Mostly off topic, but I wanted to share it anyway.

We terminal cowboys often have the same problem. I’m in my current workspace, represented by a certain directory. But I would like to open a new Terminal window pointing to exactly the same directory. Hitting [Apple]+[n](1) will open a new window, but is points to $HOME. (Sidenote: gnome-terminal knows its customers better. It opens at the same location. When I wanted to be at $HOME, I could easily enter cd and be there.)

But I’m working on Mac OS and nearly every application made by Apple is scriptable with AppleScript, so is Terminal. I fetched one of the “Open Terminal Here” scripts to open a terminal from Finder. But I could not get behind the syntax. It looks great and is got to get, but difficult to write, when unfamiliar with it. But I could extract the right portions to open a Terminal at a given directory. But how do I fetch this one. Hmm.

The solution is pretty simple. Use a language, where I know how to fetch the current directory: Ruby. There is a great gem called rb-appscript. It’s a Ruby-AppleScript bridge and does what I want. It’s not easy to fetch the syntax here as well, but I just wanted to translate two lines, trial and error did the job.

The Result

… is a litte ruby script placed in ‘/usr/local/bin’ called ot (Open Terminal) and it is not more but the following:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby -rubygems

require 'appscript'
include Appscript

term = app("Terminal")
term.do_script(:with_command => "cd #{Dir.pwd}")

Now I can easily do what I want. If you are always using Terminal and calling the script only from one, you can even boil it down to three lines:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby -rubygems

require 'appscript'
Appscript::app("Terminal").do_script(:with_command => "cd #{Dir.pwd}")

The nicities of open source and open architectures. It was a pleasure.

(1): Yes I call the “command key” “apple key”, because everybody will instantly know what I mean. I’m not a fan of removing this icon from the keyboard.