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Save time by creating Command Aliases

Hello, everyone! Let’s skip the formal introduction about myself since it kind of fits the theme of the topic. Let’s talk about a hack to cut out extra steps when writing commands. To me it doesn’t matter whether the hack takes out a few or a lot of steps. Everyone can enjoy making and discovering new ways to work more efficiently. I promise an exact example of hack efficiency is coming up and it won’t affect the quality of the final product or goal.

Now let’s talk about the highlights of being lazy. I selected this topic because I felt this perspective was greatly imprinted on me after watching Bill Gates praise lazy people for being ingenious at finding faster and more efficient ways to resolve problems. (Side note – he is a living legend.) I am no master at being lazy, but there is an art to laziness that doesn’t have minor or outrageous consequences. This example of using aliases on Windows and Mac operating systems says it all.

Use of terminal commands are essential for Ionic development. You need them to install libraries, plugins, build folders, and even just moving in between files. By creating aliases you can define customized shortcuts that can save you considerable time. Let’s look at an example. This example is for Mac but there is a Windows tutorial at the end and the concept is completely identical.

To be specific, you need to be setting this inside a file in your configuration somewhere described in the videos. The line below will now make mxr the same as if you typed out all of cd ~desktop/work/a3jgroup/mxreserve. It’s a very easy step to turning the act of having to type out half a sentence into practically a word.

alias mxr = 'cd ~desktop/work/a3jgroup/mxreserve'

At the end of the day it’s just some extra typing but there is such usefulness when it comes to more complicated steps. There are a lot of unique commands specific to Cordova, Ionic and other cases where this will save you time looking up things that you don’t need to remember for real development. So let’s do some math to back this up and just nerd out a little.

This is a link for a quick typing test if you want to see your own score: My score was 43 words a minute. I think it could be better if I take another test. However, that might be a complete waste of time to cover up a slightly self-conscious moment. I have about 60 shortcuts, each averaging about 3 words. It would be more than safe to say that I end up using a shortcut about 10 times on a work day, so:

Total seconds saved per command (TS) = (60/43) * (3-1) = 2.7906 seconds
Seconds saved from typing in a day (SPD) = 10 * TS = 27.9 seconds
Total work days in a year (WDPY) = 52 * 5 – 20 (Vacation and Holiday) = 240
Annual time savings = 240 * 27.9 = 6,696 seconds = 111.6 minutes per year.

There are 525,600 minutes in a year so it’s a small saving. However, it’s almost 2 hours that I get to skip out on remembering something way too specific and doesn’t require my creative side.

Anyway that is really all of it. The math could better account all the variables in a work year but I kept it simple. I’m really happy to have the chance to share with you all something that is in my eyes a hidden beauty in the development process.

Link to tutorial on creating aliases:



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