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kizu

Some feedback on workflows

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Hi there. Today I moved from Alfred to Alfred 2 and saw that the widely used hotkeys should be done now in workflows. While moving all my previous ones I've generated this feedback, maybe something of it already been discussed here, but I hope most of it would be useful :)

 

1. New workflow for hotkeys work _slower_ than the original feature in Alfred. The difference is about 0.5s. While it's not that big, it's still noticable — I used to switch between apps fast, firing their shortcuts right after I presset the hotkey for launching an app. It worked before, but right now this shortcut I use is triggered not on the app I launched — there is that ~0.5s lag. (Added a bit later — sometimes there was even a 1-2s lag, however I couldn't reproduce it later)

 

2. Creating workflows could have so much improvements!

 

2.1. When you add a key trigger and then add an action, in 99% of cases you'd want them to be connected, right now it's manual work.

2.2. When you don't have an icon associated with workflow, but you've added only one app to launch, then it would be nice to use that icon instead workflow's default icon automatically.

2.3. If you didn't set the “author” for the workflow, then it would be better not to display “by Unknown” in the workflow list.

2.4. In Alfred 1 on the Hotkeys tab you could see the associated hotkeys for the apps right from start. It would be nice to show in the list of workflows the shortcut too, or any other trigger if possible — that could be used as a cheatsheet sometimes.

2.5. It would be nice to have a “Clone workflow” option under the “+” dropdown. When adding a lot of app-launching workflows it would be easier to clone and then edit existing ones than to create a new one from scratch each time.

2.6. Is there a way to add a workflow as a “Template”? It would be handy.

2.7. It would be nice if dragging app to a Alfred's workflow setup window would create a “launch app” action automatically.

2.8. And so on — there could be made a lot of similar little shortcuts and helpers to make creating workflow easier.

 

3. Feature request/quiestion: is there a way to make a workflow that would launch an app only if it's not already launched? There are some heavy-long-loading apps like Photoshop or Parallels which I don't want to launch occasinally when pressing some hotkey, howeever, if they're already run, I'd like to switch to them with that hotkey.

 

4. I can't see any way to attach a script that would fire _after_ the app launches. What I want to do is to launch/switch to an app using Alfred Workflow and then, when it runs and the focus is on it, run the script. “Output: Run Script” don't work — it triggers before the focus goes to the launched app. I can use `delay` in the script of course, but that would be ugly.

 

5. It would be nicer to have a way to select multiple blocks in a workflow editor, so I could drag them here and there altogether.

 

6. It would be nice to have a way to split one workflow to multiple. Like if I have multiple hotkey-app pairs and would want to move one of them to a new workflow. Cloning workflows would be one of the way to do this, or/and it would be nice to drag multiple selected blocks to a “+” sign to create a new workflow from those items.

 

- - -

 

While new Alfred is great, it's really sad that you need to move all your previous hotkey actions by hand and that the replacement for them is slower :(

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Hi there. Today I moved from Alfred to Alfred 2 and saw that the widely used hotkeys should be done now in workflows. While moving all my previous ones I've generated this feedback, maybe something of it already been discussed here, but I hope most of it would be useful :)
 
1. New workflow for hotkeys work _slower_ than the original feature in Alfred. The difference is about 0.5s. While it's not that big, it's still noticable — I used to switch between apps fast, firing their shortcuts right after I presset the hotkey for launching an app. It worked before, but right now this shortcut I use is triggered not on the app I launched — there is that ~0.5s lag. (Added a bit later — sometimes there was even a 1-2s lag, however I couldn't reproduce it later)

 

Bit too much for me to respond to in a single go, but will address the main thing, the hotkeys. When editing a hotkey, right click and select the trigger mode to fastest. By default, Alfred's hotkey makes sure that the mod keys are released before actioning making them more predictable.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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3. Feature request/quiestion: is there a way to make a workflow that would launch an app only if it's not already launched? There are some heavy-long-loading apps like Photoshop or Parallels which I don't want to launch occasinally when pressing some hotkey, howeever, if they're already run, I'd like to switch to them with that hotkey.

 

Isn't that the default behavior?

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When editing a hotkey, right click and select the trigger mode to fastest.

 

 

Yays, not it's working blazing fast, thanks! (However, would it be in feature moved out of the right click, so users could discover those options easier?)
 

 

Isn't that the default behavior?

 

Ah, it seems I failed to describe what I need properly. What I need there is to make a shortcut that won't launch an app, but would switch to it if it's already launched. So I would have something like fast option+v for switching to Photoshop, but it won't launch it, so when I press it as a mistake when I don't need Photoshop, it won't launch ('cause it takes too long to wait for it).

 

 

The duplicating, copy / paste, cloning is all in the works for a future v2 release :)

 

Cool!

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@kizu: just make the hotkey run an AppleScript instead. I patched the code together from random bits on the internet.

# Set the name of the application. Note: this is case-sensitive (so TextEdit not textedit or Textedit)
set myAppName to "APPNAME"

# Checks to see if the appname is in the list of running processes
on appIsRunning(appName)
    tell application "System Events" to (name of processes) contains appName
end appIsRunning

# If statement to activate application (switch focus to).
if appIsRunning(myAppName) then
    tell application myAppName to activate
end if
 

The same applescript command

    tell application myAppName to activate

will also launch an application, which is why this command needs to be in an if-statement in order not to run it if the application isn't active.

 

So, you can just make a workflow for each program that you want to use for a hotkey and swap out the app name. Some apps have unexpected names (Chrome is actually "Google Chrome". To check the name, you can always just type 

ps aux | grep Chrome | grep -v grep

into the terminal. Just try a few combinations.

 

There is a bit of a delay as it queries all the system processes, but someone might have a more efficient way to do this. Maybe a bashscript.

Edited by rice.shawn

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