32 votes

Which are your top five computer programs?

In terms of

  1. Utility: It is useful!
  2. Reliability: It will always work when you need it to!
  3. Uniqueness: It gives you the option of doing things that would never have been necessary before it came along.
  4. Aesthetic: It satisfies your sense of beauty: It gives you the same kind of feeling a painting or a poem would.
  5. Transcendence: It transcends the zeitgeist and is the simplest it can and thus ought to be.

Mine are:

  1. Vim
  2. mutt
  3. The Lucas Arts point and click adventure games
  4. A Lisp interpreter
  5. grep

56 comments

  1. [5]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    Firefox: It's a damn fine browser run by a damn fine team, and works well for like 98% of my browsing needs, and the other 2% are weird, inconsistent failures. Vim: Once you learn the basics, it's...
    1. Firefox: It's a damn fine browser run by a damn fine team, and works well for like 98% of my browsing needs, and the other 2% are weird, inconsistent failures.

    2. Vim: Once you learn the basics, it's almost impossible to use anything else. As a predominantly Windows user, I hate Notepad, but use it because I'm rarely doing text editing. In Linux, it's vim.

    3. SuperCollider: You can code synthesizers and make music, in a way that is in some ways a bit more intuitive than a DAW. Honorable mention to TidalCycles and FoxDot, two of the best environments for interacting with SC, but SC's JITlib is pretty powerful anyway, and what they're built around.

    4. Renoise: For making music, the tracker interface always made more sense to me with its straightforward representation of all data values, and you can program your sequences with just a computer keyboard. After a year on OpenMPT and another on Buzz (RIP) and Aldrin (also RIP), I decided to shell out for Renoise. Seven years later, and it's my favorite DAW. Renoise is also important because if its modular interface, even if it isn't as obvious as Buzz or Radium's pseudo cable-routing systems.

    5. The i3 window manager: Back when I started learning Linux, I fell in love with wmii after about a year using DWM. It's the current hype for the *nix ricing crowd, the kids who want to look like l33t hax0rs and such, but it's also just damn fine software. If I'm doing a live-coding session with tidalcycles, I'll use i3 because I can cut my distractions down and put my windows precisely where I want them with minimal effort. Around 2010-2012 there were a lot of random WMs coming out, but i3 seems to be the most popular for good reason.

    20 votes
    1. dblohm7
      Link Parent
      <3

      Firefox: It's a damn fine browser run by a damn fine team

      <3

      7 votes
    2. loto
      Link Parent
      Always nice to see i3 mentioned, it really is a solid piece of software. I recently dug up my old config and started using it again - I originally started using it on a chromebook because I didn't...

      Always nice to see i3 mentioned, it really is a solid piece of software. I recently dug up my old config and started using it again - I originally started using it on a chromebook because I didn't need a mouse to use all the features properly, and the trackpad it had was horrible.

      I went back to it because I found I was wasting time arranging windows properly while I should've been working, and as you say now I can cut down on distractions and actually get some work done :)

      3 votes
    3. tomf
      Link Parent
      oh man, I forgot to mention i3. I use i3 for linux and Yabai for macOS. i3 is better, but yabai is good, all things considered. There is little in life better than a good TWM.

      oh man, I forgot to mention i3. I use i3 for linux and Yabai for macOS. i3 is better, but yabai is good, all things considered.

      There is little in life better than a good TWM.

      3 votes
    4. cableclasper
      Link Parent
      That's exactly what I use awesomeWM for! Been using it for a decade now. I think once one gets used to software like i3, awesomeWM, DWM, etc., all standard interfaces feel too imprisoning.

      I'll use i3 because I can cut my distractions down and put my windows precisely where I want them with minimal effort.

      That's exactly what I use awesomeWM for! Been using it for a decade now. I think once one gets used to software like i3, awesomeWM, DWM, etc., all standard interfaces feel too imprisoning.

      2 votes
  2. [8]
    tomf
    Link
    One of my favorite pieces of software is ffmpeg. For the most part, if you can think of something you need to do to audio or video, ffmpeg has a way. I'm with you re: the Lucas Arts point and...

    One of my favorite pieces of software is ffmpeg. For the most part, if you can think of something you need to do to audio or video, ffmpeg has a way.

    I'm with you re: the Lucas Arts point and clicks. I was DEEP into Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. So many solid titles.

