Tinker Bell being a Great Tools Fairy

Dr. Nic Williams (Saturday, 10:30am)

Tools, & Tool Tools

Once you start making lots of tools, you need tools to make tools.

  1. Learn Something
  2. Make Tool
  3. Tool Tools

Once you start doing steps 1 and 2, you’ll need step 3.

Textmate (Editor, Snippets, Commands)

1. Learn Something

You learn something, but unless you keep using it you forget. Or the API changes. Or something else comes out and it distracts you.

2. Make Tools

Keep using what you learn by making tools that keep you using it. Textmate bundles for example.

3. Tool Tools

Soon you have so many tools you don’t know what to do with them. So you need something to manage them, help distribute them. Nic created choctop.

You don’t want to write applescript to create a DMG to distribute your Textmate bundles. He wrote choctop to create DMGs.


1. Learn

complete -F <completefn> CMD

DIY tab completion

2. Wrap in a tool

You can add autocompletion anywhere for any tool by wrapping that in a tool.

3. tabtab

TABTAB lets you specify the autocompletions for any gem in ruby.


You can write documentation, that’s great. But if you can write tools to encapsulate what you learn that’s better.

Tool Making Scenario Music

“no one else can help” - TinkerBell “embracing constraints” - MacGuyver theme