The Shape of Everything
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December 12, 2012

People have been telling me for years how they use $vp$ to keep track of programming projects as well as using it as a dumping ground for debugging notes and hard to solve problems. I do this myself (and you should too!) but lately I've also been using VoodooPad as a dumping ground for little things that I come across in my apps that I don't want to spend the time to put in FogBugz, but I don't want to forget either.

Prior to my new new little script (which I'll share below) I had a file in my project named "bugs.h" where I'd put these little entries. Once I fixed the issue described, I would delete the entry from the bugs.h file. Obviously this isn't the most elegant solution, but it was nice because you could use Xcode's Open Quickly window to get to bugs.h, enter your fixme:, and then zip back to whatever it was you were working on.

And that works, but I decided that a quick little script plugin in VoodooPad would be even better and so the "New Fixme Notes Page" was born.

To install the script, download it from GitHub (raw link) and then choose the Help ▸ Open VoodooPad's App Support Folder menu from VoodooPad, and put the file (make sure it ends with .jstalk!) in the Script Plugins folder. Finally, restart VoodooPad and it'll be listed under the Plugin menu.

Here's how it works. When you call it (use the handy shortcut key!) it will create a page named "Fixme Notes for 2012-12-12" (or whatever today's date is). If you're already on that page and call the script, it will insert a newline that starts with @fixme: . You can then type in a quick one line note of what you need to fix in your project. And then when you've fixed that problem you can all the script again, and it'll move the line to the bottom of the page and change the @fixme to @fixed.

When a new day comes along, you can then copy the notes to the new page, or you can just keep track of them in the To-dos palette (@fixme tags are a default search tag for the To-dos palette. You can add your own as well if you'd like!).

Obviously this isn't going to scale for multiple people working on the same project, but if you're a solo developer this might be a good tool to think about using. And this doesn't mean I've abandoned my formal bug tracker either. I just find the lack of a context switch to keep me in the zone when coding.

Bonus: While at GitHub, you should check out the rest of the scripts in the VPExtras repository. If you use Markdown pages, there are some MD specific plugins as well.