    Another piece of software I truly love is Foobar2000. It's the only reason I have Windows in my life (on my HTPC.) I run Foobar2000 on my other systems in WINE, but I mostly use the Windows box for it. The software is perfect -- it can be as fancy or as minimal as you choose.

    Weechat is another gem that is inline with Foobar2000 when it comes to customization. For IRC, I don't see why anybody would use anything else. I love software that just works, and weechat is in this boat.

    15 votes
    1. [7]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      For anyone that's interested in a Foobar2000 alternative there is Quod Libet.

      For anyone that's interested in a Foobar2000 alternative there is Quod Libet.

      Quod Libet is a GTK+-based audio player written in Python, using the Mutagen tagging library. It’s designed around the idea that you know how to organize your music better than we do. It lets you make playlists based on regular expressions (don’t worry, regular searches work too). It lets you display and edit any tags you want in the file, for all the file formats it supports.

      Unlike some, Quod Libet will scale to libraries with tens of thousands of songs. It also supports most of the features you’d expect from a modern media player: Unicode support, advanced tag editing, Replay Gain, podcasts & Internet radio, album art support and all major audio formats

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        cableclasper
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm curious about people's music listening habits: Everyone around me seems to be content with spotify, while I'm the only one who enjoys owning albums, organizing music, converting formats, etc....

        I'm curious about people's music listening habits: Everyone around me seems to be content with spotify, while I'm the only one who enjoys owning albums, organizing music, converting formats, etc. The existence of software like foobar2k and quod libet indicate that there are lots of people like me out there who haven't put all their eggs in spotify (I use mpd+ncmpcpp). I'd really like to see some data on this.

        5 votes
        1. Crespyl
          Link Parent
          I'm another in the "own library" + mpd camp, although I usually use Cantata (KDE/Qt also has an MPRIS interface) or KDE Connect/M.A.L.P (Android) for clients. I do, however, use Google Music for...

          I'm another in the "own library" + mpd camp, although I usually use Cantata (KDE/Qt also has an MPRIS interface) or KDE Connect/M.A.L.P (Android) for clients.

          I do, however, use Google Music for its radio feature. In my experience it works better than Pandora used to for introducing me to new artists. I also really like that I can upload my own library and then easily stream it to my phone when I'm away from home, which is the killer feature that keeps me using Google over Spotify.

          So mpd for "serious" listening at home, and GPM for discovery and streaming on the go. There's some noise about Google switching to/replacing the service with YouTube Music in the future, but it's not clear to me what that means for the upload feature. If they drop that I'll probably just move to Spotify for streaming, or finally get around to setting up my own streaming server.

          3 votes
        2. codefrog
          Link Parent
          I am in the Spotify camp these days. For close to fifteen years I used first Winamp, then later Foobar2000 to manage playlists and put them on various portable devices. I also had a couple other...

          I am in the Spotify camp these days.

          For close to fifteen years I used first Winamp, then later Foobar2000 to manage playlists and put them on various portable devices.

          I also had a couple other programs, Windows things from when I had Windows on my machines. I forget the names of both, but one was for renaming and handling meta information in bulk, and one was a volumizer.

          It was nice to be able to have so much music and so much control, and countless hours could be spent customizing things and tweaking and making everything just so.

          As I started doing more office work, and getting software gigs, I found my passion for building playlists, hunting down more music, and doing backups to get less and less as my other mandatory keyboard time increased. I experimented with Rhapsody, 8tracks, a couple others. They each had their own weak points, so I kept the music collection but just put less energy into it.

          At some point, the only piece of Windows software I could find that was capable of interfacing with my iPod Classic was Foobar2000, and an update or something made it so that a user had to do some convoluted thing like download iTunes, extract some files out of it, and chant in a foreign tongue under the first full moon of November, and maybe it would work.

          I did it once, it took me like half a day; when it stopped working I just bailed on the whole thing completely.

          It's weird to think about now, but for a couple years I mostly stopped listening to music. I was busy with a big learning curve at a new dev position and family stuff going on, and I completely stopped putting energy into it.

          Eventually I started listening at the computer to some of the services that came and went for a while, and then one day Spotify all of a sudden got popular and good, and that's that.

          The "all your eggs in Spotify" is a valid concern, but I'm not worried about becoming unable to listen to music because of it. Something would fill the void. If anything, I want to see Spotify get as much support as possible.

