Suckless Software

Mar. 17, 2020

Suckless software is software that sucks less.

We are the home of quality software such as dwm, dmenu, st and plenty of other tools, with a focus on simplicity, clarity and frugality. Our philosophy is about keeping things simple, minimal and usable. We believe this should become the mainstream philosophy in the IT sector. Unfortunately, the tendency for complex, error-prone and slow software seems to be prevalent in the present-day software industry.

The above sentences define the philosophy taken from suckless.org. Suckless.org is a good source to find suckless alternatives to your current software. If you can’t find your text-editor of choice in the rocks/ it probably sucks. Wise computational scientist should stick to terminal based applications, especially in terms of text editing, because it is very likely that at some point, you have to login remotely into a cluster. Therefore, I’d suggest to use vim. All of the yet to be coming recommendations, focus around vim key bindings, such that you have to remember only one kind of keyboard shortcuts. Vim bindings enables the user to overcome the most bloated human-computer-interface: the god damn mouse.

Text Editor

Vim is one of the most powerful editors backed by a huge community that develop awesome plugins. In fact, I bloated my vim by adding everything an IDE offers. Autocomplete, syntax analyzes, extension for latex symbols in Julia code and so on. My plugins of choice are: NERDTree as a tree explorer in vim, YouCompleteMe code completion in vim, Julia Vim for Julia related stuff, tagbar class outline, Gruvbox and Airline for nice rice.

Work Environment

Next to vim, I’d like to recommend to you a window manager such as i3, bspwm,…

You will never face again a shit load of tabs with 10 duplicates in the midst of them. Window managers are the perfect place to waste several hours of customizing. However, once done, you feel as comfy as a bean in a warm, wrapped burrito.

If you don’t have the freedom to install i3 at your working place, consider to install tmux. It allows to use vim bindings and lets you tile the terminal just as a window manager would do. Furthermore, you can easily search and copy terminal output.

File Manager

Ranger is such a great piece of software. Besides it great terminal based design, it has some features, that you won’t find in any other file manager. The capability of bulk rename via vim can ease your life pretty much, if you know how to use vim.