I’m Regressing: Two Great Terminal Applications

While the world is all aflutter about viewing tasks and news alerts from a wristwatch, I’ve recently discovered two delightful programs that allow me to do the same from a terminal window — yes, without a mouse.

Task Warrior

Task Warrior is an impressively fully-featured terminal task list manager.  After a quick review of the tutorial, I was up and running with powerful task customization capabilities beyond those even offered by Google’s task client.  Task Warrior supports not only project-categorization and due dates, but also dependencies, recurrence, project completion progress, and more.  Furthermore, the entire application is extensible via third party or custom scripts and add-ons.

Tasks are easy to add with simple syntax such as follows:


$ task add Call home
$ task add Pick up milk proj:Errands pri:H
$ task add Walk the dog due:eoy recur:daily proj:Life tag:dog

Also, the developers have smartly added three levels of task-viewing: very short, short, and complete (below). Also, it’s easy to view only specific projects as your task list grows. The simplicity is addicting, and will never be maligned as skeuomorphic. I’m eagerly awaiting future versions of the client which will allow syncing across devices.

Task Warrior: 3 views

Newsbeuter

I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement for Google Reader for some time now. I’ve tried Feedly, Flipbook, and others, but perhaps in my search for the solution with the most bells and whistles I was missing the point. RSS readers are fundamentally about isolating the most interesting and helpful fresh content. Most readers, indeed like this blog, pin flashy graphics to their posts which nine times out of ten adds no information value. In light of such multimedia and lengthy snips, it can be intimidating to log-in and find you have 50 unread posts from a single blog that span a lengthy scroll or multiple pages. Those older posts are simply lost to me. Newsbeuter is a terminal app that serves RSS and ATOM content in a very digestible piece-wise hierarchical fashion, and as a result, I feel like I’m actually discovering my favorite blogs’ full content for the first time.

Linux users can easily install Newsbeuter with one command:


sudo apt-get install newsbeuter

Each time it’s run, Newsbeuter loads a user-created list of feeds from the configuration file /home/user/.newsbeuter/urls. The basic format is simple: feedURL_”~A Title”_tag1_tag2_tagN, with one feed per line. Titles and tags are optional but helpful.

As the progression of screenshots below indicate, Newsbeuter allows you to read the content you want without waging through a sea of extraneous content. Not all articles show up well in the terminal reader — some feeds just list headlines and links to full articles, and pictures aren’t supported, obviously. However, in these cases Newsbeuter bakes in a one-button “Open in Browser” capability.

.newsbeuter/urls

Newsbeuter urls file

Navigation progression

Newsbeuter feed list

Newsbeuter article list

Newsbeuter article view

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