          If Spotify goes away, it would very likely be because they were dethroned or bought out by Google, Apple, or Amazon. IMHO, those guys already have big enough slices of the pie.

          3 votes
        3. Diff
          Link Parent
          I use Spotify to discover new music then load it up on my PSP for listening. On my PC I don't have any set music player. Usually Lollipop.

          I use Spotify to discover new music then load it up on my PSP for listening. On my PC I don't have any set music player. Usually Lollipop.

          1 vote
        4. Sybil_Fleming
          Link Parent
          I could never wrap my head around configuration for beets or the other command line stuff so I use Quod Libet and manage my collection manually (tagging with MusicBrainz Picard, flac compression...

          I could never wrap my head around configuration for beets or the other command line stuff so I use Quod Libet and manage my collection manually (tagging with MusicBrainz Picard, flac compression for archival, transcoding to opus for streaming, moving files to NAS, backups, etc).

          MusicBee was my music player and library management tool back when I still used Windows.

          1 vote
      2. arghdos
        Link Parent
        The real question: does it have a UPnP server plug-in (a la foo_upnp + BubbleUPnP). Also, can it listen to an internet UPnP server (my self hosted box). I'd be happy to switch to a native app, but...

        The real question: does it have a UPnP server plug-in (a la foo_upnp + BubbleUPnP). Also, can it listen to an internet UPnP server (my self hosted box).

        I'd be happy to switch to a native app, but the last time I tried I wasn't able to find any native Linux app that could meet this requirement on a few hours of searching (but maybe I just didn't find the right program).

        My use case is fairly niche, but more broadly Fb2k has a pretty great plug-in ecosystem.

        3 votes
  3. [2]
    thundergolfer
    Link
    Boy '5. Transcendence' is a high bar. I don't think I could come up with 5 programs, but git - coming from a non-programming background, this program had a profound impact on how I think about...

    Boy '5. Transcendence' is a high bar. I don't think I could come up with 5 programs, but

    1. git - coming from a non-programming background, this program had a profound impact on how I think about systems and writing.
    2. python3
    3. thefuck, fuck
    14 votes
  4. [5]
    Avery3R
    Link
    Notepad++, the best text editor on windows HxD, the best hex editor on ANY os. I have yet to find a comparable linux equivalent IDA Pro, it makes doing static and dynamic analysis at the same time...
    1. Notepad++, the best text editor on windows
    2. HxD, the best hex editor on ANY os. I have yet to find a comparable linux equivalent
    3. IDA Pro, it makes doing static and dynamic analysis at the same time simple. There's also no decent replacement for it's decompiler plugin.
    4. Everything by voidtools, like locate on linux, but miles better.
    5. Cheat Engine, jack of all trades master of one. There is no better tool for memory analysis, and it also includes a disassembler and debugger among other things.
    14 votes
    1. cwagner
      Link Parent
      I listed it myself, but fuck if I don’t get confused by sentences like this every time… I was just about to go to their site and check what other tools besides "Everything" they have…

      Everything by voidtools

      I listed it myself, but fuck if I don’t get confused by sentences like this every time… I was just about to go to their site and check what other tools besides "Everything" they have…

      9 votes
    2. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Counterpoint: SublimeText Main reason why it's better: multiselect functionality allows for quick multi-line text editing such as wrapping every word after a , in quotes

      Notepad++, the best text editor on windows

      Counterpoint: SublimeText

      Main reason why it's better: multiselect functionality allows for quick multi-line text editing such as wrapping every word after a , in quotes

      4 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        I don't think Notepad++ and Sublime Text are competing in the same space. As someone who uses something similar (but in my opinion better) to Sublime, VS Code, I still often use Notepad++ because...

        I don't think Notepad++ and Sublime Text are competing in the same space. As someone who uses something similar (but in my opinion better) to Sublime, VS Code, I still often use Notepad++ because it's just way quicker and simpler if all I want is to read through a file.

        3 votes
    3. fleg
      Link Parent
      For me the best hex editor is Okteta, because of one killer feature: structure definitions. Basically, you can write down an XML description of a binary structure, enable it in Okteta, select the...

