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I'm back, where to find best new workflows?


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Hey all,

 

I used to be a very active contributor to Alfred 2 and I kinda stopped with the release of Alfred 3. I just realized today that the licence I had for v2 allows me to use v3! So now I'm back and I'd like to get the latest, the best, the most used, the most innovative, everything the community has to offer! Where can I find this?

 

Thanks all :-) 

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Glad you are back! 

 

Just do like me:

- Set a Twitter search with the following content “alfredapp” lang:en filter:links

- Subscribe to the Share your workflows forum 

- Add Packal.org RSS feed to your favorite RSS reader

 

HTH.

Edited by politicus
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6 minutes ago, politicus said:

Glad you are back! 

 

Just do like me:

- Set a Twitter search with the following content “alfredapp” lang:en filter:links

- Subscribe to the Share your workflows forum 

- Add Packal.org RSS feed to your favorite RSS reader

 

HTH.

Thanks for the twitter trick.

As for packal, it seems to be unmaintained. It doesn't update my workflows anymore, search doesn't work, features shawn and I had talked about aren't implemented...

And yeah, "share your workflows" is definitely my go-to but it's way to big and messy to find the gems...

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The most disruptive workflow in my opinion is an utility: OneUpdater by @vitor. Download it, update your workflows with the new features of v3 and set OneUpdater in all of them to ensure the Alfred community is up to date.

 

Btw, could you update your Pirate Bay workflow using the variable for the cache folder? You hard coded the path of v2.

Edited by xilopaint
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1 hour ago, politicus said:

Subscribe to the Share your workflows forum

 

Trouble with that is that it only tells you about new Workflows. It doesn’t help when you’re looking for what already exists.

 

1 hour ago, Florian said:

As for packal, it seems to be unmaintained.

 

It is. It’s pretty much broken and Shawn doesn’t have much time to work on it anymore. You’ll notice even the official Alfred resources are mentioning it less and less. It’s no longer a recommended source.

 

45 minutes ago, xilopaint said:

The most disruptive workflow in my opinion is a utility: OneUpdater by @vitor. Download it, update your workflows with the new features of v3 and set OneUpdater in all of them to ensure the Alfred community is up to date.

 

Thank you for the shoutout. I’ll add that for utilities in general you might want to check this post. It’s maintained by me and @deanishe (we’re both regulars on the forums).

 

47 minutes ago, xilopaint said:

Btw, could you update your Pirate Bay workflow using the variable for the cache folder? You hard coded the path of v2.

 

I’ll leave this here, but I ask that if you want to discuss this further you do so via private message or outside the forums. I have no issue with it but I remember that Workflow was frowned upon when first introduced due to it’s piracy nature, and I’d like to avoid someone else having to remove your posts.

 

2 hours ago, Florian said:

I'd like to get the latest, the best, the most used, the most innovative, everything the community has to offer! Where can I find this?

 

There’s an “Awesome List” of Alfred Workflows. If you have anything particular in mind you can say so. It’s likely one of us may already know of a Workflow that does what you want.

 

Welcome back!

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1 hour ago, nikivi said:

I also started this thing. Adding workflows I use but also links to other places to find workflows.

 

2 minutes ago, nikivi said:

Oh and there is also this. Which links to all the interesting things related to Alfred with focus on learning more about it. And similar to an awesome list it can be extended and improved.

 

I appreciate you built those resources and want to make them know so they can grow, but I feel like in this matter we should follow the rules of the old your must-have workflows post1:


Workflow authors: no pimping your own wares; if they're that good, someone else will mention them


Notice how no one else in this post mentioned their own resources, only other people’s. That is because:


 they may be really good to us not because they really are good, but because they completely match our mental model (after all, we made them).


So it’s tricky to mention our own resources (especially if you mention only your own resources). If they’re actually valuable to the community, then someone from the community will say it.



1. Granted, you weren’t still a member at the time.
 
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Yeah true. I actually was considering not mentioning it because of this reason. It's just I thought they do solve this exact problem of discoverability very well.

 

In any way, I have deleted my posts and won't be mentioning them again. As you say, if they are good already, they will be mentioned although I doubt. There are so many amazing workflows out there that simply don't get noticed by anyone because of this exact problem of discoverability. Packal was once great at solving this problem and I actually searched through its entire index downloading all workflows from there and leaving ones I did like to myself at one point. 

 

That's why I wanted to share my alfred.preferences or rather my entire workflow collection with other people but as you have mentioned, there are some problems with Licences and workflows not being up-to-date at times. It's just how awesome would it be for a person to get his powerpack upgrade and instantly get ALL and Everything awesome people have made with it in an instant. No searching, no asking, no wondering around.

