Header by currentspaces

Using an iPad for Coding

It is probably no surprise for you if I tell you that I am writing this on an iPad. Recently I was looking into GitHub Codespaces. A tool that makes your development experience independent of your physical device or location. It is based on a browser-based VSCode instance, paired with surprisingly powerful dev containers (Even supporting “docker in docker”).

The Keyboard Layout

The first issue i’ve expierenced is the keyboard layout. The typical issue is the missing Escape key. However, I found that not to be a big problem for me personally. iOS offers the ability to bind other keys to “Escape” (I use the 🌐 key). As I like to write my code using the de_CH keyboard, the bigger problem was actually the bracket keys ({ } [ ]). On a de_CH mac keyboard you get some little usedletters like æ and ¶ instead of curly brackets. Since I am using the VIM Plugin for VSCode, those letters can be rebind through configuration easily.

I use the following vim plugin configuration:

"vim.insertModeKeyBindings": [
{
"before": ["‘"],
"after": ["["]
},
{
"before": ["§"],
"after": ["["]
},
{
"before": ["æ"],
"after": ["{"]
},
{
"before": ["¶"],
"after": ["}"]
}
]

For the terminal / devcontainer vim runtime I have a similar config.

App Ecosystem

I found myself uninstalling a lot of apps. Medium does not work well for writing. Github does only allow you limited repository access. Generally, I often prefer to use the web apps instead of the dedicated apps with the iPad (for coding). For learning and reading the apps work great. I like to use the LinkedIn Learning App while taking notes on GoodNotes.

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