Tools you need in Sierra

- 2 mins

In my previous blog What I learned from upgrading to Sierra. I pointed out one of the professional characteristics that I have lacked for a long time – problem-solving in an objective way. In this blog, I am going to explain how I moved on to Sierra. Additionally, I will introduce some excellent tools.

As you know, I am a big fan of using keybindings to boost my productivity. It’s hard to set everything up, but I like doing it. In El Captian, I used a bunch of different tools to make my cumbersome workflow just under my fingertips. I am OCD with my tools, and they have to be the ways I like. Otherwise, I won’t work until I tweak them to. There are pros and cons of being stubborn. But, as a developer, being stubborn is always on the right side. Life is much more rewarding when using something others don’t know how, isn’t it?


Karabiner isn’t working correctly in macOS 10.12 Sierra. Regarding the creator, @tekezo, of Karabiner. Apple changed generic keyboard and mouse drivers on Sierra that made an impact to Karabiner, which caused the ineffectiveness. Therefore, Karabiner needs to be re-structured, @tekzo can’t give an estimate now.


At the same time, @tekezo introduced Karabiner-Elements, a much simpler versioned Karabiner(UI below), that is compatible on Sierra. I downloaded it and tried it. It lacked tons features. I didn’t think it was enough to do what I needed. So I moved on.


I used BTT a long time ago. I downloaded it initially for the sweet window snapping feature. Then I found out there were all sorts of options. So I mapped hjkl as arrow keys liked the image showing below. I then stopped using it because it lacked key repeat feature. But, now I don’t seem to have other options. Okay, let’s give a try. So, I set it up and sent the Author an email hoping there might be a way to tweak the key repeat. Meanwhile, I kept looking for other better options. Why?Because being proactive might turn things around.

Keyboard Maestro

The best always comes last, right? All I needed was patience and persistence. I found Keyboard Maestro from somebody’s comment on Karabiner’s Issue board. I downloaded and tried it. The UI was intuitive to use and there were tons options I could manipulate with. More importantly, it had key-down options meant key repeat is available!


Somebody once said Tools are ultimate procrastination. However to others, tools are motivation.

Yifan Chen

a junior developer for life

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