      HxD, the best hex editor on ANY os. I have yet to find a comparable linux equivalent

      For me the best hex editor is Okteta, because of one killer feature: structure definitions. Basically, you can write down an XML description of a binary structure, enable it in Okteta, select the first byte and the structure will be shown as a nice tree structure in a tool window. Click on a field in that tree structure, it will be highlighted in the editor. Got a more complicated structure with logic needed to decode it? Okteta got you covered, you can write a small JavaScript scripts doing the same, but dynamically.

      I am seriously wondering why this feature seems to overlooked by everyone and missing from other editors.

      3 votes
  5. [3]
    envy
    Link
    Excel.

    Excel.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      codefrog
      Link Parent
      I once met a guy who had 3 of his top 5 programs be Excel, never 5/5 though.

      I once met a guy who had 3 of his top 5 programs be Excel, never 5/5 though.

      3 votes
      1. envy
        Link Parent
        Give me excel, word, MacOS, iOS and I am a happy man. Only Excel fulfills this oddly worded requirement IMHO

        Give me excel, word, MacOS, iOS and I am a happy man.

        Only Excel fulfills this oddly worded requirement IMHO

        option of doing things that would never have been necessary before it came along.

        2 votes
  6. [2]
    anahata
    Link
    This is going to be a pretty boring list with items that mostly explain themselves. I'm listing these based on how important they are to what I do every day. The Unix shell. Bourne, Korn, C, TENEX...

    This is going to be a pretty boring list with items that mostly explain themselves. I'm listing these based on how important they are to what I do every day.

    1. The Unix shell. Bourne, Korn, C, TENEX C, Z, whatever. I was going to say the shell's | operator (so, so grateful Doug McIlroy exerted management prerogative to get that in!), but it's really the shell as a whole. Job control, input and output redirection, pipes, scripting (when I can't justify to coworkers / manglement that it'd be better to do it in another language), everything.

    2. nvi. Not vim. Not vi on Linux (which is almost always a painfully minimal vim). nvi, Keith Bostic's baby. nvi is an improvement over classic vi in a few ways, most notably in that it introduced unlimited undo. It definitely fits your criteria, particularly transcendence. It is a simple editor, without any syntax highlighting or language awareness or anything like that.

    3. ssh, specifically OpenSSH. It is entirely reasonable to say that I would not be where I am in my career if ssh did not exist. Other editors exist, other shells exist, but ssh makes things possible that no other program does (rsh doesn't have nearly the same features, and of course is entirely lacking in security).

    4. less. less is more (perhaps literally, depending upon your system and configuration). Traditional more didn't support scrolling back, which is annoying for seekable streams like files on disk but quite problematic for nonseekable streams like output from a program. less has evolved in much the same way as some programs people have listed here, like vim and mutt and ffmpeg, to have lots of options and features, but that one little bit of functionality, scrolling back, earns less a position in this list. It's like SMB3 compared to SMB1: being able to go back is a literal gamechanger.

    5. man. I wouldn't know half of what I know about Unix and C without being able to read about them in manpages. I wish more things were documented with manpages. It's a lovely interface with decades-old standards that similarly meet the transcendence criterion. Beyond this, really good manpages (particularly those on OpenBSD, or those in far older Unixes) are an outright pleasure to read, both for their elucidating nature but also for the good writing. A good manpage documents not just the technical topic, but gives one an insight into the character of the developer, something that helps a user understand how something is intended to be used in a way that a mere description cannot provide.

    11 votes
    1. cableclasper
      Link Parent
      Wow! Just learned about Doug McIlroy and came across this: From here

      Wow! Just learned about Doug McIlroy and came across this:

             Summary--what's most important.
      

      To put my strongest concerns into a nutshell:

      1. We should have some ways of coupling programs like
        garden hose--screw in another segment when it becomes when
        it becomes necessary to massage data in another way.
        This is the way of IO also.

      2. Our loader should be able to do link-loading and
        controlled establishment.

      3. Our library filing scheme should allow for rather
        general indexing, responsibility, generations, data path
        switching.

      4. It should be possible to get private system components
        (all routines are system components) for buggering around with.

