Passionate Users

I have previously mentioned that I would pick up on some of the interesting bits done by users. This is the second post in that category.

This time my favorite contribution comes from Oliver Taylor. I recently placed two of his screencasts in the TextMate screencast feed but I am mentioning his Screenwriting with TextMate bundle here as well.

The reason why this is a favorite is because it shows very creative use of scope selectors to get context sensitive behavior, but also because Oliver is not a programmer, and prior to using TextMate, he had written neither a script nor regular expression.

Talk about empowering the user! Kathy Sierra writes a lot about this in her blog. How users should learn from using the product, and how the product should help them kick ass. A recent entry about testimonials inspired me to add user quotes. I have been dismissive about such in the past, but her take on it made sense, and notice how the first quote literally use the phrase “helping me kick ass”, now how cool is that? :)

Another contribution comes in the form of a script and tip from Dr. Drang. It is about how to insert footnote-style links in Markdown documents. It shows clever use of a command to transform the document into a snippet, so that the actual link, inserted many lines below the caret, can participate in the tab-chain of the snippet.

While writing this blog entry, it was clear that something like this needs to be incorporated into the standard Markdown bundle!

Duane Johnson has updated the Rails bundle and created a screencast showing off the new features. Coincidentally it also make use of a trick similar to that of Dr. Drang, so to see it in action, watch the screencast (it was also linked to from the official TextMate screencast feed).

If you find that TextMate has too many tab triggers or key bindings then Sebastian Friedrich created a cheat sheet for the Rails bundle (PDF) and Chris McGrath created a web application to turn TextMate’s keyboard shortcut list into a PDF reference card.

Somewhat related (to cheat sheets) is an article by Alex Young titled what you absolutely must know about TextMate. I should add that you can toggle between normal and column selection from the keyboard by quickly tabbing the option (⌥) modifier key. A similar article (which I also recommend to get a feel for the features) is TextMate, by Programmers, for Efficiency Experts by Ken Collins.

15 Comments

  1. 15 Mar 2006 | # Ben Perry wrote…

    Just have to say well done Allan. You have one hell of an awesome program with hundreds of happy users!

  2. 15 Mar 2006 | # oliver taylor wrote…

    Thanks Allan, I'm flattered.

  3. 15 Mar 2006 | # Ben Askins wrote…

    It's a great editor Allen. I've got my wife (also a developer) using it now so we can kick ass together.

  4. 15 Mar 2006 | # Ben Askins wrote…

    Sorry Allan for mispelling your name!

  5. 15 Mar 2006 | # [maven] wrote…

    Allan, the "attribution" class on the quotes page produces two strange characters for me before the name (in Safari, Camino works fine and displays the long dash). Is there maybe an encoding problem?

  6. 15 Mar 2006 | # Allan Odgaard wrote…

    maven: Yes, there seems to be a problem with Safari and encoding.

    The CSS adds the em-dash and is specified to be UTF-8, but is apparently not loaded as such the first time (by Safari), if I reload the quotes page, it gets fixed.

    Seems I need to find another way to add the em-dash.

  7. 15 Mar 2006 | # Raymond Brigleb wrote…

    Excellent, excellent. TextMate is my favorite program that I use for work. I wrote a review a while back from a designer's perspective that you might quote from if you wish.

    http://needmoredesigns.com/notes/142/textmate-text-editing-for-designers

  8. 16 Mar 2006 | # Dr. Drang wrote…

    Thanks for mentioning my script. My wife will be interested to hear that in some circles I'm considered passionate…

    Whatever cleverness there is in my script is due largely to the helpful folks on the TM mailing list. And to the Unix-based philosophy of TM. After struggling to automate BBEdit with the always-troublesome AppleScript, it's a pleasure to be able to use whatever scripting language I want.

  9. 16 Mar 2006 | # Chris McGrath wrote…

    I have to say thanks for mentioning keyref too. Keep up the great work.

  10. 16 Mar 2006 | # Kevin Marsh wrote…

  11. 16 Mar 2006 | # Kevin Marsh wrote…

    Duh, forgot what this article was even about…, oh well. It deserves another mention IMO.

  12. 17 Mar 2006 | # Ken Collins wrote…

    Thanks for the mention of my article :) I try to sell TextMate over to anyone I encounter. I am now also using the Vibrant theme too, my eyes must be getting bad.

  13. 21 Mar 2006 | # Matt Mecham wrote…

    I blogged about TextMate last year after switching from BBEdit.

    http://blog.mattmecham.com/archives/2005/11/its_text_mate.html

    Excellent work!

  14. 06 Apr 2006 | # Matt wrote…

    The Think Vitamin link seems to be asking for authorisation….

  15. 08 Apr 2006 | # Matt wrote…

    Found an alternate link for 'what you absolutely must know about textmate': http://work.alexyoung.org/archives/122/what-you-absolutely-must-know-about-textmate

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