make skhd fast again

luv me tiling wm, luv me hotkey daemon, 'ate input lag - simple as.

recently i've been finding using my wm to be a real fucking drag, often taking upwards of a second to open to open terminals, switch desktops, windows etc. initially I thought the terminal being slow was just down to kitty having a high startup time, but running some benchmarks proved otherwise so i decided to look elsewhere, perhaps something to do with the m1 chip & rosetta?

nope, turns out this is down to my hotkey daemon, skhd, and how it actually works; by opening a shell, running a command, and then immediately closing:

alright, well how fast is my shell (fish) at opening?

~  hyperfine "$SHELL -c exit"
Benchmark #1: /opt/homebrew/bin/fish -c exit
Time (mean ± σ): 546.2 ms ± 5.1 ms [User: 417.9 ms, System: 143.9 ms]
Range (min … max): 540.8 ms … 557.3 ms 10 runs

damn... 546ms to actually start the shell & then run the hotkey, okay let's try good old bash

~  hyperfine "/bin/bash -c exit"
Benchmark #1: /bin/bash -c exit
Time (mean ± σ): 0.7 ms ± 0.7 ms [User: 0.3 ms, System: 0.3 ms]
Range (min … max): 0.3 ms … 20.5 ms 1177 runs

0.7ms, bussin - and for comparison zsh was about 2ms

okay so how do I get the speed?

open this file in your editor of choice vi /opt/homebrew/Cellar/skhd/0.3.5/homebrew.mxcl.skhd.plist (your specific version may be different)

+ <key>SHELL</key>
+ <string>/bin/bash</string>

the simply add those two lines to set which shell to use, then re-install via brew reinstall skhd & restart the daemon brew services restart skhd

cannot describe how much of a difference 500ms makes when using on a daily basis - goes from basically unusable to a joy to work with