Caius Theory

Now with even more cowbell…

Filter through command

This is another old post that I’m republishing. Originally published 27th April 2007.

My text editor TextMate has a nice feature called “Filter through command” whereby you can filter the current document through a command.

Anyway, I’ve never used it before, but today I had a text file with 30 or so url’s in, each on a new line, so I thought I’d test it out. I selected it to input the document & to not replace the output. I then entered the following command, which is a ruby command to take each line that isn’t blank, and run the shell command open $url.

ruby -e 'a =\S+/); a.each { |x| `open #{x}` }'

What this does is take ARGF (the document) and read it in line by line, but only the non-whitespace characters (so newlines, space, etc are ignored.) And it assigns it to an array called a. What I then do is for each item of a, we run it past the shell command open, which on OS X if you pass it a URL it just opens that URL in the default browser.

My browser is Safari, and its set to open new links in a new tab in the foremost window. So I ran the command, and hey presto, within a few seconds I had all the URL’s loading in seperate tabs in Safari’s foremost window!

The power of Unix (OS X) & TextMate (amongst other tools) just never ceases to amaze me.


I just realised if you change the regex to scan for http://.* then it’ll select all website URLs.

ruby -e 'a =^http://.*$/); a.each { |url| `open #{url}` }'