• Tech Tips

    Clipboard Manipulation using Keyboard Maestro

    Keyboard Maestro has many triggers; these are responsible for executing macros. One such trigger is “The System Clipboard Changes“. I don’t use it often, despite how incredibly useful it is. It does exactly what it says: if a macro uses this trigger, Keyboard Maestro will execute the macro any time the clipboard content changes (when you “copy” something).

    Here’s a quick example showing the usefulness.

    There is a specific issue I have with Microsoft Outlook webmail within Google Chrome. Our email system leverages urldefense.com to alter all external links in the interface (see below). If I’m clicking a link, that’s fine, but if I want to copy a link’s URL it’s annoying to have to clean up the URL to remove the urldefense cruft.

    Everything I’ve marked with an “x” is added by urldefense.

    The macro is simple. I leverage The System Clipboard Changes trigger to trigger the macro. The macro is inside of a macro group that is only activated for Google Chrome. I use an If Then Else action to determine if the URL is a target for manipulation. Finally, I use a Search and Replace action with some regular expressions to strip off the urldefense cruft.

    Clipboard change macro

  • Tech Tips

    Using Keyboard Maestro to Set a Window Size for Recording

    This is a quick one, folks. This simple KM macro sets the front (active) window to a specific size. I use it to prepare a window for screen recording.

    Image of Macro:
    Screen recording window size

    Text of Macro:

    Resize window to 1280×720

    Triggered by any of the following:

    • The Status Menu is selected

    Will execute the following actions:

    • Resize Front Window to Pixels
    • To: 1280 horizontally, 720 vertically.
    • Notify on failure.
  • Tech Tips

    Correcting Date Tags using sed in an Entire Obsidian Vault

    I’ve been using Obsidian for about 8 months. It wasn’t until today that I realized I’ve been using hierarchical tags incorrectly since day one!

    The Problem

    In my templater templates I was using the following:

    The result of this is:

    Unfortunately there are two problems with this. First, there is no need for that extra tag at the end; it’s already covered by the first combo tag.

    Second, the hierarchy is backwards! This leads to:

    Houston, we have a problem! What I really was after was a tag structure like this:

    The Fix

    Thankfully, Obsidian stores all of the files on the filesystem natively, which means you can manipulate them using whatever tools you’d like.

    Enter sed, a stream editor. Using sed and find, I was able to quickly resolve both of the issues above.

    If I’d taken a little more time I would have handled both problems in one shot, but I did not. I fixed problem 2, then problem 1.

    First, I cd’d into the root directory of my vault. Then…

    Finally, I updated all of my templater templates to drop the second tag and fix the first to be in the right order.

    Obsidian picked up all of the changes immediately, which were reflected in the tag pane. Much cleaner!

    Obsidian Tags

  • Tech Tips

    Editing Web Content in VS Code

    Okay, so it’s not quite as amazing as the title suggests, but this solution is worth sharing.

    I work a lot in Bookstack. It’s a fantastic documentation system built with Laravel. I edit all pages in markdown. There is a markdown pane on the left and a preview on the right. I love the UI (shown below) but unfortunately I cannot move around in the editor like I can in PHPStorm or VS Code, where I have Vim support.Bookstack edit screen

    I have a Chrome extension called Wasavi, which is incredible for editing text areas in an inline virtual Vim window. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t show realtime feedback in the preview pane until I save and close out of the virtual editor.

    It occurred to me it’d be useful to just pop into VS Code quickly to edit the doc, then bring those edits back into the Bookstack editor in Chrome. At first I dismissed the idea as being “too much work.” After thinking about it for a moment, though, I realized I could MacGyver this relatively quickly with my favorite Mac application, Keyboard Maestro.

    Here’s what I came up with. As with most things, I am sure I’ll tweak this over time to make it better, faster, less “error”-prone, etc. I have added a README comment and renamed most actions so it’s (hopefully) easy to understand the approach.

    Bookstack VS Code Macro

     

  • Tech Tips

    One-handed Gmail Inbox Culling with Keyboard Maestro

    Keyboard Maestro proves, once again, why it’s at the top spot on my most recommended Mac applications list.

    My normal procedure for culling (deleting unwanted) emails in Gmail is (with list on left and email preview on right):

    1. Open the first email (opens in right pane)
    2. If deleting, press “#” (⇧3)
    3. Else, if skipping, press “j” to move down to the next email (standard Gmail behavior, I think; and it’s intuitive if you’re used to Vim)
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.

    I realized today how much I dislike hitting “#” with my left hand while browsing with my right.

  • Development

    Testing Cookie Modification in Laravel 8

    If there’s a better way to pass a cookie from one request to another, in a phpunit feature test in Laravel, please let me know! Here’s one way to handle it:

     

  • Development

    Any Random Saturday Using Faker

    Here’s a quick one, folks. I’m using Faker in Laravel factories to generate realistic data. I have a “week end date” field in one of my models that must always be a Saturday. Here’s how I generate a unique random Saturday:

     

  • Development

    Using “php artisan serve” with xdebug and PHPStorm

    This is more of a person note for myself. This posts assumes some knowledge of php, Laravel, artisan, Homebrew, and xdebug.

    I’ve been using php artisan serve to serve Laravel applications locally. It’s quick and it works well.

    It’s probably not a great solution if you’re working with other people on a project, or if you want to implement a good CD/CI workflow. Having said that, it’s what I’m using today, so I figured I’d document how I got xdebug working with it (on my Mac).

  • Development

    Using Carbon to Generate Random Dates and Times

    There are a number of ways to generate random dates/times in PHP. Here are some examples using the Carbon library: