Daily Archives:December 16th, 2005

Mac Editors

There are some very good text editors for the Mac.

SubEthaEdit is nothing short of wonderful for its collaboration features – if you haven’t tried this, you should find a friend with a Mac and do so – and it’s not at all bad as a general-purpose editor.

TextWrangler has a somewhat nostalgic Mac-classic feel to it, but has a wonderfully useful feature of being able to browse, open and save files on a remote machine via SFTP/FTP. You simply pres shift-cmd-O and shift-cmd-S instead of cmd-O and cmd-S. If, like me, you spend a lot of time editing config files and web pages on remote servers, this is very nice.

But the one I’ve recently converted to is TextMate. I’d seen people starting to rave about this app, but hadn’t quite worked out why. The more time I spent with it, though, the more I liked it, to the extent that I forked out the 39 EU to buy a license within a few days, not something I’d often do for a program that didn’t even have documentation. The Bundle system, which groups together the functionality associated with particular types of file, is very nice, and I find I’m starting to miss the various shortcuts, completion mechanisms and auto-expansions when I’m entering text into anything else.

It doesn’t have TextWrangler’s convenient access to remote files, but I’ve long been a fan of the Transmit FTP utility, and if you specify TextMate as the editor then everything’s pretty seamless.

And then this week, not only did documentation arrive, but people are starting to produce screencasts, showing how to get the most out of it. More info here.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser