/ #node #JavaScript 

A simple JavaScript/Node coding setup on Mac OS X

Here’s how I get productive for JavaScript/Node on Mac OS.

It includes iTerm2, zsh, Node, Visual Studio Code and some git commands.

Table of Contents

Terminal

Setup iTerm2

Change edit mode to natural text

  • iTerm Preferences → Profiles → select your profile → Keys tab → Load Preset… → Natural Text Editing (See this StackOverflow answer)

New session should start where previous left off

  • iTerm Preferences → Profiles → select your profile → General tab → Working Directory section → Reuse previous session’s directory option

Quit on tab close

  • iTerm Preferences → General, “Closing” → “Quit when all windows are closed”

Increase font size

  • iTerm Preferences → Profiles → select your profile → Text tab → Font section → Change font → Update font in the popup
  • Fan of 16pt Monaco (12, 14 is just too small)

Enable infinite history

  • iTerm Preferences → Profiles → select your profile → Terminal tab → Unlimited scrollback

Shell setup

zsh

With oh-my-zsh manager. Sets you up with auto-completion.

snazzy colour theme

Using iterm-snazzy, which is a case of downloading the .itermcolors file and choosing the theme from (iTerm Preferences → Profile > Colors > Color Presets…).

Pure prompt

It’s simple, clean but gives you enough information to be productive.

(see Setup and configuration for how to get Node/npm up and running)

  • Install using npm: npm install --global pure-prompt
  • Initialise by adding the following to your .zshrc:
autoload -U promptinit; promptinit
prompt pure

Browsers and testing

As a developer it’s always good to have a few browsers and tools handy:

  • Google Chrome: still a goto due to its solid and extensive dev tools. Usually I install the React or Vue dev tools.
  • Postman for Mac: to manually test APIs
  • Firefox: number 2 browser
  • Brave: auto-blocks ads and tracking, sort of the “play” browser, its dev tools are a buggier/less ergonomic version of Chrome dev tools (this is because Brave uses Chromium under the hood)
  • Safari - installed by default on Mac OSX, it’s a buggy browser, good to test using it since it surfaces weird SVG and cookies security policy quirks. Since it’s the default it’s also widely used by non-technical people.
    • Enable the dev tools: Safari → Preferences → Advanced → Show develop menu in menu bar.

Editor

I use Visual Studio Code, it strikes the right balance between usable out of the box and customisable. The way I see it editors like vim or Atom need a bit of config before being productive, and others like Sublime or IDEs (WebStorm) don’t have the same plugin ecosystem.

Install VSCode command line tools

Open the dialog using CMD + P.

Use: Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH

The VSCode command line tool usage examples:

  • code . : open . directory in VSCode
  • code -r . : replace directory opened in VSCode with the current directory
  • code -a . : add current directory to VSCode, ie. initialises a workspace

Must-have extensions

Nice to have extensions

Productivity

Not many productivity apps, just Alfred, which I use as a better Spotlight Search and Clipy which is a clipboard manager.

Maccy

A simple clipboard manager designed for OSX.

It works out of the box better than Clipy (see below).

Install it through Homebrew:

brew cask install maccy

Update the preferred hotkey to CMD + shift + v:

defaults write org.p0deje.Maccy hotKey command+shift+v

Paste by default on selection of a clipboard item:

defaults write org.p0deje.Maccy pasteByDefault true

Superseded by Maccy Clipy

Bump up the number of “inline items” (Clipy → Preferences → Menu → Number of items place inline).

Set your screenshots to save to clipboard + enable the option to paste as plain text (Clipy → Preferences → Beta → Paste as PlainText + Save screenshots in history).

Tooling

Update Xcode using xcode-select --install.

Install Homebrew for package managements (think apt or pkg for Mac):

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Install Node.js either from source, using the Mac installer or using Homebrew:

brew install node

Install n – Interactively Manage Your Node.js Versions using npm (now that we have Node installed): npm install --global n

Switch to latest Node version using n: sudo n latest

Install jq (format and deal with JSON nicely in the terminal) and watch (run a command repeatedly) using Homebrew

brew install jq watch

Add a few git extensions:

  • git-open: “Type git open to open the GitHub page or website for a repository in your browser.” using npm install --global git-open
  • git-standup: “Recall what you did on the last working day.” using git standup, there are multiple install options (see git-standup#install), I usually go with: brew install git-standup
  • git-lg: simpler/prettier git log:
git config --global alias.lg "log --color --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit"

Setup and configuration

Add the following minimal .vimrc, which enables syntax highlighting, has basic tab/tabsize configuration and enables line numbers display:

syntax enable
set tabstop=2
set shiftwidth=2
set expandtab
set number

Set up SSH keys and add to VCS hosting, see this GitHub help article:

  • Generate a new key: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "*[email protected]*"
  • Copy your public key to clipboard so you can paste it wherever your hosted Version Control system asks you to: pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

Put percentage on power level, right-click the battery indicator and select “Show Percentage”.

Misc and extras

❤️ Spotify

More at my /uses page.

(Optional) Docker, VirtualBox

Docker is a containerisation technology, think VMs but smaller. I recommend Docker for Mac. VirtualBox allows you to run Virtual Machines on Mac, install it at VirtualBox downloads.

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Author

Hugo Di Francesco

A Software Engineer who is big on Node.js, queues and Vue(s). Co-author of "Professional JavaScript" with Packt. He shares practical JavaScript tips for the developer who wants to get things done on Code with Hugo. University College London (UCL), MEng Mathematical Computation Graduate.

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