Using Textmate With Firefox

Since I’ve been using Firefox as my main browser one thing has been bugging the hell out of me; textareas (like for comments on blogs). In some cases when your lines start wrapping a weird visual thing starts happening, the last few letters of each line scrunch together and you don’t see some others, the cursor is also misplaced and you can never be sure if you are at the end of the line or not.

It doesn’t happen all the time so I think it has to do with resized textareas, either through css or javascript. When writing longer comments I have taken to writing in my favorite editor, Textmate, and then cuting and pasting to the textarea. Kind of anoying.

And then last night I came upon this awesome trick where you can now link Firefox with Textmate and take out the step of cutting and pasting. The FF bug is still there but since I also like writing in TM, having this tip makes it just easier enough to become a feature ;). I know, not that big a deal but saving clicks here and there is how you save time and get into a better flow of doing things.

The only thing I’d add to the post is that if you are a keyboard navigation fan like me, make sure you configure a hotkey in Mozex, associated with the textarea/Textmate link. In my case I’ve configured Apple+Shift+T which switches me to Textmate and opens a blank file. I type my text, hit Ctrl+S which saves, tab back to Firefox and there you go, the text has been transfered and the comment is ready to submit.


aj February 5, 2007

computers make life so much easier ;)

Amazing that, what is it now, 10 years into the WWW revolution and the whole thing still falls down over basic things like forms and textareas?

I wonder, to what degree is this a question of nonstandard coding hitting a half-implemented browser function, or vice versa?

In the end, whatever religious arguments you can make for standards etc. behind the scenes, the user just needs it to work reliably and consistently. Though it may stick in the craw of some, an intelligently designed Flash form might be more consistent, in some ways, than cleverly coded AJAXy stuff…or am I off base?

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