Monday, December 03, 2007

TextMate text editor, and a screencasting idea

The TextMate text editor looks quite good. I haven't used it -- my laptop runs Windows, and it's only on Mac -- but going by these screencasts, it's got some nifty features and overall seems quite impressive. Looks like it might provide a nice way to edit structured data like XML, while still retaining the free-form feel of a text editor -- see this screencast.

If you watch that screencast, you'll notice that it's often difficult to tell exactly what the person is doing to perform the operations they show, because they're using some sort of keystroke combination to invoke the operations. That made me think that software for recording screencasts could have a feature to add a 'virtual keyboard display' to the video, showing a little display of a keyboard in the video, showing which keys are being pressed as things happen.

That is, user can record their screen cast as per usual, and while they are doing so, the recording software keeps track of what keys they pressed and when. Then, it adds a little animated keyboard picture somewhere in the screencast recording, that shows when different keys were pressed.

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