                                                M. D. McIlroy
                                                October 11, 1964 
        

      From here

      8 votes
  7. [5]
    screenbeard
    Link
    Firefox ripgrep - I couldn't do without this Sublime Text - I don't use it anymore because people stopped writing plugins for it when VSCode came along but it is a beautiful piece of software...
    • Firefox
    • ripgrep - I couldn't do without this
    • Sublime Text - I don't use it anymore because people stopped writing plugins for it when VSCode came along but it is a beautiful piece of software
    • Ditto - a Windows clipboard manager that's made me actually miss a piece of Windows software on my Linux box
    • A tie between Mastodon and Fastmail, both of which are excellent alternatives to those big company products that just want to monetise your personal data. In the same vein maybe Tildes, but I'm reserving judgement.
    10 votes
    1. cableclasper
      Link Parent
      I have PTSD from using openmailbox (which I chose over fastmail at the time because I found their "we're open/pure/clean" idealization a bit more compelling) a couple of years ago. The company...

      I have PTSD from using openmailbox (which I chose over fastmail at the time because I found their "we're open/pure/clean" idealization a bit more compelling) a couple of years ago. The company went through an administration change and overnight made all mail inaccessible to users unless they made premium accounts and soon after just went invisible. I've been scared ever since to sign up for personal email outside google, even though I know I should. The question is one of trust: not just trust in the immediate, but long term capital T Trust. Not just "Do no evil", but "Never evil".

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      HoolaBoola
      Link Parent
      I think nowadays Windows has most of Ditto's functionality already? And KDE, I think, also has a feature like that, though probably worse.

      I think nowadays Windows has most of Ditto's functionality already?

      And KDE, I think, also has a feature like that, though probably worse.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Ullallulloo
        Link Parent
        Windows's clipboard manager exists, but it's extremely barebones. Ditto supports, like, every feature I could want. The three biggest ones are: Hotkeys for pasting recently copied things:...

        Windows's clipboard manager exists, but it's extremely barebones. Ditto supports, like, every feature I could want. The three biggest ones are:

        • Hotkeys for pasting recently copied things: Ctrl-Alt-V → Ctrl-2 is soooo much more convenient than Win-V → manually clicking the second item.
        • Saved clipped items: I can add a shortcut to anything, so pasting a shruggie just requires Ctrl-Alt-V → Ctrl-S, regardless of what I've copied in the last month. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
        • Network syncing: I can sync my clipboard between multiple computers. This is super, super helpful when switching between my laptop and desktop to avoid having to retype everything or email myself something or something stupid.

        I know GNOME used to have glipper, which was almost equivalent to Ditto (and I think might have even been able to sync with it), but it hasn't been maintained in a long time and no longer runs on modern Ubuntu. No other Linux clipboard manager I've tried has really felt that great.

        1. HoolaBoola
          Link Parent
          Ah, I can see why you'd prefer Ditto. Maybe I should try that too

          Ah, I can see why you'd prefer Ditto. Maybe I should try that too

          1 vote
  8. [2]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Emacs. Because I can code and write all my prose (including screenplays) in the same program, which is very comfortable i3 window manager. It's simple, featureful, light and lets me avoid the...
    1. Emacs. Because I can code and write all my prose (including screenplays) in the same program, which is very comfortable
    2. i3 window manager. It's simple, featureful, light and lets me avoid the mouse.
    3. Ranger file manager, a quick way to find and open files
    4. Tmux keeps all my sessions alive indefinitely
    5. Google Chrome. Because I'm too lazy to figure out how to make Firefox work on my very idiosyncratic setup. But I don't think this ticks all criteria.
    6 votes
    1. loto
      Link Parent
      I recently started using emacs (with evil, so I can keep some of my vim bindings I'm used to) and I'm quite impressed by how configurable it is, and how easy lisp was to grasp. I was introduced to...

      I recently started using emacs (with evil, so I can keep some of my vim bindings I'm used to) and I'm quite impressed by how configurable it is, and how easy lisp was to grasp. I was introduced to it through TexMaCs, which my college recommended for getting documents ready & formatted to submit, and have ended up using regular emacs for most everything else since

      3 votes
  9. [3]
    fortytw2
    Link
    firefox, goes without saying. xmonad - been a staple of all of my machines for years, nothing comes close to just how stable and flexible it is, in particular the out of the box multi-monitor...
    1. firefox, goes without saying.
    2. xmonad - been a staple of all of my machines for years, nothing comes close to just how stable and flexible it is, in particular the out of the box multi-monitor support.
    3. fzf absolutely changed how I use terminals forever. Invaluable, probably saves me 30+ minutes a day over my workflows before it.
    4. kakoune - a wickedly fast text editor with very sensible defaults, doesn't need much configuration imo
    5. zsh, specifically with the grml-zsh-configs once again a set of incredible defaults for a shell. I rarely need to add anything to my shell configs past this, everything works as you want it to out of the box.
    6 votes
    1. daturkel
      Link Parent
      fzf is really terrific. I use it in zsh but also use fzf.vim in vim and notational-fzf-vim as my primary notes app, which is really wonderful (think a combination of notational velocity / nvalt,...

