[ADV] James Edward Gray's TEXTMATE book now in beta

Folks:

Sorry for the commercial, but I'm excited about this one. I've been using TextMate for most of my work for a year now---if you're on a Mac, it really is the best tool for writing Rails code. So when James Edward Gray II offered to write a book on TextMate, I jumped at it. James helps maintain the Ruby support in TextMate, and this knowledge comes across strongly in the book. I know I learned a lot from reading what's there so far.

Anyway, today we're announcing the released of the book in beta form--the final version should be out early in the new year. There's more information at http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/textmate

Cheers

Dave

I based my original statement on that on the fact that just about every Rails developer I know on the Mac uses TextMate. I'm sure a lot of folks also use RadRails, vim, xcode, and so on.

However, I totally agree that the choice of tool is up to the individual--that's pragmatic. And if RadRails works for you, then it's the best tool for you to use.

I didn't mean to start an IDE war here: let's not go down that path... :slight_smile:

Cheers

Dave Thomas

Well, it’s not a good sign for a text editor if there is a book needed to understand it. IMO TextMate requires reading documentation because it’s not intuitive at all (that doesn’t mean it’s not a good text editor).
I checked out the web page of the book but there’s no way that I’ll spend $20 for the PDF (a better price would be $8.99).

I never had to read the Intellij IDEA documentation in over 4 years despite the fact that Java projects are way more complex by default. Can’t wait until IDEA has Ruby support, then I can replace TextMate.

–Lars

Well, it's not a good sign for a text editor if there is a book needed to
understand it. IMO TextMate requires reading documentation because it's not
intuitive at all (that doesn't mean it's not a good text editor).

Searching for "vi editor" on Amazon.
Showing 1 - 12 of 1826 Results

Searching for "emacs" on Amazon.
Showing 1 - 12 of 1722 Results

I checked out the web page of the book but there's no way that I'll spend
$20 for the PDF (a better price would be $8.99).

The $20 PDF already paid for itself in my brief overview of it
yesterday. I'll easily save that much in time given the tips I've
picked up.

I never had to read the Intellij IDEA documentation in over 4 years despite
the fact that Java projects are way more complex by default. Can't wait
until IDEA has Ruby support, then I can replace TextMate.

I've only heard good things about Intellij, but I have not yet had a
chance to try it. I generally use Eclipse for my Java projects.

The thing is, the text editors in IDE's like these are typically
dead-simple to use, in exchange for being less powerful than a
dedicated editor. Once you figure out how to trigger auto-complete
and code formatting, most everything else is a matter of finding the
right menu item for what you're trying to do.

As far as that goes, great. But that's not the appeal of TextMate.
If you're using TextMate as a glorified Notepad it's not worth the
money (for the program or the documentation). The point of TextMate
is that it's a collection of tools that incrementally make your life
easier.

3rd party documentation like this isn't really a sign of the program
being overly complicated (it's not). It seems that this book came
into existence because of the large number of tools and scripts
available. It's hard to know about them all, and this gives an
overview of useful things from a technical point-of-view.

-- James

I never had to read the Intellij IDEA documentation in over 4 years despite the fact that Java projects are way more complex by default. Can’t wait until IDEA has Ruby support, then I can replace TextMate.

Considering the price of Textmate (39$) vs IDEA (new user price: $499), I personnally don’t mind buying the book at 20$ :slight_smile:

Thibaut

Hi Dave:

You might want to search for the textmate cheat sheet pdf. I'm sure
others will comment, but for me it is the plethora of shortcuts
available.

Cheers.

And I have an 800 page book on Mac OSX, yet it's probably one of the
most intuitive interfaces I have ever used. It's all about trading
money for someone elses time / investment / research into the "best"
way to get things done. For me it's a no-brainer.

Michael

After resisting BBEdit for years, I have become hooked on
TextMate. The biggest factor is the Project Drawer, which
allows me to bounce around in a directory tree. This is
critical for Rails, where there are bazillions of files.
I have also used it to good advantage in editing Unix man
page files, which are scattered about in the source code.

-r

That’s a hard question to answer. There’s no single thing that made me switch. Instead it was an accumulation of small things that all worked together.

I still use EMacs for stuff that requires bulk text entry–nothing beats filladapt mode–but I find that TextMate just made me more productive for regular programming.

Of course, editors are personal. I believe there’s a one-month trial. Why not see if it works for you?

Dave

Hi Rich:

Thanks for the response.

Are you describing the window on the left that looks like the "File
browser htree" that is common in many IDE's and windows explorer? If
so, how is it different than such, or emacs' speedbar which supports
that with customizable actions.

Hi Dave:

Thanks for the respone

That's a hard question to answer. There's no single thing that made me
switch. Instead it was an accumulation of small things that all worked
together.

Cool. So can you elaborate. When I see the demos via screencasts, I
don't see anything that I can't do in emacs, but I recognize that,
typical for the mac, the total user experience can be better when
doing functionally the same things. I had a similar experience with
IntelliJ and minus refactoring support, he didn't show me anything
that I couldn't do in emacs, though the interface might be more
streamlined.

