Clutter in programmer workspaces, whether digital or physical, add a mental cost. An area of common clutter is the
~/Downloads directory in Mac OS X. I want to clean it up… programmatically.
I want a background job to find files in
~/Downloads which haven’t been modified within the past week and move them into
~/.Trash. In zsh, we do:
mv ~/Downloads/*(mw+1) ~/.Trash
man zshexpn for more awesomeness on shell expansion.
For a user-specific background job, Apple recomends creating a Launch Agent, which is a
.plist XML file located in
~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.thoughtbot.cleandownloads.plist will run my script once an hour:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>Label</key> <string>com.thoughtbot.cleandownloads</string> <key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>mv</string> <string>~/Downloads/*(mw+1) ~/.Trash</string> </array> <key>StartCalendarInterval</key> <dict> <key>Hour</key> <integer>1</integer> </dict> </dict> </plist>
Read Creating Launch Daemons and Agents for more on how to structure the