TextMate 39€ was the toughest application that I have used since I bought my PowerBook in January.
It was also the most “fun”, if you can call staying up into the early hours of the morning fascinated by the challenge of trying to use the application. I must stress that this isn’t anything to do with the application, it is my lack of development skills! I did an MSc in Information Systems Design and Management in the late ’80’s but I think most of what I learnt has dropped out of the old brain over the years.
In short, this isn’t an application for the novice, or even generally competent Mac user. I think that not only do you need to be a seriously skilled Mac user, but you also need to have a real need for the application.
I can’t say that I wasn’t warned though. The site has a great 8 minute video which gives a good tutorial/overview of how to use TextMate for blogging, which was what I was interested in, and the first thing that the site tells you is:
“Whether you are a programmer or a designer, the production of code and markup is hard work. Without an editor dedicated to the task, it is also often cumbersome, overwhelming, and repetitive. Especially when you are dealing with a lot of files at once — like most projects do. TextMate puts you back in control, reduces the mental overhead, and turns manual work into something the computer does.”
It then goes on to say;
“Created by a closet UNIX geek who was lured to the Mac platform by its ease of use and elegance, TextMate has been referred to as the culmination of Emacs and OS X and has resulted in countless requests for both a Windows and Linux port, but TextMate remains exclusive for the Mac, and that is how we like it!”
It has a very strong community of users, and a blog that is well populated with content with a good level of comments on each blog (which I always think is a good sign on a technically biased blog), and finding support and advice was really easy.
Installation, set up and help were all clearly laid out with the application, and I particularly liked the Bundles which grouped tasks related to specific actions e.g. Blogging, C’ compilation, Applescript etc. This later was particularly useful for me.
On the basis that I am no expert, I would stick my neck out and say that TextMate is a great product. It was way too good for me, but all the things that I look for in a good application where in evidence, and it did rewaken some brain cells.