The Bar Has Been Raised

2009-October-16th

One of the things I do on a very regular basis with my computers, all of them, is processing text. I write blog entries, essays, and code for various things in Windows, Mac System 7, and in Linux, and if I had any more modern Macs, those machines would be doing heavy text processing as well. Traditionally, my strategy has been to pick a single text processing application, regardless of how complicated that application is, and use it for everything I do. It has worked out because in the past, I've had far less diverse text processing requirements. Typically I was doing a lot of blog entries, writing my NaNoWriMo Novel, or just generally working on an essay for a class.

One, then, of the most annoying things about writing, is the fact that the environment is different on every computer, and recently as I haven't been able to simply use my own computer in all situations, it has been an important search for me to try to find some way to do my writing in such a way that any computer I sit down at, I'll be able to do everything I need. How does someone achieve a goal like that? One thing I had tried has been to use tacgnol as my word processing computer. How does that work, you ask? Pretty awesomely actually, since I'm always on SSH anyway. I can either open another SSH session, or I can use screen to switch back and forth between the chats I am having, TTYtter, and whatever I am working on in the world of writing.

This is great because I can use any terminal app on any machine that's connected to the Internet. But what if I want to start writing something when I'm not connected to the Internet, or what if I want to write locally on one of my machines, but I want to retain my overall file format. Additionally, the fact of the situation is that I have a really nice mobile computer for which I did pay a really nice amount of money, and to be doing most if not all of my actual computation on a Remote Pentium III, which makes sense for some things, but I suppose the question is "If I wanted to do all of my computing on a console, why didn't I get a linux computer to begin with?" Which is why I'm really into the idea of bringing some of my writing back to my Windows environments.

One of the things I considered doing was using notepad or another Windows text editor to just start writing things in plain text, but compared to Microsoft Word, I hadn't found any text editors that are nice enough, both on the eyes and in functionality, even compared with simply using nano on an SSH session.

Today, John Gruber linked to a great text editor that he says looks as though it may be a good competitor to some of the many great editors available on Mac OS X. The application is called Sublime Text, and I'd say that's approximately how it's to be described. It's pretty well sublime. It features an overview mode a lot like Microsoft Word'07 does, and it's full screen mode is really quite cool. It looks like it has a lot of advanced functionality for working with multiple documents and stuff like that, however I'll admit I'm not actually interested in most of that, as much as having a pretty simple text processing solution.

I will continue looking at Sublime Text, but I think I shall also start looking at other text editors I can use, and even just ways to spiff up a few other editors that are around. None of them (like TextPad, for example) are particularly bad, just that I haven't wanted to use them before.

The other thing I will need/want to look at is a way to synchronize the Blog folder I have on Tacgnol with that of SuperSlab but the question in that case is one of whether or not that's even necessary, or a good idea.