Pentadactyl has been dead for years. There’s not a perfect replacement, but for this functionality, qutebrowser’s
downloads.open_dispatcher setting can be used, and tridactyl has a PR open for a
DownloadPost autocommand (see the relevant issue; it may be implemented at the time of reading).
Quick Round of Applause for Octopress
Today I found the perfect excuse to start a blog when I stumbled across github pages and octopress. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I never found blogger or wordpress to be that attractive. Finding out that I could easily host a blog on github and write all my posts in markdown was enough to git me to do it immediately. For a first post, I thought I’d just start with presenting something basic I did recently to start using ranger for saving downloads.
Ranger is the most efficient file
manager I have come across. It already integrates easily enough with
most other programs. The browser is an exception and one due not to any
fault of ranger. You have very little choice in general when it comes to
saving files using most GUI browsers. The best the default file saver
has to offer you is
Recent Folders, rudimentary tab completion, and
the ability to open in the last directory you saved in. While it is
possible to change the file picker or file saver, none of the few
options (e.g. the GTK file picker for GNOME and the QT file picker for
KDE) are particularly sophisticated.
Ranger is operated entirely with the keyboard. You can press
'' to get
to the last visited directory or
'<key> to visit any directory you’ve
bookmarked with a letter. This makes navigating even large directory
structures fairly quick. When you don’t have a bookmark for the exact
directory you want to move a file to, you can hit
f and then type the
name of the directory. As soon as the keys you type correspond to a
unique directory, that directory will automatically be opened.
Alternatively, there is
integration allowing you to jump immediately to a frequently/recently
used directory. You can even
fzf command to jump to a directory with a fuzzy search (e.g. using
locate or find). Because of these features, using ranger can reduce a
lot of scrolling and clicking to a few keypresses.
You can write your own save dialog. I don’t know if it would be easy or even possible to write a save dialog wrapper for ranger. Because I often want to save without anything popping up (e.g. when saving related files that will be moved to the same directory), I just bypass the save dialog entirely and download everything automatically to a single folder. I used to just open ranger in this folder later and move things, but this led to a pileup of unorganized crap since I rarely got around to cleaning the folder.
Now I use pentadactyl to “replace”
the default save dialog with ranger. Pentadactyl already eliminates the
need for the GUI save dialog with
:w for saving webpages (or whatever
else the current url is) and
;s for download hinting. Path and file
names can be specified with tab completion as well. Other vim-oriented
browsers have similar options, but this method still isn’t nearly as
quick as using ranger. An autocommand can be used to fake ranger
au DownloadPost * silent !/path/to/script "<file>"
With this in place, every time something is downloaded, pentadactyl will pass the full path of the downloaded file to the specified script. Making the command silent helps to ensure that pentadactyl will not steal the focus back from ranger.
Here’s an example script to open ranger with the file cut:
termite --geometry="600x400" -e "ranger --selectfile=""$1"" --cmd=cut" &
It will look something like this (updated 2016-01-02):
My full script can be found
and fixes a lot of problems that can occur. For example, it uses detox
to clean up the filename and ignores files saved under
when using “open with”). It also supports consecutively saving files to
a temporary directory and then moving them all at once later. This is
useful for preventing a lot of popups when saving related files
(e.g. using a count or
:tabdo). It has an example for automatically
moving certain filetypes; I do this with torrent files. Finally, it
gives an example way to use emacsclient and dired instead of ranger
(which can open a lot quicker in some situations).
The full script also prevents multiple popups that would normally happen
due to a pentadactyl
bug. The more firefox windows opened, the more ranger instances are
started. For a while, I thought this was because pentadactyl has no
clearing mechanism. Sourcing an autocommands file with
won’t fix this though. This bug happens because the DownloadPost autocmd
will execute for every open window. I realized this because the
following would still execute from a private window when called from the
autocommand but not manually:
command! -nargs=1 maybe-open-ranger <<EOF if !PrivateBrowsingUtils.isWindowPrivate(window) silent !~/bin/ranger/ranger_browser_fm.sh <args> endif EOF
Pentadactyl also provides a way to avoid using a GUI for selecting a
file for upload. If you can hint an upload button, pentadactyl will give
Upload: prompt and allow you to select a file with tab
completion. Alternatively, it is possible to yank the file path in
ranger beforehand and paste this into either the pentadactyl or GUI save
dialog. As for creating a new file picker that somehow wrapped ranger, I
have no clue how difficult this would be.
For some websites, I’d rather use a CLI program. For example, tumblr also allows to post by email and even use markdown to do so. There is also tumblr-rb. The imgur-cli python script is useful for imgur uploads, and I’ve added a keybinding for it in ranger. Imup is pretty good for anonymous (no account login) uploads to different image hosts as well. There is also plowshare for uploading to sites like mediafire.
I have not tried the following programs, but they may also be of use. For youtube, there are youtube-upload and googlecl. Googlecl is a lot more popular and does a lot more than just youtube (e.g. picasa uploads), and youtube-upload looks like it might require you to enter your password in the command. Googlecl is also in the official arch repos. For facebook, fbcommand allows uploading photos (and multiple photos at once as an album… as does googlecl with picasa by the way).