9.8.06. Congratulations, TextMate!

Congratulations to Allan Odgaard and everyone else involved with TextMate on winning an Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Developer Tool. TextMate has so greatly improved my development life, finally allowing me to (where possible) work on my desktops / laptop instead of on a development server as I’ve done for so many years.

A little bit of my development day today: Using Mac OS X terminal to test a new date-range formatting function. The results were clipped directly into a Circus Ponies Notebook page without leaving Terminal via Mac OS X Services. All of those clippings were then brought into Hog Bay Software’s excellent WriteRoom where I went into full screen mode to turn the test results into documentation that could run via Python’s super-cool Doctest tool. Using WriteRoom for this allowed me to focus on writing the documentation without distractions: it was like being back in the old old 70’s terminals: green text, black screen. No syntax coloring, no modes, nothing.

A couple of times while writing the documentation, I was able to use the globally installed Edit in TextMate… command that lets just about any Cocoa text field / area / etc be editable in a TextMate window. I used this during the main writing to do some big find/replace runs (some names that I had imported in the terminal were redundant in the test documentation). So, from WriteRoom, I hit Edit in TextMate… (actually, I just hit control-command-e) and a new TextMate window opens up with the contents of my WriteRoom document. I used TextMate’s nicer search/replace tools to do some mass fixing, hit ‘save’ to send the results back to WriteRoom, and closed the window - which caused a direct return to WriteRoom.

Again, this was nice for this situation since I could use a specialized no-frills tool to focus on the words I wanted to write. When I was done with the writing, I copied everything out of WriteRoom and went back to TextMate to paste the documentation in the docstring of this function. At that point I could use TextMate’s tools and powers to format the results (wrap / indent properly, apply some reStructuredText styling, etc).

What a cool little collection of tools.

And happily, when the documentation test was executed, it ran on the first pass.