Sam Merrell's Blog Tinkerer. Parent. ADHD. Developer.

Short-form writing. These are lightly edited and mostly for myself, but if you find them useful, you can subscribe to them.

2021.06.21 Xcode Vim

The Xcode 13 beta has some basic Vim keybindings! The bindings are very rough, but it still feels so much nicer to be navigating using my familiar Vim bindings. A couple things I noticed aside from the omissions already stated by Apple:

  • Visual Select Line does not select the whole line. It selects everything to the right of the cursor. This is a big pain for me since I select a whole line all the time.
  • It feels a little sluggish going from insert mode to normal mode.
  • No Macro support, it is just the most basic key bindings. That does include things like select inside, though.
  • The interaction with Xcode placeholders and Vim is a little weird, but passable.

Coming from VSCode with their Vim plugin, Xcode has a long way to go. That said, I’m still excited and I hope Apple invests more money in improving the Vim bindings.

2020.08.07 Managing app permissions in Gatekeeper on macOS from the command line

Managing app permissions in Gatekeeper on macOS from the command line

I just recently updated my work laptop to Catalina, I’m running into many of my command line tools being banned from running due to Gatekeeper. You can fix this by running the command by right clicking in Finder and choosing “open” explicitly. That works fine for full apps, but it is a bit annoying for command line apps. For command line apps you can use the spctl tool.

  • spctl -a <path to the executable> will tell you if it is rejected or not
  • spctl --add --label <app label> <path to the executable> will allow the app to be run. Adding a label lets you enable or disable all apps under that same label

I tried looking at what spctl --list showed, but the output wasn’t readable.

Found the info from

2020.07.26 iPad Pro as a Primary Device

With Apple switching over to ARM with Apple Silicon, I’m holding out on buying a new Mac. While I wait, I’m going to try using my iPad Pro as my primary device. I’m not sure how it is going to turn out so it should be an interesting experience. I know coding is mostly out but I’m going to see how far this takes me with most of my computing tasks. I’ll post what I learn here in the notes. That is, unless something prompts a longer form post!