Coda 1.6 Sports Scriptable Plug-ins Interface

When it comes to web site development IDEs, Coda is one of the “must have” Mac applications.

The premise is simple: one application that handles all aspects of site development and promotion: editing browser code, cleaning up schemas and tables, wielding CSS, managing versioning and promoting changes to staging and production. If you’re stuck on syntax, just open up Coda’s handy library to find that missing parameter or HTML entity. You really need to see Coda in action to get a feel for how much it helps improve your web workflow.
Apart from the 63 improvements Panic has baked into version 1.6 there are four new features that make this great program even better. While they may have added syntax highlighting for Objective-J/Cappuccino, “smart” spell checking (so that the editor only cares about your words and not your code) and the ability to find and open files with speed and ease, the real fun comes with Coda’s new found support for plug-ins. Users of BBEdit/TextWrangler, TextMate and a host of other OS X editors can attest to the power of plug-ins. They can speed up coding dramatically and let you accomplish some tasks that would be impossible by hand.
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TextMate and Subversion

Textmate I’ve used TextMate before, mostly for heavy development with PHP or Ruby on Rails, but it began to fall out of focus for me when I started using Panic’s Coda instead. I loved Coda’s interface more than any other text editor/web development application. But I lamented the ability to easily sync up my web work to my Subversion server, which I’ve fallen in love with. Xcode has the ability to manage versioning with Subversion in your projects, but this only works with the types of projects that Xcode handles.

I’m not a command-line kind of guy, even though I use Subversion. So I’ve tried to find some kind of GUI-based Subversion client. So far, the only one I’ve seen that’s available here and now was svnX. But the UI is irritating and confusing, making it pretty much unusable.

Then, I heard in passing from a friend that TextMate supports SVN. So I launched it up, and looked around. Sure enough, there it is – under the “Bundles” menu, and it’s the “Subversion” group. It has similar functionality to what Xcode has. Of course, you’ll want to import the project and perform the initial checkout via Terminal, but after that, you’ll be ready to go.

For easiest results, select the entire project’s folder from the “Open…” dialog in TextMate, to keep the whole thing at hand in TextMate.

TextMate: No longer a reason to avoid Git

I wrote recently about my headaches using Subversion with iWork documents (“iWork hates Subversion”). The consensus from the comments was that I needed to ditch Subversion for a more modern version control system. Both Mercurial and Git were popular among commenters. (I decided on Git, incidentally. The transition was extremely smooth.)

TextMate bundle editor

One TAB reader, HG, lamented that a TextMate bundle doesn’t yet exist for Git. Consider that old news. Well, unofficially. It is currently under review within the TextMate user community, but the Git bundle has been written and is available to any TextMate user who syncs to the TextMate SVN repository.

Copy (or link) the bundle from Review/Bundles into Bundles and relaunch TextMate or Reload Bundles (under the Bundles menu), and voilà!, your copy of TextMate now supports many of Git’s version control features — in addition to every other open-source version management system on the planet.

Instructions for syncing from the TextMate SVN repository is available at the TextMate wiki.

TM Themes – A new repository of TextMate themes

TM Themes

I’ve been a hardcore TextMate user for over a year now and really can’t function without it. It’s an app we’ve covered a number of times.

One thing I really love about TextMate is how extendible/customizable it’s themes are. I’m a visual coder and having a theme that I can customize to my coding style really speeds up development for me.

The Macromates website has a pretty extensive theme gallery with downloads of dozens of themes but other than that, there isn’t much else out there in terms of “repositories” for themes.

Today a new site dedicated specifically to TextMate themes launched, called TM Themes.

Right now the collection is quite slim but once that is expanded it should be much easier to find themes you like. There’s a rating and comment feature built in also to help you narrow down the good from the bad.

Be sure to check out the site and upload any custom themes you’ve created!

TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac

It’s been covered here on TAB before, but not enough praise can be given to my text editor of choice, TextMate, which garners much appeal for its built-in extensibility thanks to Ruby. With that flexibility, though, comes a small feeling of overwhelming panic, like being five miles out in the ocean with nothing but a pair of water wings. Trying to wade through all its features without any guidance beyond developer Allan Odgaard’s in-program documentation is meshuga.

Fortunately for all of us, James Edward Gray II’s book TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac does a bang-up job of making even the most advanced TextMate functions accessible. Gray begins with simple topics like navigating the editing window, creating projects, and easy keystrokes — copy, paste, select all, etc. He wisely instructs his readers early in the book to learn keystrokes for as many commands as possible, but, at the same time, not to fill their memory with the lesser used ones at the expense of the others. Depending on the bundles one has active, TextMate could have as many as several hundred keystroke sequences available at any given time.

Before long, Gray moves into automation: what TextMate does best. Beginning with an introduction to some of the built-in bundles and how to use them, he soon shows us how to define snippets: blocks of text or programming code or bloggery that are automatically inserted whenever a given trigger is activated, like a built-in version of TextExpander, only more powerful.

From there, Gray does an excellent job of leading into macros, bundle editing, the built-in support tools, calling UNIX commands and Ruby scripts, and theme customization. TextMate doesn’t have a bundle for groff? Gray will show you how to build one.

While TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac doesn’t cover every aspect of TextMate, for less than 200 pages it is extremely efficient in providing readers with everything they need to know to accomplish approximately 99 percent of the tasks that TextMate can perform. The other one percent? You’ll just have to ask around on the TextMate community forum.

The old vi versus emacs text editor holy wars are still alive on the Mac in the form of BBEdit versus TextMate, and while TextMate has been called “emacs meets the Mac,” I was a staunch vim user until I met TextMate. I still keep vim around, but it’s collecting a lot of dust — especially since I read Gray’s excellent book that helped me develop all the snippets and keystroke preferences I needed in TextMate.

TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac retails for $29.95 USD / $41.95 CDN / £20.99 GBP / €29,00 EUR.