TextMate
Power Editing for the Mac
By James Edward Gray II
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Released: February 2007
Pages: 200

TextMate is a powerful tool for programmers, web designers, and anyone else who regularly needs to work with text files on Mac OS X. TextMate focuses on pragmatic automation, which means it will save you time time that's always in short supply. See how your lowly text editor can become a hard working member of your staff.

TextMate is a full-featured text editor available for Mac OS X that can greatly enhance your text manipulation skills. TextMate is actually a thin shell over a personalized team of robot ninjas ready to do your bidding. Let's face it, who doesn't want their very own team of robot ninjas?

With TextMate you can do your normal work, but signal the ever-watchful ninjas as you go. At your command, they will launch into action, slicing through text, building repetitive structures of data in the blink of an eye, and much more. They will even post to your blog, handle your IRC conversations, and read your email.

Inside this book you will learn how to teleport instantly to the exact line of the file you need to be on, edit the data with the briefest incantations of power, and banish the end result to the land of your choosing. It's magic, as you can plainly see.

Leave the days of dull work behind. Learn your spells, gain access to your team of robot ninjas, and you too will be able to edit text so effortlessly that everyone watching over your shoulder will be forced to ask, "Wait, how did you do that?"

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5.0

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5.0

Do you have the power?

By J. Pease

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly TextMate:

Visuals:

The font size in the Pragmatic Programmers books is a little larger than say the O'Reilly books, which I personally like. Easy on the eyes. Screenshots are clearly printed.

Readability:

I found the reading style conversational and easy to follow. Of course, with this type of book which includes many keyboard short-cuts you really need to be at your computer and using them to commit them to memory. Even a reading of the book will give you insights into the power available at your finger tips with Textmate.

Practicality:

If you spend any amount of time in Textmate, this is really a no-brainer. This book will help you be more productive and get more out of your chosen text editing tool.

Audience:

The book does not list an intended target audience, but if you use Textmate at all I would say you have a bulls-eye right on you.

Overall:

If you use Textmate get this book.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Power of Textmate

By Dave Walz-Burkett

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly TextMate:

This book is the perfect primer for what I have found to be one of the most indispensible Mac OS X applications - TextMate. If you are a software developer or web designer or anyone else that edits text on a frequent basis and you have not already discovered TextMate, stop right now and visit http://www.macromates.com.

The Pragmatic Programmers' book, TextMate Power Editing for the Mac is a thorough introduction to TextMate. James Edward Gray II has written a very accessible book, that covers the product very well.

The first third of the book is devoted to the basics - things you do every day in your text editor. The second third of the book dives into the details of some really sweet features of TextMate that you'll find yourself using all the time: bundles, snippets, macros and UNIX shell commands.

TextMate ships with over thirty 'bundles'. Each bundle is a directory of related files that provide additional functionality to TextMate. Let's say you're working on an HTML file. The HTML bundle will help you with loads of things related to your document: validate the syntax of the document, open the document in the default browser, refresh the document in the current browser session, insert open/close tags for the current word, strip all HTML tags from the document - just to name a few. Each bundle provides functionality that applies not only to the syntax of the language you're currently working with, but repetitive tasks that would apply as well.

As I mentioned, a couple dozen bundles ship with TextMate and many more are available for free download from various websites. You can even create your own bundles to extend the product in ways that only you can imagine. Here are a few of the bundles that ship with TextMate: Blogging, CSS, HTML, Java, Markdown, Objective-C, Python, Rails, Ruby, SQL, Subversion, Text, Textile, Xcode and XML. Bundles provide you with lots of help editing files and performing related tasks.

Snippets are a smart completion mechanism that go way beyond the simple concept of 'finish this word'. For example, if you are editing a Ruby file and you type array_object.ea followed by the TAB key (where 'array_object' is an arbitrary Array object), the snippet feature will automatically fill in the skeleton of the 'each' iterator, including the opening and closing curly braces, the text '|e|' with the letter 'e' highlighted. You simply type the name of the variable you want to represent the next element (or simply leave it as it is), hit the TAB key again and the cursor will be placed between the closing '|' character and the closing '}' character, ready for you to type in an expression. Very cool. This same trick works for dozens of different scenarios in your Ruby code. And that's just the snippets that apply to Ruby code. There are snippets that apply to a large number of file types.

You've probably seen macros in other editors and TextMate's macro facility works as you might expect: you start recording a macro, perform some actions and save the macro. TextMate saves the macros as XML files, so it's a snap to edit a macro after recording if you need to tweak it a bit.

The ability to fire off UNIX shell commands from within TextMate gives you another powerful tool to use while editing files. You can fire off one-liner shell commands by simply pressing the ^R key on a line containing a shell command. You can also use shell commands to act on all or part of the current document.

For the advanced TextMate user, the tail end of the book shows you how to create your own language syntax for use in TextMate, including how to describe the grammar of the language in terms TextMate will understand. So, if you program in some far out funky language that TextMate doesn't support out of the box, you can add the language grammar to TextMate and program away!

Overall, I found this book extremely useful and easy to read. TextMate ships with an excellent help system that will answer many of your questions. The TextMate Power Editing for the Mac book will take you beyond the built-in help and give you an in-depth guide for this great Mac application.

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