      fzf is really terrific. I use it in zsh but also use fzf.vim in vim and notational-fzf-vim as my primary notes app, which is really wonderful (think a combination of notational velocity / nvalt, vim, and fzf).

      3 votes
    2. cableclasper
      Link Parent
      Kakoune looks like a very thoughtful successor to vim. Going to try it out!

      Kakoune looks like a very thoughtful successor to vim. Going to try it out!

  10. Luna
    Link
    (Neo)Vim. The former because it adds some very useful features, the later just because it's on every system and pretty good overall. VLC. It Just Works (TM) unless it's a MIDI file, but I'm too...
    1. (Neo)Vim. The former because it adds some very useful features, the later just because it's on every system and pretty good overall.

    2. VLC. It Just Works (TM) unless it's a MIDI file, but I'm too lazy to try to get that working.

    3. OneNote (desktop version). I depend on it to organize all my notes. Dumping everything in, being able to easily playback audio recordings, automatic OCRing, and being able to search everything has been a complete game-changer for me. My only gripes are a) not being able to specify when a printout is broken onto multiple pages and b) landscape PDFs are rotated (which is a pain whenever a professor uploads lecture slides as PDF, especially considering a printout of the powerpoint file wouldn't be incorrectly rotated). Honestly, OneNote is what prevents me from switching to Linux fulltime. I only use it for my classes, though, as my 365 license expires after I graduate.

    4. Back when I used it, Foobar2000. I stopped using it because I started using Google Play Music for the most part, but I had worked on my plugin config for a long time.

    5. wget - curl but when you just need to grab a file over HTTP.

    5 votes
  11. [5]
    codefrog
    Link
    In no particular order: Python 3: all purpose programming language Sublime Text 3: fast cross platform editor Ack: configurable text search from command line Trello: versatile platform for notes,...

    In no particular order:

    • Python 3: all purpose programming language

    • Sublime Text 3: fast cross platform editor

    • Ack: configurable text search from command line

    • Trello: versatile platform for notes, lists, and more

    • Tmux: terminal multiplexer, because sometimes one plex is just not enough

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      If you like ack, you may like ag, the silver searcher which is rather like ack but much, much faster (a full order of magnitude faster). Once I learned about ag I uninstalled ack and haven't...

      If you like ack, you may like ag, the silver searcher which is rather like ack but much, much faster (a full order of magnitude faster). Once I learned about ag I uninstalled ack and haven't regretted it.

      ... that, and ag's maintainer is far more approachable than ack's.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        +1 for ag. There's also ripgrep, written in Rust, with benchmarks showing that it's even faster. The author, BurntSushi, is one of the most reasonable FOSS devs I've ever seen - he recently wrote...

        +1 for ag. There's also ripgrep, written in Rust, with benchmarks showing that it's even faster.

        The author, BurntSushi, is one of the most reasonable FOSS devs I've ever seen - he recently wrote this, for example, and hung out in the Hacker News comments discussing the post (he's active on HN in general, as well).

        I've gotten so used to the output format of ag, and it's Fast Enough on my machine, that I haven't switched to ripgrep, but I like knowing that it's there.

        4 votes
        1. anahata
          Link Parent
          I've been poking about with ripgrep a bit and will see whether it's faster for the kind of things I use ag for. In addition, as I'm using Rust a lot at work, it makes sense to take a closer look...

          I've been poking about with ripgrep a bit and will see whether it's faster for the kind of things I use ag for. In addition, as I'm using Rust a lot at work, it makes sense to take a closer look at the project.

          2 votes
        2. codefrog
          Link Parent
          Nice. I have seen people chatting about ripgrep on HN; didn't know about ag. I will check these out.

          Nice. I have seen people chatting about ripgrep on HN; didn't know about ag. I will check these out.

