[TxMt] Re: Writing a Book with TextMate

John Laudun jlaudun at mac.com
Fri Jun 6 13:20:25 UTC 2008

I *am* writing my current book in TextMate. I won't claim that my way  
of doing it is *the* way, only the way that I am doing it.

First, let me say that you'd be a fool not to look at Scrivener. It's  
a great app. I just about bought it myself, but I had

(1) already spent enough money on trail of the word processing grail


(2) begun to imagine myself enough of a geek to go it on my own (e.g.,  
I already had a way to play QT files from within textmate)

I did, however, copy some ideas from Scrivener, as you'll see in the  
layout of my project folder:

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: tm-boats.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 22071 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.macromates.com/textmate/attachments/20080606/d196fa69/attachment.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------

(For those who don't want the JPG:



As you can see, the book is about boats -- crawfish boats in south  
Louisiana (if you want to see a picture, there's one on the front page  
of my website: http://johnlaudun.org/) -- and it's a nonfiction work  
with different enough, to my mind, kinds of research that I have it  
broken out into simply research and fieldwork. The tilde (~) puts  
things at the top of Finder windows, but the bottom of TextMate  
project drawers. (I don't care, as long as the part where I'm doing  
writing is easy to find. I use MSS, for manuscript, instead of draft,  

Most of the mss texts, as you can see, are in Markdown, but that's  
really MultiMarkdown. I haven't begun to experiment with footnotes  
just yet -- I'm still early enough in the drafting process that I can  
play with reference schema -- and Fletcher's footnote implementation  
is tenuous. (I'm taking a look at Maruku right now, to see if there's  
anything to learn there.)

I have heard the siren call of LaTeX several times now over the years,  
but I just can't bring myself to do it. I like being able to share my  
plain text files with non-markup-aware clients and colleagues and that  
I can then generate RTF files out of them, which is all publishers  
want. (Most will also take Word documents, but an increasing number  
are going back to RTF, precisely because of having to deal with Word's  
noting system is such a pain.)

So there are writers who write with TextMate -- check out the  
impressive ScreenMate some time! -- but I don't know if there's any  
consensus. I, for one, wish I could go from MMD texts to RTF or PDF  
with headers and/or footers, but I haven't found a convenient way yet  
-- and I keep forgetting to see if I can get Prince working on my MBP.

I hope that helps.


More information about the textmate mailing list