Well, OK, TextMate is a pretty good text editor. I’ve paid for it. I’m sure it has raised the bar for text editing apps, in some areas. But it has a few annoyances which grate against me, time after time. I’ll list my top two annoyances only.

1) Tab and shift-tab to indent / unindent.

Tab should indent, and shift-tab should unindent.  Especially if I have text highlighted already.  Please do not delete my selected text and replace with a tab character!  I realize cmd-[ and cmd-] are available for this feature, but forgive me, I am used to almost all text editors in Windows getting this right.  Even when using TextMate’s chosen key binding, indent and unindent don’t work properly when only a portion of a line is highlighted.

2) Drag and drop a file won’t open in a new tab.

If I drag and drop a file onto the TextMate icon in my dock, TextMate will open the file… in a new window.  Every time.  TextMate does support tabs, just doesn’t make it easy to get a file to open in one!  I know, I will drop the file into the TextMate window that I already have open.  Then for sure TextMate will realize that I want to open this file as a new tab in that window.  Wait, what just happened?  You pasted the entire contents of my dropped file in the middle of the file I already had open?  Really, TextMate?  That’s what you thought I wanted to do?

I found a few people on the internet who agree with me.  Pete, Nick, and Sam.

TextMate is not alone.

For some reason, 90% of all text editors I’ve seen on the Mac can’t get these things right.  For some reason, 90% of text editors I’ve used in Windows get this right.  There is a lot to like in TextMate, but these things (and a few others) are constantly impeding my productivity.

In case you care, here are two text editors I really like in Windows.  ConText, which is lightweight, powerful, and free.  And Sublime Text, which is everything that TextMate is, could be, and should be.  There is no question Sublime Text was inspired by TextMate, it even shares the same syntax coloring theme file format.  Sublime Text is also free… to try.  No time limit or crippled functionality, though.  You can purchase Sublime Text for a similar price as TextMate, except that I felt like it is worth every penny.  I will probably be purchasing VMWare Fusion soon so I can use Sublime Text to edit all my files on my Mac.

Update, July 2011:  Sublime Text is now cross platform, and runs great on OS X!  See my updated post about Sublime Text on OS X.

Did you know you can use CCalc to derive pi?  Of course CCalc already includes the variable “pi” which is accurate to 100+ decimal places, but what fun is there in that?  We will use the infinite series discovered by 14th century mathematician and astronomer Madhava of Sangamagrama.  The first series does not converge very quickly (takes almost 300 terms to get pi to two decimal places):

So we will use this variant, which converges much faster.

To use CCalc to test this out, first set up the initial conditions:

k=0; p=sqrt(12)

Then enter the line which will be calculated repeatedly:

k=k+1; p=p+sqrt(12)*((-3)^(-k))/(2*k+1)

Then hold down enter for a few seconds, and watch p converge towards Pi!

> k=0; p=sqrt(12)
p = 3.464101615137754587054893

> k=k+1; p=p+sqrt(12)*((-3)^(-k))/(2*k+1)
p = 3.079201435678004077382127
p = 3.15618147156995417931668
p = 3.137852891595680345522739
p = 3.142604745663084672802649
p = 3.141308785462883492635401
p = 3.141674312698837671656933
p = 3.141568715941784242161824
p = 3.14159977381150583907215
p = 3.141590510938080099642754
p = 3.141593304503081513121461
p = 3.141592454287646300323594
p = 3.141592715020379765581606
p = 3.141592634547313881242713
p = 3.141592659521713638451335
p = 3.141592651733997585128217
p = 3.141592654172575339199092
p = 3.141592653406165187919674
p = 3.141592653647826046431202
p = 3.141592653571403381773711
p = 3.141592653595634958372427
p = 3.141592653587933449530975
p = 3.141592653590386522717512
p = 3.141592653589603627019681
p = 3.141592653589853940610144
p = 3.141592653589773774819734
p = 3.141592653589799488375148
p = 3.14159265358979122886947
p = 3.141592653589793885435624
p = 3.141592653589793029931269
p = 3.141592653589793305749613
p = 3.141592653589793216728878
p = 3.141592653589793245489423
p = 3.141592653589793236188749
p = 3.141592653589793239199112
p = 3.141592653589793238223924
p = 3.141592653589793238540081
p = 3.141592653589793238437506
p = 3.141592653589793238470809
p = 3.141592653589793238459989
p = 3.141592653589793238463507
p = 3.141592653589793238462362
p = 3.141592653589793238462735
p = 3.141592653589793238462614
p = 3.141592653589793238462653
p = 3.141592653589793238462640
p = 3.141592653589793238462644
p = 3.141592653589793238462643

I was motivated recently to get one of my favorite softwares, Sublime Text, running on OS X using Wine, which can run many Windows programs on other platforms, such as Linux or OS X.

I became aware of Wine Bottler, which makes it super easy get Wine running on OS X. I decided to try Console Calculator using Wine, and it works!

I’ve only noticed one quirk so far. For some reason, the text-color setting does not work, and text is always black. Unfortunately, by default, the background color is also black, so when CCalc first fires up, the screen looks blank! All you have to do is change the background color to non-black. Oh yeah, and transparency doesn’t work. No surprise there.

Now I just have to figure out a way to use Wine Bottler to wrap this in a nice OS X application… currently I have only launched from Wine using the File Manager to launch ccalc.exe.

Share your CCalc using Wine experiences!

I’ve just posted an update to the OS X version of CCalc. I’ve added a menu to access settings for display base and degree / radians mode. The OS X version is still nowhere near as feature-complete as the Windows version, but it is certainly quite functional.

Probably the next feature I will add is the previous entry history support. When there’s time.

OS X download is available on the CCalc downloads page.

  • New feature: Financial display mode option (never uses SCI notation).
  • New feature: Change display base and degree mode in bottom status bar.
  • Fixed launch problem on certain systems, “This application has failed to start…”
  • (2010-01-16)