prettyping.sh: An irrefutably prettier ping

prettyping.sh is a very straightforward tool: It’s a shell script that gives a little more pizazz to the traditional ping tool.

2014-12-30-jsgqk71-prettyping.sh

And seeing that screenshot gives you 90 percent of what you can accomplish with prettyping.sh. By default, all of prettyping.sh’s flair is turned on, and with the few hard-wired options that have to be set for the translation to ping. It’s colorful, clean, nicely arranged and a breeze to use.

But as always, I must offer a few points that stick out. In the hope of course, that they will be smoothed over in the future.

First, the legend is visible by default, and as luck would have it, it’s intended for about 150 or 160 columns (I didn’t count it out exactly; please forgive me). That’s all fine and dandy, but I honestly am not sure how often I run a terminal of that width, especially for a ping tool. So I find myself omitting the legend, which is pretty, but a little skewed.

Second, prettyping.sh’s output is very much like spark, with gradated characters of set color arrangements representing ranges of values returned from ping. Fair enough, and I see a general logic to the legend.

The problem is probably obvious though: In a virtual console, you might not get that same effect. I tried it on a random machine in my collection, and what I got was a blotchy mess of unprintable boxes, in varying colors, both in the output and in the legend.

So you’re more or less trapped in an emulator if you decide to make regular use of prettyping.sh, which might mean you’re also trapped in a graphical environment. Which might defeat the purpose of this entire escapade. (Let me know if you try prettyping.sh in a framebuffer terminal emulator, and whether or not you get the correct effect. You might.)

Another caveat: The link above may or may not be the original prettyping.sh. Shell scripts, in my observation, get traded around like spare pencils, and sometimes contort without earning a new name. I know the link for prettyping-hg out of AUR points to a dead MyOpera page, so it might be that there are three or four variants around.

The link I gave at the start was one I found on my own, that led to a posted source. I see that it’s also the source link for the prettyping package in AUR.

I also wish someone had renamed it to pretty-ping.sh, because I see the word “typing” in there, every time I read it. How’s that for a shallow and pointless criticism? 🙄

If you can overlook these faults or eccentricities, prettyping.sh is a very nice text-based interface for watching pings over long periods of time. There are a lot of ping tools out there (we’ve seen plenty, even in recent weeks), so if it doesn’t suit you, there are options available. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “prettyping.sh: An irrefutably prettier ping

  1. Denilson Sá

    Also, if for some reason the unicode characters or the colors do not work for you, you can disable them on the command-line. By default they are enabled because the main use-case is someone on a laptop (or a desktop) with a terminal window open, either with a local shell or with a remote ssh shell. Still, I tried to add command-line parameters to tweak most of the behavior, since I know the needs of each person are different.

    (sorry for double-comment, I would have edited/deleted the previous one if it were possible)

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Hi! Thanks for the note! I’ll try it again without the unicode characters, although I will admit I usually use applications from a terminal emulator, so it won’t bother me to have them. And it looks better. 😉 Cheers!

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