# Personal Productivity

## Command Line Arguments with Python's Argparse Module

Processing command-line arguments in ad-hoc python tools is one of those areas where I tend to just hack it together from scratch — simply because the effort of learning and understanding the relevant library packages not only seems to be more work than it is worth, but also and in particular more effort than “just doing it” by hand. I don’t want anything fancy, after all. I just want to get it done.

## A Guide to Running GUI Applications in a Docker Container

Containers are not usually associated with GUI applications, but there may be times when one might still want to run such a program inside a container, for example to isolate the application’s dependencies. Installing a GUI application in a container means that not only the application, but also all its specific dependencies are encapsulated inside the container (respectively, the container image), and can therefore reliably be removed from the system in a single step.

The primary challenge is to let a container communicate with the host’s display system, so that it can create GUI windows on the host. A GUI application will likely also need to share files with the host system, which in turn requires the appropriate user permissions.

## In Praise of Pic (and pikchr)

In praise of what? Pic? Pic? Pic, the old diagram generation “little language” and half brother of roff (or troff or groff), from the days when Unix was young? Yes, indeed, that pic.

## Running a GUI Application in a Docker Container: Users, Permissions, Dockerfile

In a previous post, I explored the possibilities of running a GUI application inside a Docker container. In the current post, I will continue where we left off before, adding some details to make the process more convenient.

## A Fix for Pysolfc on Linux Mint 21 Vanessa

There are problems playing the pysolfc solitaire game on the latest release of Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa).

The game requires the formatter module from the Python Standard Library, which had been deprecated since Python 3.4, and has been removed in Python 3.10.

An easy, but ad-hoc workaround goes as follows:

## Running a GUI Application in a Docker Container

Containers are not usually associated with GUI applications, but there may be times when one might still want to run such a program inside a container, for example to isolate the application’s dependencies. Installing a GUI application in a container means that not only the application, but also all its specific dependencies are encapsulated inside the container (respectively, the container image), and can therefore reliably be removed from the system in a single step.

## Using Xsession to Set an Environment Variable Without a Shell

The freedesktop project, arguably the most important Linux organization you’ve never heard of, has (among many other noble deeds) done an admirable job clearing up the mess of local cache and config files in one’s home directory. But how does one override their defaults, if this requires setting environment variables globally, for all processes, and outside an explicit shell environment?

## The Heilmeier Catechism

George H. Heilmeier, director of DARPA (the advanced-technology research agency of the US Defense Department) from 1975 to 1977, formulated a set of questions to help evaluate research proposals.

## Emacs Org Mode

Disclaimer: I use Emacs, but I am not deeply into various emacs cultish uses. I just write books and about everything else in it. (Except mail.)

That being said, I am currently dealing with Markdown and friends, and so I came across Org Mode.