So I wish more people were making tools for a specific creative purpose rather than for general consumer adoption. I wish more people were making tools that very intentionally do not scale—tools with users by the dozen. Tools you experience not through a web signup form, but through pathbreaking creative work.
Building tools for our small (but growing) stable of bloggers has been a primary focus in the early months of the StateImpact project I work on at NPR. We are striving to make the production of data-rich content as frictionless as possible for our writers.
I consider Sublime Text 2 to be the spiritual successor to TextMate – particularly when the likelihood of TextMate 2 coming to fruition becomes bleaker and bleaker. When Duke Nukem Forever is released before TextMate 2, you know you’re in trouble! But that’s okay, because Sublime Text 2 is one of the fastest and most incredible editors to come out in a long time! I’ll show you my favorite tips and tricks today.
I’ve been using Sublime Text 2 for the past few weeks and TextMate is fast becoming a faint memory. No, the feature set is not identical, but I am optimistic that the holes will be filled in short order once Sublime Text gains some traction in market share.
From an adapted version of Silva’s speech at the Bronx Documentary Center Aug. 2, posted on the Times’ Lens blog:
I heard the mechanic click. I knew: this is not good. And I found myself lying face-down on the ground, engulfed in a cloud of dust, with the very clear knowledge that this has just happened and this is not good. I could see my legs were gone, and everybody around me was dazed. I was like, “Guys, I need help here.”
I have to admit, even for a zen-like chap such as me, it’s still quite the mental effort to repress knee-jerk reactions about the tools and programming languages other people use. Perl is for dinosaurs, Ruby for hipsters, Haskell is useless outside of academia, C is for masochists, C# for corporate drones. Computer programmers have probably been waging these kinds of petty religious wars since the dawn of computing. It’s harmless bickering, and not entirely unexpected since each of us has invested so much time into learning to properly use the tools we’ve chosen. Nobody likes to be told they’ve not chosen wisely, but everybody likes to tell everybody else about their own wise choice. It’s a silly but harmless social phenomenon.
Undoubtedly, we’ve all seen this pattern at work in ourselves or our peers, and a healthy awareness of our tendency toward religious devotion to our toolset will do us much good.
The indecently smart folks at Development Seed put together a beautiful map of today’s seismic event along with a quick write-up of the process:
This afternoon at 1:51 pm our office started shaking, pretty strongly. And then we all ran outside. Turns out a 5.9 earthquake hit Northern, VA, with its epicenter just northwest of Richmond, and we definitely felt it here in Washington, DC. After talking to the neighbors outside for a few minutes and of course checking twitter, we got down to work.
Using open data released almost immediately from the U.S. Geological Survey, Dave, Nate, and Matt mapped the earthquake using TileMill, our open source map design studio. This map shows the earthquake’s strength in the area where USGS tracked it.