Using Warp workflows to make the shell easier

Disclaimer: GV is an investor in Warp.

Whenever I start a new Python project, I have to go look up the syntax for creating a virtual environment. Somehow it can never stick in my brain, but it seems too trivial to add a script for. I’ve been using Warp as my main shell for a few months now and noticed they they have a feature called “workflows,” which seems to make it easy to add a searchable, documented command you frequently use right to the shell.

To add a workflow to the Warp shell, create a ~/.warp/workflows directory and add a YAML file describing the workflow:

$ mkdir -p ~/.warp/workflows
$ emacs ~/.warp/workflows/venv.yaml

Then I used one of the built-in workflows as a template and modified it to create a virtual environment:

---
name: Create a virtual environment
command: "python3 -m venv {{directory}}"
tags: ["python"]
description: Creates a virtual environment for the current directory.
arguments:
  - name: directory
    description: The directory to contain the virtual environment.
    default_value: .venv
source_url: "https://docs.python.org/3/library/venv.html"
author: kchodorow
author_url: "https://www.kchodorow.com"
shells: []

I saved the file, typed Ctrl-Shift-R, and typed venv and my nice, documented workflow popped up:

However, I’d really like this to handle creating or activating it, so I changed the command to:

command: "[ -d '{{directory}}' ] && source '{{directory}}/bin/activate' || python3 -m venv {{directory}}"

Which now yields:

So nice.

Update: I realized I actually always want to activate the virtual environment, but I also want to create it first if it doesn’t exist. So I updated the command to: ! [ -d '{{directory}}' ] && python3 -m venv {{directory}}; source '{{directory}}/bin/activate'". This creates the virtual environment if it doesn’t exist, and then activates it regardless.

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