It might sound crazy but the absolute hardest thing for me, every time I try to make Linux my daily development machine, is giving up QuickSilver. QuickSilver is that quintessential underground Apple OS X Mac app that you either love or don’t even know exists. Many clones have been made – on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
In past Linux switches I’ve used Gnome-Do, Synapse and Kupfer but none of them were quite the powerhouse that QuickSilver was and still is today. I even tried Gnome-Do again today but I couldn’t stop it from crashing with ever invocation.
After playing around with Ubuntu Gnome for a full day I came to realize that Gnome-shell is pretty powerful in it’s own right. Activate it with a hot-key, type anything to search apps (though it doesn’t seem to learn over time)… and there’s plugins! That you can install from a website (although you’ll need to use Firefox)! What a nice surprise.
So far I’ve got the Web Search Dialogue extension installed to get me that search-the-web-from-anywhere functionality that I am missing most from QuickSilver. Ultimately I don’t think I’m going to get that do-without-thinking functionality from Gnome-shell alone, but I think with a little more digging I’ll squeeze the essentials out of it.
If anyone has any suggestions, 1) for replacing QuickSilver or 2) for getting the most out of Gnome-shell, let me know in the comments or on twitter (@seyDoggy).