Deckchairs & Doctypes Comments

Scribes, which I had previously mentioned in this post sure is cool. It’s basically like TextMate, only stripped down and sold for parts. Scribes is what’s left of TextMate when they’ve sold off the wheels and the in-dash DVD player, the espresso machine and the spinners. Scribes allows you to easily and cleanly define templates (there is also a set of standard templates of some use which is linked to from the Template editor, though strangely not included in the distributed application itself…) through which you can tab pretty much exactly as in TextMate.

There is also text completion, though this only kicks in after 3 or more characters. It works at all times, including within quotes or other delimiters. Speaking of delimiters, it also has auto-wrapping like TextMate, where if you select a section of text and type a quote (or parenthesis or other character) it will wrap the selected text with a matching character automatically.

There are hotkeys for indenting and outdenting lines, and a few different syntax highlighting options.

A few conveniences are missing, in my opinion. First, it’d be nice if it did minor completion on tings like language keywords. (like “function” in JavaScript or PHP… basically all the words it knows how to highlight) It would also be nice to have a little automatic code beautification, with auto-indenting and such. It’d be nice to have keyboard shortcuts for interfacing with the linux console the same way textmate can with various console utils on OSX.

All in all, I’m very impressed with this open source (call it Free, call it what you will…) product and look forward to further developments with open arms! You can bitch and moan all you want about missing features, but when it’s free and works well, you’ve got no legs to stand on.

I keep meaning to get around to writing up a tutorial on how to write an SEO-compatible ajax ratings widget (per the one I wrote for point.com) but as of yet simply haven’t had time. No, I’m far too busy reading bash.org and watching Danny Deckchair, a decent Aussie comedy that made me and the missus chuckle quite a bit. Interestingly, I just wikied it and discovered it was inspired by an actual incident involving a man flying for a good distance on a lawn chair. Funny story for the most part, particularly some of the info under “Arrest and Notoriety”. Sad page, however, as it notes his suicide as well.

Time for me to watch some video on Hobo and then sleep!


  1. Karen
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Oh good, so you are going to let us all in on your secret rating thing. I like it so much, but I can’t think of anywhere I can use it yet. It makes me tempted to ask people to rate random things, like grammar, originality, cheekiness. Yeah, if I had a rating widget, I’d put it everywhere.

    I was wondering why your post was called Deckchairs & Doctypes. I’ll have to check that movie out 🙂

  2. Posted May 9, 2007 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Sorry again about the wait! I did finally get my Mobilator plugin almost finished (try visiting thynctank.com on a mobile phone or PDA to see the current state of things) so I am moving. And hooyip is coming along. There’s actually a couple things that need fixing/tweaking with the ratings widget so as soon as I have a moment (I should today) I’m gonna write the first post in a series on ratings widgetology.

    As a matter of fact I may write a ratings widget plugin for WP (if none of the existing ones are up to my standards) based on the exact combination of technology present in the tutorial. I need ajax but also need the ability to fall back on old-school web tech and the niceness of having the stars shine even when the lights are out. (when JavaScript is turned off, as it’s a CSS effect)

    Longest comment on the blog? I think so, so far!

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