Monthly Archives: September 2010

VIM, TextMate and SublimeText #

In the past few days I’ve come across posts of several programmers switching back to VIM (in most cases, specifically to MacVim). As some have pointed out, this seems predominantly in the Ruby community, which tends to be fad-driven.

I’ve thought about giving VIM a shot. But I won’t end up doing it. The trouble is, my work has changed and I don’t get to program often. (It’s a shame, really.) The potential bump in productivity for switching just isn’t there, and I’d be left with just the headaches.

I really like TextMate, although I don’t use many of its features. (e.g., here) I’m just not programming often enough anymore to pick them up (or remember the ones I used to know), and because I don’t use one language consistently it’s typically not worth the bother of learning the snippets either (Although Zen HTML available for many editors, looks cool). I don’t need many changes (although some speedup would be nice), and development has stalled, with TextMate 2 almost taking on the status of vaporware. The developer is apparently hard at work, but the TM2 release date has become something of a programmers’ inside joke. (here and here)


My biggest complaint with TextMate is that I’d like to use a similar editing environment on the rare occasions I’m forced to use other operating systems (read: Windows). Enter SublimeText. It’s smart, it’s clean, it’s fast, and it’s compatible with TextMate themes and bundles. And, importantly, it’s stable and actively edited. My only complaint is its relatively steep price compared to other editors—but I think it’s worth it. The developer’s next project is making SublimeText cross-platform (must be a registered member to preview). I enjoy using SublimeText on the rare occasions I’m not tethered to Visual Studio. (If nothing else, it makes an exceptional Notepad replacement, as I’m constantly keeping lists and notes in plain text files.)

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WindowShade X and Parallels #

WindowShade X

I complained just over a year ago that Unsanity’s WindowShade X, a utility that provides better minimization options than just shoving more stuff in my dock did not yet have a working release for Snow Leopard. As it turns out, Unsanity released it seven month later (this past April, 2010)—hey guys, an email would have been nice.

Unfortunately, this is a paid upgrade, but as a previously registered user I was able to get 33% off ($5).

After months and months absolutely no word from Unsanity on the new version, I had given up, and wasn’t willing to give them money again. Several commenters on their infrequently updated blog wondered just how many customers Unsanity was losing by their silence. But WindowShade X is just too useful to me, so now I’m back—but still not impressed with their customer communication.


In the same post last year, I complained about Parallels. This past summer, I was able to get Parallels at a pretty good educational price, and thought I’d give it a try again. It’s still slower than my 9-year-old when’s he’s asked to do the dishes, and I don’t like how they’ve forced a re-skin of XP. If I go full-screen and stay away from my OS X apps, it’s not too horrible, but doing any switching back and forth is just asking for trouble. I just need to move everything my VirtualBox instance and not look back. My only frustration with doing that is that I won’t be able to access the VM files without loading VirtualBox; in Parallels, I have everything on a separate mounted partition, so I can move files back and forth without needing the VM running.

Hire Tom! Hire Tom!