Weekly Journal 114 - Modern CLI Tools, "Free" Services

Modern CLI Tools

The past several years have been of renaissance of sorts for CLI tools. With the advent of newer systems programming languages like Go and Rust, there has been an explosion of both new CLI tools and enhanced replacements for many of the standard CLI tools found in most Linux distributions. Some of my favorites include ripgrep, delta, and glow. While I love many of these new CLI tools, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth learning and using them. My concern is that I can’t transfer that knowledge and experience outside of my personal computer. These tools aren’t part of a standard Linux installation, and in many cases they aren’t included in the package repository. This means its very unlikely I’ll ever see or use these tools on any of the systems I manage at work. I have to wonder if I’d be better off learning and mastering the standard tools since those are the ones I’ll most likely use in a work project.

I’m still leaning towards using the newer tools because the experience is really a lot better. I’m also wondering if containerization and serverless will largely eliminate my concern as I’ll be doing all my work on my local system, and I won’t be using a lot of tools on remote systems. Something to think about.

“Free” Services

This is some further thoughts from the Docker debacle around killing the free Docker Hub team accounts. Lots of SaaS systems offer a “free” tier of service. Most of these have limited capabilities and are meant to be a “try before you buy”, and that is fine. I do appreciate the ability to kick the tires on a service to see if it meets my needs before making a purchase. However, I see lots of people who never move to a paid plan and they now have a dependency on a “free” service that could disappear at any time. I make it point to not use free services as a long term solution. Either I need to move to a paid plan, or I need to look at other alternatives. For me, the risk of having the free plan disappear or become more restricted is too great. This rule applies to both open source and proprietary services alike. Either I need to pay for it, self host it, or do without. It’s just not worth it to me to risk losing my data or having to deal with a major disruption due to the business changing its mind.