[TxMt] elusive key bindings & UI confusion

Mats Persson mats at imediatec.co.uk
Tue Jun 14 09:13:13 UTC 2005

On 14 Jun 2005, at 03:40, Allan Odgaard wrote:
> I'm not sure if it's the actual UI of the bundle editor you find  
> complicated, or the amount of (default) stuff in the bundle editor?  
> As for the latter, Mats suggested that TM should ship with only a  
> couple of languages enabled by default, and then let the View ->  
> Language have a “More languages…” option that'd take the user  
> directly to the filtering prefernce.

Although I may be wrong here, but I think I also proposed a Firefox  
type Extensions system that when a new user activates TM for the  
first time, it provides a nice GUI for deciding what bundles are  
needed (beyond a few default ones). ie:  in Ben's case he would have  
a "Web Developer" section where the available bundles would be listed  
together with a brief info about them and so on. That way he would  
download/install the required bundles and nothing more. This feature  
would obviously also support notification of new updates, etc etc.  
but I'll leave that for another discussion.

Note to Allan:  bundles in TM.app should NOT be activated, but once a  
bundle is activated by user, they are copied to AppSupp/TM/ together  
with the default's

On 14 Jun 2005, at 02:52, Ben Parzybok wrote:
> TextMate is feeling complicated to me these days, at least for the  
> work that I do (php/css/html/mysql/js). I'm not sure if it's  
> because I'm unused to the new bundle architecture, that I'm using  
> the latest betas, or it really is complicated. But it's gotten to  
> the point that I'd like to bring up the topic. Perhaps TextMate is  
> moving toward more of a higher end development tool -- I see a lot  
> of latex (which I believe is a type of paint...) and other  
> languages that are not so front-end web developer-ish, and if so  
> then that's how it is. I would be sad, however. I can see how it's  
> getting tremendously more powerful...it's just trying to keep up  
> that appears difficult.

Ben raises a very good and valid point. However, I would like to  
counter it with a few important points.

1.    TextMate's / Allan's flaw right now is a version handling  
issue. There should ideally be two versions of TM the official (TM  
1.1b5)  and the developers (TM 1.1b12) version, and only a small  
subset of people should be aware of the dev version. Unfortunately  
Allan has 'lost' a bit of control over this lately partly through a  
few errors on his behalf, but mainly through the actions of 3rd  
parties.  This has happened even though he tried to control things.  
As a result of this, more users are using an incomplete, unrefined  
version of TM than should be.

To put it in context for Ben and others, Allan's clients (we) are  
using and finding problems with an uncompleted project, and I think  
Allan has personally handled all of this really well ! I doubt many  
of us would want our clients to use/'complain' about incomplete  
projects. I certainly wouldn't like it !!

2.    Many of the problems found in using TM today relate back to a  
lack of documentation/information. If you could find an answer about  
things easily, reliably and quickly then it would not be a problem in  
the first place. That is why I (and others ?) are trying to help  
Allan get a better documentation system going, so please be patient,  
or even better begin to help us out. (apply within for vacant position )

3.    With great extensibility and functionality comes complexity.  
The challenge is how to handle that complexity and make it easy for  
end users. The problem we all face (as developers) is that we  
understand our project deeply, whereas our clients/others don't.  
That's why constructive comments like Ben's are so valuable to us  
all. For Allan and us other that have been informed about it, "Change  
filtering..." makes sense, to newcomers it doesn't.

4.    Yes, if you are living on the bleeding edge, then there will be  
some price to pay for it. Considering the number of changes,  
improvements, new features etc. etc. that Allan has added into TM  
since 1.0 it's absolutely amazing from both a speed and numbers  
perspective. That rapid change is in my book very good, and why I  
like TM and admire Allan's work style.  But if it's not for you, then  
downgrade or freeze at your current version until the next official  
version is released and you find the required documentation.

Kind regards,


"TextMate, coding with an incredible sense of joy and ease"
- www.macromates.com -

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