[OS X TeX] (emacs ->) textmate anyone?

Charilaos Skiadas skiadas at hanover.edu
Fri Feb 23 09:49:31 EST 2007

On Feb 23, 2007, at 8:40 AM, Christoph Eyrich wrote:

> dear all,
> i'm a long-time emacs/auctex user but having played a bit with the  
> textmate demo i realize that there are a couple of really nice  
> features. now i'm wondering if there is a point in switching.

First off, have you seen the screencasts, especially the LaTeX  
related ones?

> would those of you using textmate be willing to share their  
> experiences? the good, the bad, and the ugly?
It has personally changed my life. It is so easy to extend. I was  
sort of using emacs before that, but I never became comfortable  
enough in emacs to make switching a difficult choice.

My first impression of TextMate was that it seemed to stay out of my  
way when I didn't want it to bother me, but was right there when I  
needed it. Not sure if that makes much sense. I think this post  
describes is better than I ever could:

It somehow felt right from the very first time, and soon enough I  
started creating commands here and there. Before I knew it, I was  
maintaining the LaTeX bundle. A bit after that I was creating bundles  
of my own. You get sucked into it I guess is what I am trying to  
say ;). It grows on you.

Personally the great thing about TextMate is the care that Allan  
Odgaard takes in identifying the common tasks needed when writing  
code and/or prose, and solving them once and for all, instead of  
having to rediscover them for each different language. He also goes  
in great lengths making sure every feature in TextMate is easily  
discoverable and at the same time unobtrusive, which is a really hard  
combination to achieve.

The key feature I would say is the idea of the entire scoping  
mechanism. Each part of the text has an associated "scope" to it, and  
those work similarly to CSS selectors. This allows you for instance  
to write a command that comments/uncomments a line and have it work  
whenever there is "source" scope. Or for instance in LaTeX we have  
two commands called Bibliography Completion and Label Completion.  
They each work in different "scopes", so they can share the same  
keypress. They actually also work anywhere in LaTeX, and then you get  
a menu to choose which of the two you want. All this came for free,  
all I had to do was write the code for the completion commands.

I could probably go on and on about it, but perhaps I'll stop here ;)

> greetings
> christoph eyrich

Haris Skiadas
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Hanover College

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