I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I use Alfred App for OSX and love it. The app helps me do a lot more things quicker, without having to leave the keyboard.
The Powerpack includes quite a few extra features, but I make regular use of clipboard history, snippets, auto-expansion, and running shell commands, as well as styling it with a theme and backing up all of my settings
Using Alfred with Homebrew
I also use Homebrew, which is a package manager for OSX. Basically, it’s a way to install and update applications for your mac via the command line. Since I’ve already written some posts about it in the past (as well as how to create the workflow that I’m discussing today), I’m going to refer you back to those posts instead of reiterating them.
Why write this post again?
I have always gone to the terminal, used
brew search (and the now deprecated
brew cask search to look for applications that I wanted to install. But this meant opening terminal if it wasn’t already, typing the name that I hoped was there, and seeing what came up while guessing if it was the right app when installing.
I recently discovered an Alfred workflow meant specifically for Homebrew tasks, which allows you to do all of the normal Homebrew commands, including searching packages. You can find Homebrew and Cask for Alfred on Github, and it’s already wrapped up as a workflow to install.
I can still use my existing homebrew workflow to update all existing packages that I’ve installed, as well as cleanup when done. Thanks to some updates since the last post about this, there are even fewer tasks to run.
But now I also have access to the normal homebrew tasks, including install, uninstall, search, update, and all of the flags and various commands for them. Even better, when you search for a formula it includes a link to the Github page for it, meaning I can see what that package actually does and not have to guess. Again, this is without ever having to leave the keyboard.
Having tools like this allows me to work faster and waste less time on managing applications, as well as keeping them all up to date easier. I already procrastinate enough, and I don’t need searching for apps or waiting for them to update when I open them to help me waste even more time!