          1 vote
  12. [4]
    cwagner
    Link
    In no order because ordering is hard. Directory Opus Pro The most powerful filemanager. Windows only, commercial. I only use less than half its capabilities and it still does so much for me. Just...

    In no order because ordering is hard.

    I only use less than half its capabilities and it still does so much for me. Just the tabbed 4-pane (2 trees, 2 content areas) was something many filemanagers did not have for a long time. But what I really can’t live without anymore are soft-locked tabs, with the tabs locked to a specific location allowing folder-changes but returning to their original loc when done. FTP and SFTP removes the need for an extra tool. Basic pack/unpack functionality is for comfort, and the powerful search feature might be slow but is amazing when Everything doesn’t help. I don’t even use the scripting capabilities. It is one of my favorite programs and probably the one I have been paying for the longest (major versions every few years require a paid upgrade), a true eierlegende Wollmilchsau

    • MediaMonkey Very thorough music database manager, happens to play music as well. Windows only, freemium.

    I buy all my music and I have been collecting it for years. Without MM, I wouldn’t have been able to handle all of it. You can specify all kinds of rules for tagging, converting, syncing and moving.

    • Everything One of the fastest file-name searches there is. Windows only, freeware. Simple and fast.

    • f.lux The screen color-temperature manager I’ve been running for ages. Windows only, free for personal use.

    I wish Microsoft had hired the devs instead of implementing their own atrocious version of it.

    • EmEditor The fastest text editor I have seen. The pro-version has a ton of features (including support for extremely large files), the free edition is just a notepad++ or what have you replacement. Windows only, freemium.

    So 2 pro tools which are most certainly not small and simple, 2 tools that are very simple but do their job very well and one that can be either (but is in the latter category in the free version I use).

    Nothing open source, nothing crossplatform. I thought about including Firefox, but I simply don’t feel about it in the same way I do about these tools. It’s nice and I love it but it also often annoys me.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      f.lux is not Windows-only.

      f.lux is not Windows-only.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        cwagner
        Link Parent
        Huh, I didn’t know that. But at least the linux and android version seem to be lower-class citizens.

        Huh, I didn’t know that. But at least the linux and android version seem to be lower-class citizens.

        1. loto
          Link Parent
          I didn't know there was an android version, but I remember using f.lux on a mac and linux a while back - I don't know if they're maintained anymore but they exist

          I didn't know there was an android version, but I remember using f.lux on a mac and linux a while back - I don't know if they're maintained anymore but they exist

  13. Arshan
    Link
    Emacs: Most customizable text editor / video player / web browser / shell / window manager MPV: Clean and customizable video player Firefox: Best browser Fish: Modern bash replacement i3: Tiling...
    • Emacs: Most customizable text editor / video player / web browser / shell / window manager
    • MPV: Clean and customizable video player
    • Firefox: Best browser
    • Fish: Modern bash replacement
    • i3: Tiling windows manager that just works
    3 votes
  14. Chilly
    Link
    Apache - the internet wouldn't be where it is today without it, clunky though it is Python 3 - not only great to program in but a community and resources available for it that are second to none....
    • Apache - the internet wouldn't be where it is today without it, clunky though it is
    • Python 3 - not only great to program in but a community and resources available for it that are second to none.
    • Keepass - because remembering passwords sucks
    • Steam - who doesn't love playing games and they have made decent Linux efforts too
    • Evernote - changed the way I did everything at uni, though I use the clunkier (but free) Joplin now. Holding out hope one day for a more worthy alternative.
    3 votes
  15. Diff
    Link
    Gedit. It's simple, and text is a very versatile format. Ffmpeg. Looking back, I can think of instances where almost every other program has failed me at least slightly in one way or another. I...
    1. Gedit. It's simple, and text is a very versatile format.
    2. Ffmpeg. Looking back, I can think of instances where almost every other program has failed me at least slightly in one way or another. I don't think ffmpeg has ever given me the slightest bit of trouble though.
    3. The SensMe Channel on my PSP. Sorts your music based on its energy and key or something. I don't understand it hardly at all but I want to build something like it so I can have it with me everywhere on everything. But it sorts your music into categories based on mood and it's neat as heck.
    4. Fish shell. It helped shell scripting really click for me.
    5. WOOF. Without any other infrastructure or setup it makes it pretty easy to share or receive a single file. I use it a lot between my devices to get something on or off my phone/laptop/desktop.
    2 votes
  16. jcdl
    Link
    Firefox ping. Imagine dealing with network shenanigans without ping? vim zsh iTerm I think only ping meets the transcendence bar.
    1. Firefox
    2. ping. Imagine dealing with network shenanigans without ping?
    3. vim
    4. zsh
    5. iTerm

    I think only ping meets the transcendence bar.

