Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to use tags in the sink.

Tags can be useful in many different ways. I thought I would share some of the ways I use tags.

  1. Using tags to say what computer has logged the command: I set the SHELL_SINK_TAGS environment variable in my bash_profile to indicate what machine logged a particular command like this:
    This is particularly useful because I let several machines log their commands to the same shell-sink account, and if I didn't do that I wouldn't be able to remember which machine logged what.
  2. Using tags to group commands: Often times when I am working on a particular project I want to indicate that the commands I am issueing are related to that project. This makes it easy to remember the context of commands in my history and helps me find things later. Let's say I have a project called "gloop". When I set down to work on gloop I'll set my tags environment variable to indicate that as follows:
    Now any commands issue in the terminal I am working in will get tagged with gloop. When I want to stop tagging with the gloop tag I simply issue the following command
    source ~/.bash_profile
    . If your SHELL_SINK_TAGS variable is defined in a different file than mine you will need to source the appropriate file for your environment. On ubuntu that file is ~/.bashrc
  3. Using tags to control your RSS feed: If you go to the preferences page of your shellsink account you will see that you can turn on an rss feed. You can also filter your rss feed by any tag, so if you only want people to be able to see certain commands in the feed you can choose the appropriate tag from the droplist. As soon as you select something in the droplist only commands with that tag will appear in your RSS feed.
  4. Using tags to pull: The shellsink-client application normally just pushes your commands out to the server, but it can also pull commands from the server and put them into your history file. If you issue
    shellsink-client -pt gloop
    . The most recent 20 commands tagged with gloop will be pulled into your bash history file. This is especially useful for making all the commands for a particular task immediately available in your history file.
These are just a few of the ways you can use tags in shellsink. Some things to remember while using tags. Currently you can only add a maximum of four tags at a time. When adding multiple tags from the client make sure you use a colon delimited list of tags. When adding multiple tags from the web application use a comma delimited list of tags. Enjoy, and please leave your own recipes for working with tags here in the comments.

Photo Credit: sarah parrott

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