[TxMt] Re: Projects in TM2 Wikipage

Max Lein realoreocookie at gmx.de
Wed Feb 22 17:33:51 UTC 2012

> On 22.02.2012, at 17:45, Allan Odgaard wrote:
>> I did give specific examples from another field. Perhaps you're not familiar with digital photography (it's a serious hobby of mine), but apps like Aperture and Lightroom have seriously improved the workflow of people who are serious about photography. Adding a layer of abstraction was key here. 
> That might be, but editing photos is a very different thing than editing text. The former works well as thumbnails, the latter does not, the former (generally) have auto-generated (non-sensical) names, the latter does not. I fail to see how a parallel can be drawn here wrt. managing the files on disk.

There are differences, but there are also parallels: just like in Aperture, I have versions of files (managed in git repositories). Sometimes I want to recover old text from older versions and I need to use 3-4 apps to do that (TextMate, some graphical git utility, FileMerge and in some cases, the command line). If I could browse my git repository as in modern git clients such as Gitbox, that would cut one app out of the equation, for instance. 

>> Projects were the reason why TextMate 1 did revolutionize my TeX workflow (I used to use TeXShop before which back then could only handle one file at a time) […]
> Are your latex files spread across different folders? If so, why? 

Yes, they are spread across different folders. 
Unless the project is very, very small, I split the tex project into many files. That is essential when collaborating on a project. Even though I know what git is and how to merge files, most of my co-workers do not and it is simply easier to agree by mail/phone/skype that they work on section A while I work on section B. 

There are »global« configuration files I reuse. For instance, I have one single bibliography file, for otherwise I would have to maintain one for each project. If, for instance, I need to fix a typo in a reference, I need to edit only one file and then recompile all tex master files which use that reference. The same goes for general settings (packages, fonts, ), custom macros (e. g. >100 »global« custom math commands), etc. 

The actual file layout depends very much on the coworkers I have. Some are very old school (think vi, not even vim) and still insist on manual line breaks in the code! They think that using UTF8 is an extravagance I have (hence, I appreciate the encoding settings in the .tmproperties file). Others are more flexible. 

Hence, it was very nice for me to organize my files in a TextMate Project according to my needs and preferences without touching the file layout which is often determined by other people. I prefer putting the master tex file on top, then followed by the log, a virtual folder content which contains all section/chapter files + appendix, a virtual folder supplemental where I put »links« bibliography + settings files. Very often, I'd either work on content or presentation, and I can collapse whatever virtual folder I don't need to see. This reduces visual clutter. With virtual foldes I mean folders that exist only within the TextMate Project, but not on the file system. In that sense, TextMate 1 allows me to use my preferred layout and sorting independently of the actual file layout which I may not have control over. It goes without saying that renaming files so that the lexicographical order corresponds to the logical order is usually a big no-no in collaborative efforts. 

Overall, a typical project consists of ~7 »local« files (~5 section files, an appendix and 1 master file), 4 »non-local« files (bibliography, 3 setting files) plus all the files xelatex, pdflatex, bibtex and biber generate. With local I mean they are located in the project's directory while non-local files reside somewhere else in the filesystem. 

BTW, I also use the »filesystem mode« in TextMate 1, but only for lectures and stuff where I would frequently generate new files. There, it is just easier to have TextMate read the whole directory rather than add new files by hand to a project. 

Part of the power of TextMate 1 is that I can use whichever paradigm (project or filesystem) I prefer in a given situation. I hope this gives you a better idea on how I work with projects. 

>>> … ?comparisons added for effect? (like Windows Explorer and BBEdit). 
>> I have not added these comparisons for effect.
> What purpose does it serve to state that a feature is “Windows Explorer-style”?

… because I remember that the Windows Explorer sorts files and folder this way, that's all. It was not intended as some underhanded remark to taint TextMate 2 by comparing it to Windows. You can browse files with both, so I think the comparison is apt. The analogy is even more clear with BBEdit: I'm asking for a feature that one popular browser has and TextMate doesn't. 

>>> Overall your writings include too much rhetoric (like ?useless? and ?revolutionized?) and
>> This is not rhetoric, and I do not use these words lightly.
> What purpose does it serve to state that a feature is useless?

I wanted to tell you that I can't figure out how to use the feature and what it is supposed to do. I thought I could move frequently used files there, but dragging and dropping from one TextMate window to another didn't work, for instance. Adding links to the Favorites folder in the Finder and then opening them didn't occur to me. Even knowing that now, I think it'd be faster and easier to either drag & drop a whole folder from the Finder onto TextMate, to use the command line to open a folder or to use the File > Open Recent menu. 

I apologize if you find »useless« is a little harsh and I should have used a less absolute formulation, but I can say Favorites is useless to me at this point and judging from the discussions on this mailing list, there are others who also didn't quite understand what they are supposed to do with Favorites. 

In any case, it's a minor thing to me since I can always ignore the feature if I don't use it. 


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