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“TextMate’s Undo, and the New Editor Wars”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Friday, November 10, 2006 12:18:03 PM Replies: 1
   
Enclosures: None.

Erik Barzeski on TextMate’s Undo

Recently I conducted another of these experiments. I got so far as trying to modify one of the files in the theme I use on this site. I typed a line or two, uploaded the changes, and realized I'd edited the wrong file. I hit cmd-Z to undo and… yeah. TextMate users know what I found. Undo only "undoes" one character at a time.

I love it. Why do I love it? Check out this snippet from a chat I had with Greg back in July:

Seth:
You had seven items. BBEdit can already do 6.5 of them, almost exactly the same way that TM does it. BBEdit's problem is that they don't present their features very well.
Greg:
y.
Seth:
Actually, 5.5 of them. Their prefs are certainly more complex than TM's. They can reduce them, but they can't eliminate them.
Greg:
i'm not surprised
Seth:
I can't stand TM's undo feature, though. Undoing one character at a time is nuts.
Seth:
At least you can hold it down for fast repeat.

All that just to point out that I've felt exactly the same way for a long time.

There's way more to this story, though. Erik's post touched off another battle in the editor wars, which have raged for decades. Unfortunately for Erik, it doesn't seem that he knew people would get so fired up about it. (See the comments on Erik's page.)

Allan, TextMate's creator, responded there on the site. As did a zillion other people. Back and forth, back and forth. Someone named MJD said:

Something that really turns me off TextMate is the way Allan Odgaard is constantly attacks BBEdit, Barebones, and Rich Siegel. There is no need for it. Especially the attacks on Rich. Try standing on the merits of your own program rather than belittling another.

Allan and his friend Jacob Rus both denied that Allan has attacked BBEdit, Bare Bones, or Rich.

Has anybody read Allan's weblog's version of an acceptance speech for his Apple Design Award? You could say this is his definitive link, it's where he tells the story of winning the award — an award which is a huge honor for any mac developer. In it, he points to a picture of himself that also happens to include a man getting sick, and he says, "no, the guy getting sick is not Mr. Siegel."

I know of plenty of other little bashes on BBEdit, Bare Bones, and Rich. Some published, some not, but that comment in his weblog post is probably the most telling. It looks to this outsider like Allan wants TextMate to succeed almost as much as he wants BBEdit to fail and Rich to be hurt somehow.

Allan: the mac platform is doing well, but the developer community is still pretty small. You have to assume that if you say something, it's going to be quoted and re-quoted. Is your business plan really based around mocking Rich, claiming that Bare Bones is just a sales-oriented company that contracts out all the hard work, and poking fun at other independent developers?

OK, I'm tired of this battle already. It's time for this code monkey to climb back into his tree and finish the next language module.

(Note: please see the BBEdit Disclaimer.)


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