TextMate's new blogging bundle

by Giles Turnbull

For most of Allan Odgaard's screencast demonstrating the new blogging bundle in TextMate, what you see is more of the same clever innovation and smart thinking we've all come to expect from Macromates.


But round about the seven minute mark comes the bit that made me break out in a delighted grin, because that's the moment where Allan drags an image into a TextMate blog file and boom - the image is uploaded to the right place on the right server, and a reference to it automatically created in the document. In Markdown. Amazing.

The blogging bundle, maintained by Brad Choate, works with Movable Type, Wordpress, Drupal and Typo weblogs.


2006-06-20 10:26:14
Ah, yet another feature which takes TM closer to the kind of editor you can "live inside" (this can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. In my case, I'll have to wait for a Blogger interface, but I'm not worried, if it doesn't happen, I'll hack at it myself.

The deeper observation I can draw on this topic is that the idea of a CSS-like command bundle extensibility which Allan has built into TM must be one of the best approaches to software extensibility in general.

No, I'm not going to start talking about the "other" great editors out there, but TM is harnessing a kind of enthusiastic free-software community one wouldn't expect from a closed-source application, particularly on a Mac. And none of the other native Mac editors out there have grown or are likely to grow at this pace. This has a lot to do with the kind of Unix "crossover" we're seeing with OS X's Unix underpinnings, of course, but it might have a lot to do with a kind of social evolution which might lead to a more hybrid, less waterproof distinction between "free" and "proprietary" software.

2006-06-20 15:43:58
Similar to what's happening now with TextMate on OS X, was there some hyper-enthusiastic period of time with BBEdit in pre-X days that helped it gain and sustain popularity? I don't know for sure since I hardly used Mac OS before X and definitely wasn't part of the Apple/Mac "community".
2006-06-21 05:51:16
"was there some hyper-enthusiastic period of time with BBEdit in pre-X days that helped it gain and sustain popularity?"

I've been using BBEdit for at least 10 years. I don't recall any particular thing that put them in the forefront of Mac editors. I think it's just been good progress and a good attitude over the long haul. A lot of BBEdit's earlier competitors (Alpha comes to mind) just dropped by the wayside.

2006-06-21 07:28:58
BBEdit? Well, that was a bit before my time. But I believe Mac culture was different then - and programming itself was not seen as the common, casual practice it is in the Unix world (which might explain BBEdit's price-tag). The very idea of extensible software seems to have been inherited from the Unix world, or at least, from the free software community.
2006-06-21 13:48:43
BBEdit never had any serious competition before TextMate. That's subjective, of course, but Apple's MPW faded years ago, Alpha was always geekier-than-thou in its approach, and Pepper, a port of a BeOS editor, never took off on the Mac for a variety of reasons. Even so, BBEdit has been developed for close to two decades now, and it shows -- in a mostly good way. It got its reputation by kicking everybody else's butt for years.

Having said that, I own TM, too, and I think its extensible design is -- for reasons Kamen already got into -- a real winner in this field. My favorite editor off the Mac is (gasp) Emacs, and TM has a lot of Emacs' power with much less of the pain.

Now to see if I can modify Mr. Choate's blogging bundle to do LiveJournal sometime...