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An alias to learn aliases

This article was previously posted on my blog.

I’m trying to save some time by reducing the number of keystrokes I need to do something.

I’m pretty efficient with my IDE’s shortcuts, but I have vast room for improvement in my console.

The obvious solution there is relying on aliases.

I’ve been using the git ssh plugin for several years, but I only use a handful of the provided aliases, mostly because I never took the time to memorize past the few main ones.

Now that I’m trying to save some typing, I’m learning the other ones. I have an issue, though: I spend a lot of time looking at the documentation to know which alias shortens the command I want to enter. In that case, it means I switch to my browser, get the right tab, or go to the website, use the search to find the suitable alias by typing part of the command. I don’t save a lot of keystrokes, and I’m surely not gaining time.

Please don’t take me wrong; time spend learning or practicing to improve in the long run is time well spent. Nevertheless, I decided to find a way to enhance my learning process.

The best way to reduce the amount of time needed to find the proper alias for a command is to stay in the console and avoid looking at the documentation.

After a quick search, I discovered that the alias command lists all aliases set up. That’s a start.

Combining alias and grep makes it efficient to find the correct alias for the job.

That still requires some typing, if your shell doesn’t have some sort if autocomplete at least.

As I’m in a quest for laziness and poking around with aliases, I decided to add a new one, fa, for “find alias” defined as alias fa='alias | grep'.

An example: searching for all aliases about stash

Typing fa stash returns a list of aliases containing stash

Just two letters, no more windows switching, and a lot of time saved.

Do you have some tips about productivity as well?

Top comments (2)

jonasbn profile image
Jonas Brømsø

Thanks @selrahcd there is something very beautiful in the simplicity to this production efficiency trick

selrahcd profile image

Thank you!