BEWARE! This is an archived article. It is potentially out-of-date, incorrect, or otherwise in disagreement with my current opinions. Proceed with caution!

October 29, 2013


By Drew Barontini

We all have moments where a project stagnates, we get “writer’s block” (or at least the equivalent of that for front-end developers), and we need a “win” to keep the motivation rolling. For me, that’s building little apps for myself. Let me tell you about “Gificiency,” my outlet that helped reinvigorate my motivation on a project I was working on.


As an afficiando of GIFs, which are rapidly becoming my primary form of internet communication, I wanted an easier way to curate GIFs that I like, and then easily grab them whenever that moment strikes; beit from email, Twitter, IM, or Campfire. With that, I became more GIF-efficient with Gificiency. See what I did there? So clever, I know.

Gificiency is a tiny application that runs on my server, listing out all the GIFs (and occasional image) in a specified directory.

Gificiency The current, styled version of Gificiency.


Instead of justing listing out the filenames, I chose to style and add some conventions to those filenames for better searching, a primary component of quickly finding the right GIF.

The convention is [category]-[descriptor].gif.

Gificiency Search Live search in Gificiency for “sad” GIFs.

Searching Through Alfred

I didn’t want to always have to visit the site and search, which slowed down my GIF-finding efficiency, so I built a simple URL structure to filter down the GIFs, which I added as a custom search to Alfred.

Gificiency Search Through Alfred Search in Gificiency for “sad” GIFs through Alfred custom search.


When you hover over a link, you get a popup preview pinned to the top right of the viewport, which helps to quickly scan and find the appropriate GIF.

Gificiency Preview Quick look when hovering over a GIF.

Quicker Uploads

I also wanted an easier way to upload new GIFs when I discover them. In order to do this, I set up a Hazel script, which will take .gif files that are dropped in a specific directory, upload them to my server automatically, show a notification, and then trash the file.

Gificiency Hazel Script Hazel script for quickly uploading a GIF to an FTP server.

Moving Forward

So that’s it. I built Gificiency out of a personal need to take a break from a project, and it provides a useful, albeit dumb, service to myself. If you want to set up your own version, check out the GitHub repo; or, you can check out mine on

© 2019 Drew Barontini — Building products under Drewbio, LLC