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Mstation Book Reviews
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Fri, 04 May 2007

Textmate

James Edward Gray II, Textmate:
Power Editing for the Mac, The Pragmatic Programmers

Text editors with any serious pretensions to handle coding usually gather vociferous fans around them who then spread the word - and, of course, the Emacs vs Vi religious wars have been proceeding for quite some time. Textmate isn't going to threaten either of those two anytime soon for two main reasons - it is not cross-platform and only comes for Mac OS 10, and it is not free. You can check it out at macromates.com.

While this is most definitely not Open Source, it does have the continual work done on it that popular shareware programs usually have - email or post to a forum with your concerns and you'll hear back in a reasonably prompt way.

This book takes you through the operation of Textmate, from the creation of a project, to moving around and various keyboard shortcuts including various emacs-like bindings. There're also reasonable sections on scripting and regular expressions.

So, you might ask, what's the point? Emacs and Vi/Vim will or can be made to do pretty much anything you can dream up and are free and cross-platform (what happens when you're forced to do a job on say, a Windows box??). The answer is here in this book - some people find traditional Unix tools somewhat impenetrable, and this app with it's native Mac UI is said to solve that problem.

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