 

Also I did post in that must-have workflows once. It's awesome now that I actually have some of my own workflows that rival in their usage to something like Searchio or Dash.
 

Edited by nikivi
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Now that I think of it. That's actually a potentially awesome software that can be built. Similar to how Discourse gives you a really awesome plug in and play solution to make a forum.


It would be awesome if there was one similar software that would give you a plug in and play solution to add some kind of submission and then make a powerful search over these submissions. Something like this would also help Keyboard Maestro and quite a few other apps with plugins or some other software that wants to be tracked.


Discourse is genuinely amazing and I wish this kind of quality software was used to solve this other problem of tracking software or file submissions and providing a builtin solutions people can use. I would love for Alfred to have that. Even better, if this solution would have some GitHub hooks so that it would automatically upload and update your software from GitHub release or the like.

 

So in short I wish there existed a similar to Discourse software system one could use to make a central repository of something, be it alfred workflows, keyboard maestro macros, hazel rules or whatever else. That users can then search over and use. With focus on UX of both users updating the index and users searching and exploring this index. I can't think of a single software solution that exists that solves that well.


Perhaps someone wants to build this? :) 

Edited by nikivi
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34 minutes ago, nikivi said:

In any way, I have deleted my posts and won't be mentioning them again.

 

That wasn’t necessary. It was already done; it was just a note for the future.

 

14 minutes ago, nikivi said:

So in short I wish there existed a similar to Discourse software system one could use to make a central repository of something, be it alfred workflows, keyboard maestro macros, hazel rules or whatever else. That users can then search over and use. With focus on UX of both users updating the index and users searching and exploring this index. I can't think of a single software solution that exists that solves that well.


Perhaps someone wants to build this?

 

Reminds me of the XKCD on standards. Even npm has an alternative in yarn. The only way you can have a truly central repository of everything is in a model like the AppStore in which you have to have your work there for other people to be able to get to it. And even then it’s not really everything — people can still disagree and have different AppStores (jailbreak).

 

You might have a source of plugins that is the most popular, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever have the definitive source. Even having the source most people know can be a curse, like in Packal’s case. Because now Packal is deeply broken and unlikely to ever get fixed, but simply taking it down may not be the best course of action as there are Workflows that only exist there.


Even making the source official is no guarantee it’ll be good. Just look at the Mac App Store, which is so neglected.

 

Homebrew-Cask avoids many of those problems by linking to external sources, but that also has disadvantages: developers can break things on a whim, and the less popular something is, the more likely it is to be outdated.

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By the way, @Florian, it might be interesting if you decide to share which new Workflows you’re picking up.

 

This situation is quite rare: a former capable Workflow developer that left Alfred1 and came back. It might be that you see the new features in a way different to the rest of us that saw them gradually appear. There might be some insight in what you feel is missing or are glad exists when it didn’t before.



1. You’re essentially one of the users I talked about in another post. Mind expanding a bit on why you left Alfred? Was it solely because you didn’t want to spend money on the v3 upgrade? Why not? Did it seem at the time like it didn’t provide enough value? Why not?
 
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8 hours ago, nikivi said:

It's just how awesome would it be for a person to get his powerpack upgrade and instantly get ALL and Everything awesome people have made with it in an instant.

 

True to form, you haven’t thought this through.

 

Firstly, everybody’s idea of what’s awesome is different. Or more precisely, their idea of what’s useful is very different. Not everyone uses the same software and services.

 

Secondly, you have some very strange ideas about how workflows should be run, and it’s doubtful that many would want a copy of your prefs, where every workflow has had its keywords stripped, and can only be run via Hotkeys or some other application (using External Triggers).

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/8/2017 at 7:56 PM, vitor said:

By the way, @Florian, it might be interesting if you decide to share which new Workflows you’re picking up.

 

This situation is quite rare: a former capable Workflow developer that left Alfred1 and came back. It might be that you see the new features in a way different to the rest of us that saw them gradually appear. There might be some insight in what you feel is missing or are glad exists when it didn’t before.

 


1. You’re essentially one of the users I talked about in another post. Mind expanding a bit on why you left Alfred? Was it solely because you didn’t want to spend money on the v3 upgrade? Why not? Did it seem at the time like it didn’t provide enough value? Why not?
 

 

I can probably come up with a good list of reasons why I left. But since it has been such a long time, none of them are probably very accurate. 

