[TxMt] i-search in TextMate

Wayne Larsen wayne at larsen.st
Mon Nov 29 01:05:09 UTC 2004

On 28-Nov-04, at 6:00 PM, Allan Odgaard wrote:
> But maybe I'm overlooking something -- it would be nice to hear from 
> users of this feature why they see it as an advantage over normal 
> search.
> Speaking in general here, I don't mind implementing features that I 
> personally have no use for, but I do want to understand why others 
> have a use for the feature before implementing it! :)

Since this was my number one "missing feature", I think there's three 
reasons why implementing incremental search is important:

1. It's faster.  Yes, maybe you only have the find dialog box open for 
less than a second, but: "Ctrl-S + Partial search string" is always 
going to be faster than "Apple-F + Full Search String + Enter".  Also 
launching the dialog box occasionally takes a non trivial amount of 
time, particularly if the app has been swapped out.  Factor in people 
who type slower, or those people who search out that last little bit of 
efficiency and it makes a difference.

2. Launching a dialog box is unnecessary for this task -- sometimes the 
dialog box obscures text that I am using for reference.

3. Many apps are moving towards this style, and people may be used to 
this way of working.  As an emacs user, the incremental search style of 
working was ingrained into my usage patterns, and when beginning to use 
TextMate I was regularly frustrated with its absence.   In addition to 
emacs -- this style of search is now becoming default in apps, so more 
people may become used to this ability -- the isearch plugin for 
NSTextView, Firefox, iTunes, etc.  Better to give those addicted to 
isearch their fix, rather than have them look elsewhere, right?

That all said, I've largely gotten used to working without it.  Indeed 
other features of TextMate such as making use of code folding has 
replaced my constant use of isearch for jumping around within a file.  
But I still look forward to the day it gets added to TextMate!


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