Editors and iPodding

So I've been experimenting with different Mac OS editors, trying to decide what editor was going be my companion for the upcoming novel escapade in November. I had been assuming that Bare Bones Edit was the way to go, but a few new choices have blipped my radar.

At the moment I'm writing in TextMate, which was just released this week and has a lot of the Mac world all aflutter. It seems like it's aimed pretty squarely at Bare Bones as a code/markup editor and has a lot of neat HTML features. For instance, hitting option-command-period will scan back through the text and auto-close whatever the last open HTML tag is. That's pretty cool - even for a HTML level 1 scrub like your author. Anyway, we'll see how I like it. It's much less expensive than BBEdit, so if I decide it's close - it's less than one-third the price.

Another one that I've been playing with CopyWrite which I saw a pointer to from the NANOWRIMO site CopyWrite is different in that it's directly aimed at authors, so it focuses on supporting separate docs for character descriptions, places descriptions, etc. It also has some sort of odd built-in version control, which is probably just in the way for me.

I hear the crowd out there asking "What about a "real" word processor? Well here's the scoop. I don't currently have Microsoft Office on the Mac and I pretty much hate MS Word anyway. My original plan for a Office suite was to use Open Office. I had pretty much switched from using MS to Open Office on my Windows PCs. The thing is . . . the Mac version isn't really very good. Basically there isn't a native Aqua OS X version, it's the Linux version. So it's XWindows, which isn't intrinsically a problem per se but has some fit and finish issues. The worst offense in my mind is that the fonts are just fubared. I'm not sure what the issue there is, I haven't tried any other X app, but it's a far cry from the anti-aliased goodness the Mac normally produces. Additionally, it's all linux keymaps, which is understandable, but a cognitive dissonance - If I want to copy from a web page and paste into a OO doc I hit Command-C to copy the text, but Ctrl-V to paste it. Maybe I could remap that, but it just ends up being clunky. And you have to start the X system in order to launch the app, and close it when you're done. It just adds up to a un-Mac-like experience.

Yesterday I grabbed Ipodder and have been checking that out. (Ipodder is available for Windows, BTW) Super-short form is it's RSS for audio - with a dash of BitTorrent for handling the bandwidth involved. The slick bit is you feed it regular subscription URL's but it downloads MP3's, creates an iTunes playlist and stuffs the files in that playlist. So basically you start up iPodder, let it run in the background for a bit and then plug up your iPod and you get the songs/shows/whatever autotransferred onto your iPod. At the moment I'm listening to "The Rock and Roll Geek Show" done by some guy in SF - it's basically internet radio but delivered by subscription to your portable. Of course the value of it all depends in whether they get good content and a decent aggregator, but it's certainly a neat idea.

Anyway, there's the buzz. If anyone cares to know more about Mac text editors speak up, and I'll post more once I settle down on one package. And if anyone checks out Ipodder and podcasting, let me know and we can swap notes and feeds.

UPDATEIn between writing this post on the train this morning and posting it I ran across this Wired News article about iPodder. (Hmm, that autoclosure button is pretty freakin' cool!)