Textmate Featured I'd Love

Here at 1530, we’re building most of our software using the Python/Django stack. We haven’t been using an IDE to speak of, we’ve been using Textmate. It’s a solid text editor with a lot of features like macros, basic intellisense and SCM support, among others.

One feature I really love is the support for tabs. Not a cutting edge feature, mind you, since almost every IDE and text editor out there has tabs. Since Textmate is really made for people who love to use the keyboard, you can select any tab you want by hitting Apple-<tab number>. While this is good, it’s kind useless in practice since after about 3 tabs, you not longer know the number of your tabs. So when you want to jump to a specific tab, you can either count to figure out the right number or use your mouse. Guess which one is less time consuming?

I would really love to see the tabs marked with numbers so that I know instantly which number to use for which tab. I know this runs out after the first 10, but at least you’d be able to jump to one of those first 10 easily. Besides, the keyboard shortcut only really works for the first 10 tabs anyway.

I was hoping this would be in the much anticipated Textmate 2.0. Unfortunately. it looks like development on 2.0 has stalled, so I’m probably not going to get my wish. Anyone else have any tips for easier tab navigation ( besides Option-Apple-Left/Right ) ?

"Typical" Software Development

Everyone working in software development has heard it at one point or another. The conversation usually goes like this:

You: “We don’t need X, that’s what Y is for”

Them: “Well, generally the way it works is that X is used for a while, and THEN Y is used. But if we need to what you said to move on, then that’s fine i guess.”

Or

You: “You know, we usually format our user stories like this”

Them: “Well typically user stories are this, but I’m still trying to figure out what you think they are.”

It’s frustrating to hear. Some people know how to do things and want to continue to do them their way because, frankly, that’s all they know. They think any divergence from what they know somehow makes what they’ve done in the past “wrong”. However, what they fail to understand is that there is no “typical” way to do software development. Every situation, every client and every project is different. They have different constraints, different egos and different expectations.

I’ve always thought that understanding the above is the difference between a ‘senior’ team member and a ‘junior’ one. Unfortunately, it seems like people have started to use years of experience as a measuring stick as opposed to maturity of their skills and traits. That’s a shame, because with lofty titles, people often become even more resistant to change and learning new things.

O'Reilly Releases RDF Metadata for their Titles

Some interesting news from O’Reilly yesterday. They decided to create a public interface to a RDF repository of describing all their titles. The interface is called the O’Reilly Product Metadata Interface. You can find it here.

This is pretty cool stuff. Hopefully, they’ll embrace the Linked Data movement and start to publish links back to other datasets across the internet. I can immediate see linking back to subjects and authors found in DbPedia or Freebase.