Response to: [TxMt] UI - redistributing the density

Allan Odgaard throw-away-1 at
Fri Feb 10 02:49:45 UTC 2006

Thanks for the feedback regarding the UI of bundle items.

A few notes/comments/answers to issues brought up.

As for those who spoke against palettes and utility windows: I  
strongly dislike these things myself, so I definitely have no plans  
of changing to such an approach, more like offer users the ability to  
compose their own.

As for making the bundle item menu dynamic, that's also something  
which comes up from time to time, but also something I am strongly  
opposed to. I use functionality from many different bundles even with  
the same language, dynamic menus are confusing, and it already opens  
at the current language’s bundle (moving it up as a tool bar item may  
make this more apparent, and might allow having a stand-alone button  
which is only a short-hand to the “current” bundle, so that one  
doesn't have to move the mouse a few pixels).

As mentioned, I do indeed like the “search commands/snippets/macros”  
idea, and the addition of arguments sounds very useful. Currently  
this cannot be done as a plug-in, though while long-term this is  
likely going to be native, I do definitely want to move to a much  
more “open” architecture -- exactly what I mean by that will be more  
apparent as it happens (hopefully).

The “confusion” surrounding the Automation sub-menus: these are  
likely going to be removed. I don't ever use them anymore, and I  
don't know why people mention that they first search these, and then  
the gear menu -- the gear menu is the “new” way to present bundle  
items, and I have kept the old mainly because of the key equivalents  
leading to the bundle editor, and because there is a little to be  
said about having everything present in the top menus (though I do  
diverge from this with the tab and language settings).

The Text menu do indeed overlap slightly in scope with what bundle  
items hould be able to do (the transformations at the top), this is  
because the Text menu was there from day one, where there was close  
to no functionality written as bundle items.

As for not being able to remember the key equivalents, I would  
suggest reading the conventions I try to stick to, it might make it  
slightly easier to remember then (although not everything is  
following the conventions): 

As to not showing key equivalents in the gear menu for commands with  
a scope selector that doesn't match current scope, that would be a  
loss to me -- ideally though, they should be grayed out, when they  
can not be used, but that's not possible as long as the OS renders  
the menus.

As to “TextMate has so much functionality that is hidden”: I would  
suggest reading 
bundles#assorted_bundles for an overview -- and I would also ask you  
to consider how much of Quicksilver, Path Finder, Emacs, vim, the  
shell (terminal), your favorite programming language, etc. that you  
actually use? and despite the large portion of things you might not  
be using in TM, how much *do* you use compared e.g. to your previous  
text editor? Learning to use every single feature takes a certain  
type of person, and more importantly, it takes time -- I do think  
that some people may maybe have wrong expectations about how a  
program should be able to transform them into a superuser that master  
every single feature in short time :)

With the last paragraph I do not want to imply that TextMate is  
perfect, far from it, but I also have absolutely no ambition that  
users should be able to use 90% of its feature-set -- probably more  
like 20% (though I am regularly surprised about how much people  
actually do get out of the application).

Maybe that was the wrong paragraph to end with… just to make it  
clear: I do certainly appreciate people brainstorming about what's  
wrong/can be improved with TextMate, and I enjoy reading your feedback.

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