Scratch That

May 31st, 2012  |  Published in etc

So, BBEdit 10 has a special, persistent “scratchpad” file, same as Emacs has a scratch buffer, and I have found it useful. I think it’s newish, but I spent some time away from BBEdit for a while there and cannot say. It occupies a place in my head well away from “file I want to save for all time” or “something that ought to go in Evernote,” but somewhere Sticky Notes lack adequate text processing power.  It’s more like “I need to curl down this RSS feed and see what it says, and I want to navigate it with relative ease, compared to the scroll back area of a terminal.”

BBEdit has also long had a command line utility to get stuff from the shell into a new BBEdit file. It goes like this:

$ ls | bbedit

and you get the output into a new window. 

If you hate those output files coming into the world marked as modified, BBEdit has your back:

$ ls | bbedit –clean

So with the –clean argument you can close the file without getting nagged about it. 

But I don’t usually want much of anything I’m passing into BBEdit to last very long, and it looks like BareBones thought about that, too:

$ ls | bbedit --scratchpad

One thing the scratchpad can’t do is take “Save As,” which makes sense, since that’d mean the version you were working on would no longer be the persistent scratchpad, but something else. I’ve mapped the menu item “Save a Copy …” to control-opt-s, in case I ever get it in my head that I need a permanent copy of the scratchpad.

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