toast, history, sayonara

Fletcher T. Penney fletcher at
Thu Oct 20 14:44:08 EDT 2011

TextMate is a fantastic program, and I still use it for my programming text-editing needs. I don't really use it for writing MMD anymore, but that's just me. There will be a cross-section of users that fall into the target audiences for both, but I see TM and Composer as serving fundamentally different purposes. TM can do much (but not all) of what Composer does. Composer can only do a fraction of what TM does. My target audience consists of users who view that as a feature, and those who view TM as too complicated when all they want to do is write text documents using Markdown or MultiMarkdown.

The main problem with TM v1 is that the language definition files are somewhat limited. I had to jump through a lot of hoops to try and define the MMD language (and most of that was already done for Markdown by Michael Sheets.) I have abandoned working on the syntax matching aspects, because it's just not capable of doing it properly. It is perfectly capable of handling MMD in all other aspects however (generating previews, exporting LaTeX, etc).

I don't know if TM 2.0 will use a fundamentally different parser, and whether that parser will be capable of accurately defining a syntax such as Markdown. If so, then TM could be a perfectly good app for writing MD/MMD documents, and it would be more customizable than Composer for those who like to tinker with plugins and bundles.


Fletcher T. Penney
fletcher at

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