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Show HN: TextFlow – Automator workflows for text manipulation in OS X (github.com/vmdanilov)
76 points by vladdanilov on May 22, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

Goodness: https://github.com/vmdanilov/TextFlow/blob/master/Transform%...

XML wrapped around AppleScript, Perl, and some good old shell-scripting. What a labour of love!

Thanks. I was walking on the edge with this one :)

Automator is the most useful, powerful and underrated feature of OSX. It makes me sad how almost nobody talks about it.

That and the related automation scripts. I would have thought that now that they introduced Javascript for Automation (similar to Applescript), it would be a lot more popular and would spur a lot of interest in creating workflows.

So far, I've not seen anything. I do use javascript for automation myself. A useful "trick" is to write Javascript using Script Editor, save the script as a .app file and place it in /Applications or similar and have Spotlight execute that Script. I've done things like Empty Trash, Lock Screen, launching a new Swift Playground (too many steps to do that with Xcode alone), quitting all foreground apps, etc. Almost makes Spotlight act like Alfred or Quicksilver.

I would really like to see what other people can come up.

I do the same!

I have "dock" and "undock" apps for switching between mobile, and, ekhem, docked state for my macbook (switching wifi, turning bluetooth on/off, unomounting USB drive, etc).

I also have "move tabs to chrome", because I use safari for everyday and chrome for dev, and sometimes I start something in safari and it turns out it should be in chrome.

Also "Chrome Incognito" for quick incognito sessions (cmd-space, "incognito", enter). Very useful!

Oh nice tip on the Incognito mode ;). I wonder if Safari has a flag like that too.

I also find Script menu (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9586970) very useful. Perfect for utilities, starting SSH sessions, mounting drives, etc.

Do you have any of these scripts publicly available?

One reason I don't like Automator so much is that it forces me think where to save the workflows I create. Automator has a very iTunes-like interface and I would expect that it takes care of organizing the created workflows. Actually, I think the Workflow app for iOS has nailed this down perfectly (together with integration of the workflows with the rest of the system).

You may go to Script / Applescript Editor Preferences and check "Show Script menu in menu bar". This way you can have scripts organized in folders and available through the menu bar. Console apps / Shell scripts supported as well and run in the background. I believe you can create a symbolic link to have them indexed by Spotlight as well.

Nice work. I use this automator for pretty printing JSON.

  import json
  import sys

  text = sys.stdin.read()
      print json.dumps(json.loads(text), sort_keys=False, indent=4)
  except Exception as e:
      print e

Thank you. I thought on including some developer formatters. But decided it should be left to code editors. In particular there is JSCS linter (http://jscs.info/), or SublimeLinter-JSCS as Sublime Text plugin (https://packagecontrol.io/packages/SublimeLinter-jscs) which can do this and much more.

This is super useful! Thank you for making it. /installed

The email extractor is super useful. I wrote a command-line script for doing this, but will probably start using this instead.

Thank you too. I am currently working on Text Substitution performance. Please check back soon.

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