Albert Laravel Doc Search

Search the Laravel documentation quickly and easily with this Albert Launcher extension 🕵️

September 6th, 2019 • 2 min read

You're learning a new technology or framework and you're frustratingly having to hit the documentation every 2 minutes, even when trying to do the most simple of things.

Sound's familiar right?

I feel your pain 😫!

As I shared recently, I'm learning Laravel and as a result it seems like I've got the documentation permanently open in a browser window. With that, I'm also finding that searching the documentation and switching back and forth between IDE and browser is pretty inconvenient, as well as inhibitive to productivity.

Contemplating a solution, I stumbled across the awesome Laravel Docs Search by Till Kruss, a custom workflow for the macOS productivity app Alfred.

An Alfred alternative for Linux

Inspired, I decided to search for a similar solution for Linux, and my search quickly unearthed Albert, a desktop agnostic launcher. Surely the name is more than simply a coincidence 🤔!

I also discovered that not only is Albert fantastic out of the box but, similarly to Alfred, it is extensible, providing a Python extension which facilitates the embedding of Python modules in order to customise behaviour.

With that in mind, and inspired by Till's Alfred Workflow, I set about developing my own Laravel docs search extension for Albert.

Albert Laravel Docs

Installation and Usage

I'd love for you to check out the repo and install this extension yourself.

Getting started is fairly straight forward and following the installation of Albert, you simply need to clone the albert-laravel-docs repo into your Albert Python Extensions directory and enable it in the Albert settings.

Searching the Laravel documentation is then just a case of opening up Albert and prefixing your search with “ld ” followed by your search query.

ld <query>
ld unit testing

Reaping the rewards

Being able to search the Laravel documentation directly form Albert is certainly a major increase in both convenience and productivity.

Also, because the extension uses the same Algolia index as the official Laravel docs, the search is very fast and accurate, most of the time I’m in the location of the documentation that I need to reference within seconds.

There are still some improvements that I would like to make, such as the possibility of improving the display of the result and the ability to search a specific Laravel version, but at the minute I'm prioritising doing some actual learning. Contributions, of course, are always more than welcome!

I didn't stop at Laravel

Such was the improvement, in my workflow, using this extension that I also created similar doc search extensions for Vue.js, Tailwind CSS and Tighten's Jigsaw:

Get turbocharging your own workflow 🚀!

It would be great to hear any feedback or suggestions, or if you know an Albert extension that I would benefit from, let's continue the conversation over on twitter ✌️.

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If you enjoyed this post and are interested in similar stuff, check out my next post: I'm learning Laravel.

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