  • A huge part of why I left was probably because of personal reasons, health, work, life...
  • Also, an increasingly big part of my coding started gravitating towards piracy and it was made clear to me more than once that it wasn't welcome here. 
  • I had used Alfred to get into programming basically (yes you can be MIT robotics and learn programming through alfred!) and I had started getting good enough that it wasn't that interesting to me to code workflows
  • The direction v3 was taking didn't benefit me personally. It was gearing towards entry level power users and I started feeling left out. I remember wanting dynamic updates of items within a results list and getting into an argument about it (probably with @Dferg). I wanted other things too, but I can't remember what.
  • Also, v3 felt like a money grab to me. Also I thought I had to pay for it.
  • @rice.shawn(and @deanishe?) wanted me to get more involved and I kept saying yes and failing on my promise to do so... So I kinda shamed out. 
  • It didn't feel very gratifying to develop workflows because I couldn't really get usage stats, and from my own estimates, each one got downloaded less than 20 times
  • ...

And now that I'm back, it all feels too far and not worth it. I'd like to recode every single workflow I have but that's not gonna pay the bills. 

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14 minutes ago, Florian said:

I remember wanting dynamic updates of items within a results list

 

We got that, now!

 

16 minutes ago, Florian said:

v3 felt like a money grab to me

 

I’d be curious as to why (but no need if you don’t feel like it), since I’ve seen that argument before. I can assure you it was not, and that the new features are more than worth it. In my case it even made me upgrade my license type.

 

Perhaps a limited trial was in order? From the other times I’ve seen that sentiment it seemed to me it was based on the looks being largely the same, but the improvements under the hood were many even for us coders. And I’m happy to say the team has been responsive to many developer requests; some of mine were even implemented mere days after mentioning!

 

Still, thank you for your insight. It definitely helped in further understanding the matter.

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8 hours ago, Florian said:

an increasingly big part of my coding started gravitating towards piracy and it was made clear to me more than once that it wasn't welcome here

 

That's totally understandable, tbh. As much as we users may love your workflows, this is the official forum run by the Alfred team, and they can't be seen to be condoning that sort of thing, even implicitly. That is to say, it's about the forum, not the community.

 

8 hours ago, Florian said:

It was gearing towards entry level power users and I started feeling left out

 

Superficially, sure, what with the addition of loads of new elements. It also added a lot of features that benefit developers, especially in later 3.X releases.

 

However, there is still the fundamental, and frustrating, problem that Alfred insists that every script return control of execution to Alfred, and can't programatically specify where to pass control without having to go via some Alfred workflow element or another.

 

Many of my Alfred 3 workflows are basically "element spam" because of this. 70% of the elements do nothing but direct the execution flow.

 

8 hours ago, Florian said:

@rice.shawn(and @deanishe?) wanted me to get more involved and I kept saying yes and failing on my promise to do so... So I kinda shamed out.

 

Don't worry about that. Nobody's paying you. You owe nobody anything.

 

8 hours ago, Florian said:

It didn't feel very gratifying to develop workflows because I couldn't really get usage stats, and from my own estimates, each one got downloaded less than 20 times

 

Where are you getting your stats from? If you use GitHub releases, you get a download count. Shawn shared the Packal downloads stats with me on a couple of occasions, and for my workflows, which all have a built-in, GitHub-based update mechanism, the number of downloads from Packal is about the same as from GitHub.

 

I can tell you that as of 2016, your workflows were downloaded ~3,500 times from Packal.

 

8 hours ago, Florian said:

started getting good enough that it wasn't that interesting to me to code workflows

 

I see this attitude a lot, and I don't entirely understand it. Perhaps it's because I don't push myself that much as a programmer; perhaps because I always saw Alfred workflows as a way to apply my existing programming chops rather than a stepping stone to other stuff. Probably both.

 

I'd been programming GUI apps and webapps for a decade before I discovered Alfred. I see using Alfred's UI as a time saver, not a way to dodge learning how to write a GUI myself.

 

I think workflows just hit a sweetspot for me in terms of scope. I like projects that I can have up and running in a few days. There's nothing I care that much about that I'd spend months on it and be prepared to maintain. Most of my non-Alfred projects remain in the unpublished prototype, it's-crap-but-works-for-me stage.

 

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9 hours ago, Florian said:

I'd like to recode every single workflow I have

 

I should hope so. If you look at your old code and think it's okay, that means you haven't improved as a programmer.

 

It must be an awful feeling for authors etc. who can't release a 2.0 version of their novel/movie/song.

 

Whenever I look at my old code and cringe, I rejoice. It means I've got better. It niggles if I can't update it, but that's way better than looking at it and thinking it looks fine…

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/29/2017 at 2:57 AM, deanishe said:

 

I should hope so. If you look at your old code and think it's okay, that means you haven't improved as a programmer.

 

It must be an awful feeling for authors etc. who can't release a 2.0 version of their novel/movie/song.

 

Whenever I look at my old code and cringe, I rejoice. It means I've got better. It niggles if I can't update it, but that's way better than looking at it and thinking it looks fine…

 

That's an awesome way to think about it. Makes the cringe more bearable. I'll try and keep this in mind.

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