Give me some E

09/11/08 :: by pwang

It’s TextMate for Windows and it’s new. And you can skip my intro to get it here.

And for those who don’t know what TextMate is, it’s Mac-only text editor that increases a developer’s productivity by folds through many useful features like color-coding, shortcut keys and commands for anything from simple processes like inline editing to large snippets across a majority of programming languages to compiling in a target program (i.e. Flash) through its bundles feature. The general consensus about what makes TextMate awesome is it’s ease of use for newbies and power users alike.

It’s good to see that E follows that standard over on Windows. E keeps bundles, but needs Cygwin (included in the installation package) to use the feature. It also adds remote folder access, but does not seem to have a built-in SVN client. Instead, there is a local version control feature called ‘history’ that saves any files changes. Bundles are easier to manage, but the project management and bundle editing in E feel very different and not in a good way. Luckily, there is a wiki to walk you through most issues.

When I first starting coding websites by hand, I used Dreamweaver. But soon like most other folks I found it lacking a lot of productivity enhancements that other more dedicated text editors (Dreamweaver targets mainly the visual web designer and has a lot of features I don’t need) like Eclipse and Notepad++. The only problem with the latter was it couldn’t deal with all the languages out there with its, last I checked, relatively weak support of languages like ActionScript 3 and Processing, both of which have TM bundles. The ability to save ‘projects’ took me from Smultron on the Mac to TextMate, which like E has a reasonable $40 price tag to register from the trial version. Imagine Photoshop costing only $40 and coming out of the box with 100+ fully-featured actions sets.

Other issues? the Windows keyboard doesn’t allow the same shortcut keys as on a Mac, but that will change too, since there was a lot of work done to ensure bundles worked on the Mac as they did on the PC. All of this for me means that for developing on the PC at home, I can hold off on learning something big like Eclipse.

The biggest thing is we’re seeing an application go from Mac to PC, when it’s more common the other way around. To me this has more impact than when Safari for Windows was released in the pre-Chrome days.

One Response to “Give me some E”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Textmate - ’nuff said.

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