I still use EMacs for stuff that requires bulk text entry--nothing beats
filladapt mode--but I find that TextMate just made me more productive for
regular programming.

Of course, editors are personal. I believe there's a one-month trial. Why
not see if it works for you?

I'd have to get a Mac for that, which is on the wishlist when the
finances go the right way, but in general, I'm always interested in
what makes a tool "rock" vs work, so if anyone else, preferably
someone with substantial experience with more advanced features of
their editor or choice, could help elucidate to me, what it is that
makes TextMate so nice, From what I can tell, it's not the "list of
things it does", but more how it all works together.

Short of that, maybe a textmate wiz could give me a in person run
through at RubyConf.

Thanks all

Forrest

The Project Drawer can be on either side of the window. I
don't know how many other editors support this feature; I
certainly did not mean to imply that it was unique to TM.
However, it isn't present in vi(1) or BBEdit, which are the
other editors I use, so that is my point of comparison.

-r

> I checked out the web page of the book but there's no way that I'll spend
> $20 for the PDF (a better price would be $8.99).

The $20 PDF already paid for itself in my brief overview of it
yesterday. I'll easily save that much in time given the tips I've
picked up.

I would be willing to pay $40, if you can include a CD with the book that walks us through how to
use the editor (include all tips in the book). This will accelerate the learning and is worth
charging more for it.

Bottom line : Add value and increase the price. Another option is to have two different packages,
one with the CD and the other without the CD.

Forrest Chang wrote:

Hi Dave:

>
> Folks:
>
> Sorry for the commercial, but I'm excited about this one. I've been
> using TextMate for most of my work for a year now---if you're on a
> Mac, it really is the best tool for writing Rails code. So when James

  I know you used to be a big emacs advocate (and may still be outside
or ROR on a Mac), can you summarize to me what makes TextMate so good,
esp. in comparison to emacs?

I'm not Dave but I am the author of the of the new TextMate book and I
would like a shot at that question. :wink:

I had a diehard vim user email me the other day, explain in great
detail how he uses vim, and invite me to sell him on TextMate. You may
be surprised but after careful consideration my response was: stick
with vim.

Most editors these days are whatever the editor equivalent of "Turing
Complete" is. They are all capable of the same tricks in one form or
another. If you agree with me there, the only issue left is finding
the one that talks to you. For a diehard vim user enumerating his
habits of getting work done, that's probably going to be vim and it's
fine to recognize that.

Now, TextMate has been called the native Mac OS X version of emacs and
there's quite a bit of truth to that. The editor supports many emacs
keybindings and there's a (smaller) focus on doing most things from one
place (editing your blog, email, etc). If you're an emacs and Mac fan
I do strongly recommend you try TextMate. I bet you'll find it to be a
surprisingly good fit.

If you haven't found your editor of choice yet, TextMate is good to
consider with all the rest. You might just like it. And now there's a
reference to help you learn some of the good secrets. :wink:

James Edward Gray II

evan wrote:

Forrest Chang wrote:
> Short of that, maybe a textmate wiz could give me a in person run
> through at RubyConf.

I would be interested in this same run-through, also at RubyConf

I will be at RubyConf. Hunt me down and introduce yourselfs. We'll
get a little presentation going as part of the "hallway track." :wink:

James Edward Gray II

Bill Devaul wrote:

> I would be willing to pay $40, if you can include a CD with the book
> that walks us through how to
> use the editor (include all tips in the book). This will accelerate the
> learning and is worth
> charging more for it.

I've got to agree. In this case I'd love to see some screencasts
included. It's a great way to demo features and there are a few
narrowly focussed ones for Textmate. Any chance the author would do
some for the readers?

A couple of people have asked me for this now. Could either of you
describe the kinds of things you would like to see on these? Maybe
give a short list of topics. If there is really a lot of value to be
had here, beyond the TextMate screencast feed, I would consider it,
sure.

http://macromates.com/screencasts

James Edward Gray II

A couple of people have asked me for this now. Could either of you
describe the kinds of things you would like to see on these? Maybe
give a short list of topics. If there is really a lot of value to be
had here, beyond the TextMate screencast feed, I would consider it,
sure.

http://macromates.com/screencasts

James Edward Gray II

It would be a good idea if you could record a video showing how to use textmate by going through
the AWDWR examples. This way any beginner will be able to quickly learn the most frequently used
features for Rails development.

Some things that can be covered are:

1. How to run the different kinds of tests (unit, functional, integration etc) continuosly.
2. How to view results in the textmate web browser.
3. How to execute sql query and scripts and view the results.

Bala Paranj wrote:

> A couple of people have asked me for this now. Could either of you
> describe the kinds of things you would like to see on these? Maybe
> give a short list of topics. If there is really a lot of value to be
> had here, beyond the TextMate screencast feed, I would consider it,
> sure.
>
> http://macromates.com/screencasts
>
> James Edward Gray II

It would be a good idea if you could record a video showing how to use textmate by going through
the AWDWR examples. This way any beginner will be able to quickly learn the most frequently used
features for Rails development.

Thanks for expanding on your ideas. It make be a bit specific to be a
part of the general TextMate book, but we are certainly discussing the
possibilties for something like this now.

James Edward Gray II