[TxMt] Re: Changing cursor position from command

Allan Odgaard throw-away-1 at macromates.com
Wed Feb 14 08:17:06 UTC 2007

On 14. Feb 2007, at 01:52, Juan wrote:

> The point it is impossible to build a recursive scope in HTML.  In  
> HTML, for example, if your are inside a nested tag and you press ^- 
> Opt-B one time, to times, three times, etc, you will get _all_ your  
> source selected.  Never at the third (etc) level out in the nesting.

That has to do with how the grammar has been made, i.e. it does not  
mark up a tag pair as its own element, and thus cannot be selected  
via ⌃⌥B -- something we do consider improving (in the HTML  
grammar). At least it will be updated for the 2.0 grammar features.

> I like a lot TM, I can assure you, for many reasons.  But I don't  
> understand why the main problems are so tabued.

They are not -- but you seem to have just the one goal of repeating  
the need for an API, but without being concrete in what you need from  

The need for an API has already been acknowledged, but there are a  
lot of considerations before opening up the innards of TM. Embedding  
a Ruby interpreter and implementing a carbon copy of Alpha’s API (as  
what seems to be your suggestion) is certainly not how I want to  
tackle it.

You also overlook the power of declarative abstractions, which is one  
of the fundamental advantages in TM. Solving problems with code is  
often counterproductive to finding new and better abstractions, and  
the abstractions, when done right, buys you much more long-term.

Example: TextMate uses a declarative system for language grammars,  
some people have pointed out limitations in this system which would  
not exist if each bundle author could just write his own parser. But  
if you look at how many languages TM support, and how good it  
actually does support them, you should find that TM generally does a  
*much* better job than competing editors with binary parsers -- not  
only that, but because everything is declarative, one grammar can  
easily include another, and 2.0 will be able to use existing grammars  
for completely new features, like the scope injection mentioned on  
this list. This would be *completely* impossible, had each bundle  
author written his language parser as code.

So there is no taboo -- when people are not jumping on the bandwagon  
it is likely because they do not think that it is as serious a  
problem as you make it out to be. Adding an API gives us a little  
more power, adding new abstractions (like attributes and dynamic  
scopes) will give us a lot! Did HTML gain the most from CSS or  
JavaScript? While they are different things for different purposes,  
the CSS abstraction IMO added immensely more value to crafting web  

Another thing I should mention: The way you open up a Mac application  
for scripting is via the Open Scripting Architecture, yes,  
AppleScript is slow and just plain sucks. But wait, isn’t there a  
lot of rumors about RubyOSA, PyObjC, etc. being included in Leopard?  
Maybe we should hold off embedding that Ruby interpreter, and see if  
using the platform-recommended way will not give us more long-term  
advantages ;)

DISCLAIMER: Don’t read too much into the above, I am still evaluating.

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