not like it predates more standard keyboard shortcuts.

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #52
Yes, text editors are interesting. I have configured micro to be the text editor in my terminal browsers and I am trying it out right now.

For me it was instantly reminiscent of nano but this is a false impression. For example right now, typing a bit longer lines, I see that micro does not autowrap lines and I have no idea how to make it do it. I did Ctrl+e help wrap and got "Sorry, no help for wrap"

It features prominently some superfluous niceties like colour schemes and astonishingly convenient mousing support on terminal, evidently achieved with xclip and xsel. It also autocompletes parentheses and brackets and provides syntax highlighting, but at the same time there appears to be no thought given to spellcheck.

Whereas nano misses colour schemes (which is a good thing, because you mostly want your terminal apps look all the same) but there is some rudimentary way to plug in some spellcheck. And its quirky keybinds are not too much of a problem, because out of the box you get the helpful line with some commands that can be used in the given context. Then again, nano's so-called mouse support simply disables pointer access to the terminal emulator and its only function is to scroll big files. I mostly keep the so-called mouse support off to be able to select the way the terminal emulator lets me.

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #53
For example right now, typing a bit longer lines, I see that micro does not autowrap lines and I have no idea how to make it do it. I did Ctrl+e help wrap and got "Sorry, no help for wrap"
Ha, found it. Out of the box it creates a config file at ~/.config/micro/settings.json and there's the line "softwrap": false,. So it does the config part conveniently too: Autocreate a human-readable config file at some sensible place and let people hack it.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #54
Nano supports syntax highlighting too, but possibly not with color schemes.

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #55
Well, a colour scheme is how the editor looks. Syntax highlight is how the opened text looks, i.e. the specific language in the file should be recognised and colorised. The two (colour scheme and syntax highlight) should not really be related, even though they may mess with each other. Colour schemes are not available in nano, except by giving the whole terminal emulator an overhaul.

By the way, I am already getting fed up with micro. I am so much more used to with the cursor movements in nano and also to the way selection and pasting works in pure terminal emulator. Nice little program, but vim is more rewarding and nano does all I need anyway.

Edit: And I did not give enough credit to mouse support in nano: Mouse was useful to set mark (i.e. start selection). Now nano has an updated man page and the mouse support has been extended even further. Anyway, I don't use it.

These days the man page starts as follows:
Quote from: man nano
Starting  with version 4.0, nano no longer hard-wraps an overlong line by default, and no longer automatically adds a newline at the end of the text if one is missing.  Furthermore, it uses smooth scrolling by default and makes use of the line below the title bar.
These are all big changes over the past few years.
  • Last Edit: 2019-04-21, 19:01:58 by ersi

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #56
More markdown fun: mdp does slideshows based on text written in markdown.

Install mdp, download the sample.md file and run it in mdp. The file is a tutorial. Not as instructive as vimtutorial but almost. And great to look at, even though I would like it to inherit my .Xresources colours out of the box.

Update:
patat is a markdown slideshower with great promises, allegedly employing pandoc. The input format is even slightly simpler - instead of requiring explicit rulers to divide the slides as in mdp, every new header starts a new slide. However, other styling requires some haskell hacking with its ridiculously strict indentation demands, so that it is not plain and simple markup anymore.

Moreover, patat absolutely fails at the number one basic premise of presentation slides: fit to centre. There is a bug report about it but it has not been touched for years. It seems that there is total indecision about centering in pandoc markdown language, but this should not prevent the maker of a presentation slide programme to do what a presentation slide programme should do.

And I found a serious bug in mdp too. As its colours are hardcoded with lack of forethought, its invert mode mdp -i sample.md produces crap on a dark terminal emulator. Luckily this is circumvented by mdp -ti sample.md. Make it mdp -fti sample.md (-f to remove the transition effect) and it becomes a more usable markdown slideshower that patat will never catch despite its initial great promises.

Update 2: Oops, mdp doesn't do markdown tables. What now?? Well, that's why the keynote speakers in hacker conferences use Emacs Org or some contraption script of their own making instead of terminal slideshow apps. These apps are just not quite there. I guess I must do more Emacs too.
  • Last Edit: 2019-04-22, 16:37:13 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #57
The last time I figured I could do a fancy presentation at a place where I couldn't use my own laptop I was forced to cobble together some quickly plain thing in PDF last minute.

I was doing something like this:
https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/wiki/Creating-impress.js-slide-shows-with-pandoc

I did two or three pretty nice presentations that way before I ran into that slight "oh btw you can't use HTML" issue over at a thing in Brussels. :)

Anyway, I think it's still a decent concept. For a presentation next week that I haven't really come up with a content concept yet :insane: But on the technical side, I think I'll use Pandoc → Beamer (PDF). But properly this time, not done during a ~30 minute lunch break panicking because it's the only time I have in a day that lasts from about 8:30 to 20:00, trying to figure out how to convert my Pandoc → Impress.js to Pandoc → Beamer (or at least some kind of PPT/PDF situation).

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #58
Here's a tutorial how to run markdown to pdf with pandoc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dum7q6UXiCE (tutorial for me rather than you, because you certainly know it already) The one thing wrong in the tutorial is the title that that's the easiest way to do presentations. The easiest is actually suckless sent, which renders plain text. Markdown may seem easy, but plain text is still easier.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #59
That sounds like a false dichotomy. You can also use "full" plain text in Markdown; you just won't get any of the things you may very well want (e.g., headers/bold/italic/lists/links/images). :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #60
Also useful, HTML presentation to PDF:

https://github.com/astefanutti/decktape

  • ersi
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #61
That sounds like a false dichotomy. You can also use "full" plain text in Markdown; you just won't get any of the things you may very well want (e.g., headers/bold/italic/lists/links/images). :)
When you want things like headers, bold, italic, etc. then you are obviously not wanting plain text. And when you have to escape things like brackets, then you are obviously not having plain text.

The very idea of markup languages is to go beyond plain text and this has its immediate drawbacks. Markdown's drawbacks are slighter than the drawbacks of, say, HTML, but the drawbacks are there, such as having to escape some stuff or the fact that a minus versus a plus in the beginning of a line loses its meaning/rendering. So the dichotomy is real.

Also the distinction of mdp and sent is real. In the first you have the source text in markdown, by which you get headers and other formatting and you are supposed to distinguish slides by dash lines, while in the latter you just use paragraphs, you do not get headers, but it does not tie itself to the terminal and provides a sort-of opportunity for images (I wonder, since it does not use the terminal as its base, why not provide more formatting?). They are too different to use just one or the other rather than choosing one or the other to suit a current purpose.

  • Barulheira
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Re: Minimal Apps
Reply #62
Markdown is an example of something that is far from perfect, but good enough to be successful.