    2 votes
  17. loto
    Link
    A bunch of other people have already touched on most of my favourites (unix shells, git), so I'll try to add something new: Latex/Tex - For submitting papers/assignments/whatever, I used it even...

    A bunch of other people have already touched on most of my favourites (unix shells, git), so I'll try to add something new:

    Latex/Tex - For submitting papers/assignments/whatever, I used it even before I swapped to linux and MS word wasn't an option anymore. I always found myself fighting with word to try to get the formatting right, and had a couple instances where my version of word was older than my professor's and formatting got ruined - Latex -> pdfs fixed that for me, and let me focus more on the content of what I was writing than tiptoeing around Word to make sure the formatting worked. I don't think it's terribly unique (I think Word can also export to PDF now?) but it was certainty reliable, and a good skill to have now that I have to submit in latex (the PDF + source)

    Retroarch/libretro - Emulators had been done before, but retroarch was the first good, unified interface to a lot of them I found. Coupled with ffmpeg, which can be built in now, it also runs my TV's PC and manages videos and music!

    Wikipedia - Not sure if this one qualifies as a program per se, but being able to access knowledge on just about anything (in english, at least) at almost any time is pretty incredible

    2 votes
  18. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    PrusaSlicer NotePad++ Fusion 360 MegaMek Geek uninstaller
    1. PrusaSlicer
    2. NotePad++
    3. Fusion 360
    4. MegaMek
    5. Geek uninstaller
    1 vote
  19. Crespyl
    Link
    Emacs: It's a Lisp Machine for building your ideal text editor tmux: Not just a terminal multiplexer, it's like a DE for your terminal, and it's scripting support allows for all sorts of...
    1. Emacs: It's a Lisp Machine for building your ideal text editor
    2. tmux: Not just a terminal multiplexer, it's like a DE for your terminal, and it's scripting support allows for all sorts of extensions (like integrating the system and tmux clipboards)
    3. KDE Connect: The best tool I've used for linking my phone and PC, remote input, file transfer, (whitelisted) shell commands, media player control, it all just works
    4. git: Essential for my work and personal projects, and despite the (mostly legitimate) UI gripes people have, I find it a pleasure to use. I suspect git played an important role in the modern push for decentralized content-addressed systems, which is a topic of great interest to me.
    5. sc-controller/Steam: My Steam Controller quickly became my preferred input device not just for couch-gaming, but any HTPC uses. It works great in Kodi or even general desktop usage, and the profile switching and virtual keyboard consistently just work the way I want them to.
    1 vote
  20. crdpa
    Link
    Bspwm Cmus Kakoune Ffmpeg Firefox
    1. Bspwm
    2. Cmus
    3. Kakoune
    4. Ffmpeg
    5. Firefox
    1 vote
  21. mxuribe
    Link
    Not in any particular order: firefox gedit (gedit is my favorite text editor but have to acknowledge that I spend tons of time in nano; and really like nano, at least while in terminal)...

    Not in any particular order:

    • firefox
    • gedit (gedit is my favorite text editor but have to acknowledge that I spend tons of time in nano; and really like nano, at least while in terminal)
    • terminology (I'm not too picky with my terminals, but, man, terminology always looks awesome to me)
    • newsboat (for reading RSS feeds from terminal, plus able to read from my RSS feed collection from my nextcloud instance)
    • ...which leads to my last item: nextcloud I know, I know, this might count as more than one item (e.g. file sync, online apps like web based RSS feed reader, calendar, notes app, etc.) But it really is a nice suite!
    1 vote
  22. 666
    Link
    Firefox Python 3 (it also acts as my calculator) Nano (literally the best text editor I've ever used) VeraCrypt (I can't access my important files without this) Visual Studio Code (I can't work...
    1. Firefox
    2. Python 3 (it also acts as my calculator)
    3. Nano (literally the best text editor I've ever used)
    4. VeraCrypt (I can't access my important files without this)
    5. Visual Studio Code (I can't work without this one)
    1 vote