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Assorted feature requests


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Some feature requests that I documented over the weekend while writing my first workflow:
  • Ability to buffer input for script filters (Wait until user is finished typing before calling script)
    • Usage scenario: more reliable usage of web script filters that hit slow web APIs (e.g. GitHub repo search)
  • Debugging tools for script filters, or at least a mechanism that lets me see stdout
    • Usage scenario: It'd be great to be able to know if my Python script raised an exception or emitted bad XML.
  • Allow keyboard shortcut to open Alfred file browser at a certain path
    • Usage scenario: cmd+ctrl+shift+d to browse ~/Dropbox.
    • I was able to do this in previous version of Alfred, but can't find v2 equivalent
  • Allow keyboard shortcut to pass arbitrary text string as arg
    • Usage scenario: I want to have keyboard shortcuts for my Hue workflow that set the value to 0 or 255 (highest and lowest brightness)
  • Support JSON output for script filters
    • XML is a pain to generate and properly encode. Serializing a dictionary into JSON from Python is much easier.
  • Add an option that enables piping to script actions so that we have the choice of reading from stdin instead of using {query}.
    • Usage scenario: this would be desirable for things like my markdown processor where I'm potentially taking a large amount of arbitrary text as input
  • A way to name scripts actions (or provide some other way to make them easily distinguishable)
    • Usage scenario: If I have several in a workflow, it's sometimes hard to find the one I'm actually looking for
  • Hotkey option for "selected text OR clipboard" that will use clipboard as input when no text is selected.
    • Usage scenario: this is something that I wanted for my Markdown workflow so that I don't have to have two separate shortcuts.


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In response to suggestion 1 and 2..


1. I started restricting string length on searches. That may help a little. If a search string is less than 3-4 characters, don't execute.

2. Andrew and I discussed something similar to this at one point but not sure something like this would make it to v2.0


Great ideas though!

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I like a lot of those ideas, in particular:


- input buffer for script filters

- JSON encoding of script filter output

- selected text or clipboard argument for hotkeys


and while I the topic of the third:


'selected text', 'clipboard' and 'selected text OR clipboard' options for keyword inputs

'selected finder items' arguments for hotkeys and keywords


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How likely is it that we might see the JSON feature request implemented anytime in the near future? 


I bet a lot more great workflows would get made with that in place. Can't overstate that being able to avoid the extra hassle of converting stuff over to XML would be a huge boon (especially for people who aren't using the Python or PHP Alfred libs that are already out there... I personally would be using Go for building my workflows)

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I dont see how converting stuff over to xml is so much more challenging than json? Also, granted you would have to go through the work of making it initially but i made a function that accepts an array or a json object and converts it to the correct xml.

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