I want to share a simple tip that I learned from Jim Weirich (author of rake, xml builder, and rubygems) this weekend at RailsConf: You can do pair programming with screen. When I learned about this I asked around and apparently everyone knew about this already, but I had never done it. Here’s how you can do it too:
Open up ~/.screenrc add the following lines:
multiuser on acladd nathan # change to your username here
In terminal one start a screen session. Then log in as the same user on terminal two and type screen -x. Now either user can control and see real time what is going on in the tty. It is possible to do this across users, I believe. See your local man page.
They use this in combination with audio/video chat (Skype or iChat). This way they can see facial expressions, ask for control of the keyboard etc. Jim and co. have keywords for passing control, I believe they are “drive?” and “release.” The person who wants to take over says “drive?” and they are allowed to use the keyboard iff the other person says “release.”Seems like a simple, but powerful idea.
UPDATE Jim pointed out that they use the terms “tag” and “yield”. Thanks Jim!