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Textmate - first impressions

07 Oct 2004

I never thought in my days using Dreamweaver, that I’d be excited about a new text editor coming to OS X. However, I’ve been looking forward to trying out Textmate, as some very bold claims were being made about it. These claims irked me a bit, as it seemed to ignore some very good text editors already available, such as skEdit, SubEthaEdit and, of course, BBEdit. I use all 3, with the emphasis on skEdit (especially for writing css).

So, today Textmate is out, and a surprising number of people have written to me, asking me what I think of it. I found this a little odd, maybe everyone knows I’m a new software junkie, willing to try out every new release of anything. Anyway, I thought I would post my initial thoughts here. This will be slightly unfair, as I’ll be comparing it to other editors that have time to mature and develop.

First, starting with the positive, What I like:

What I don’t:

Features I missed from other Text Editors (with the proviso that I may have missed these somehere):

So will it replace skEdit as my main development tool? No, but, I get the impression that Textmate is aimed at serious programmers, people who deal with ruby/perl and the like, not those like me who just want to bash out HTML and CSS. skEdit is still the right tool for me, but I’ll keep an eye on Textmate.


skEdit

08 Oct 2003

I’ve just been trying out a piece of Mac OS X shareware that will be of interest to anyone who hand codes HTML and CSS. Although Dreamweaver 2004 finally allows code-hinting in CSS, it runs SO slow on my mac – I just can’t bear it. Until a G5 becomes a possibility, I’ve been using BBEdit and Transmit to do the same job, but I’ve missed the advantage of code hinting.

Just out of interest I did a search for ‘OSX’ and ‘code-hinting’ and found something called skEdit, a cocoa text editor created by an 18 yr old student in Cleveland. The more I use it, the more I love it. Here’s why:

I’ve only been using it for a day, so these are just the things I’ve discovered so far. It may not have the full gamut of BBEdits features, but then again this only costs $20! That’s a mere £12 of your British pounds! It does so much more than I’ve mentioned, take a look. A look at the guys site will show you that he cares about web standards too.

Downsides? I have to be blunt, its interface and application icons are pretty ugly. This an area where guys like Panic get it so right – the icons and interface have an OS X feel that makes using the software a pleasure. Also, it would be good if it gets FTP and savable favourites like Transmit.


Despite the cosmetics, its quickly taken over as my main coding application.


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