leah blogs

July 2013

01jul2013 · Summer of Scripts: lstab and curtab

Apart from urxvt and Emacs, the program I spend most time with is Firefox. Thus, it’s natural I want to control it from these other programs too. Opening links is simple by just executing firefox, but to get access to its internal state, I’ve found the following two tools very helpful:

lstab lists all tabs that are currently open with their URL and title:

% lstab
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&shva=1 # Gmail
http://www.techism.de/ # Techism - Events, Projekte, User Groups in M√ľnchen!
http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ # ilXor.com

I use this tool to “synchronize” the tabs between my notebook and my desktop. E.g. if I was surfing on my desktop (which is always on), but need to switch to my notebook, I just run ssh hecate lstab and click on the few links I wanted to read.

On the other hand, if I surf on my notebook and want to go home, I just copy the open tabs to the desktop machine:

lstab |ssh hecate stee mess/current/tabs

(This simple—but very helpful to me—command line inspired this series of posts, by the way.) stee will be explained later, essentially it writes stdin to the argument file name. The purpose of mess/current has been explained here already.

The companion tool is curtab, which simply outputs the URL of the last selected tab:

% curtab

I use this most often when preparing Trivium, where a simple M-x insert-curtab pastes the current URL into my Emacs buffer.

How do these scripts work? They parse Firefox’s sessionstore.js file which keeps all this data formatted as JSON. If I ever wanted to replace my browser, I’d certainly need to figure out how to rewrite these scripts first.

NP: Aimee Mann—How I Am Different

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