[TxMt] Navigation across source code files

Trevor Harmon trevor at vocaro.com
Fri Aug 22 15:34:40 UTC 2008

Hi all,

I recently joined a small Java development team. Everyone here is  
using Eclipse, and I'm the only TextMate user. They're all ganging up  
on me, trying to make me switch to Eclipse. And I must say they do  
have a point: For Java development, Eclipse is simply a more  
productive environment than TextMate. It can do some truly amazing  
code completion and refactoring acrobatics, and debugging is simply a  
matter of setting a breakpoint and hitting the Go button. The complete  
feature list is here:


Now, I realize that TextMate is an agnostic text editor and not a Java  
IDE, so I can forgive the lack of debugger integration. And some of  
the simpler code completion stuff might be replicated with the right  
snippet or macro. But there is one feature in Eclipse of which I am  
green with jealousy: navigation across source code files.

For example, you can put the cursor over a variable, class name, or  
whatever, then hit F3 to automatically navigate to wherever it is  
declared. You can instantly jump from a method invocation to its  
implementation, for example. You can also easily navigate across  
complex class hierarchies, jumping from a class definition to its  
parent, then its grandparent, and so on.

This is so much quicker and easier than anything TextMate provides for  
project navigation. The closest thing I could find was TmCodeBrowser,  
but it only works on a single file. It's kind of useless for projects  
like mine with several hundred classes.

Have there been any attempts at creating a TextMate bundle or plugin  
that would allow the kind of source code navigation I'm looking for?  
If not, does anyone have some suggestions on how I would go about  
writing my own? (It would be nice to have some kind of generic  
framework for this feature, since it would apply to almost any  
language in TextMate, not just Java.)


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