What is TypeMetal?
TypeMetal is a potentially transformative, OS X, writing application, designed from the ground up to make HTML creation and editing easy. OK, STOP, stop right now, stop picturing pages full of meticulously indented, angle brackets. Starting today, you can write styled text and TypeMetal will automatically create sophisticated, modern HTML for your blog, website or eBook.
Background: Type metal is an alloy used in mechanical typesetting, best known for printing clear, easy to read, text. I'm guessing that's where the TypeMetal app got it's name.
About that TypeMetal icon
Did you notice the metallic angle brackets, glowing digital display and high-tech pen in TypeMetal's icon? I like it.
Plain Text, Markdown and HTML Preview
Plain text, markdown and markdown/HTML previewing apps have become a significant software niche for both OS X and iOS. I clearly recall the first time I saw an ad for a plain text editor. It was decades ago in Macworld. I was immediately intrigued, but, I quickly concluded that writing HTML wasn't for me. Over the years, plain text editing evolved, but not enough to get me interested in writing HTML. Decades after seeing the ad for BBEdit, I adopted John Gruber's markdown to help me create HTML. My favourite markdown apps are Byword, Marked and Ulysses III.
HTML Editing Modernized
Troy Stephens, the developer of TypeMetal, wondered, "Why are we still writing HTML by hand, or writing things other than HTML to get an HTML result… ?… I wanted to be able to write and edit content with the intuitive ease of a conventional word processing UI, while having my cake too and producing elegant, minimal, standards-compliant HTML that conforms exactly to the element usage conventions I want."
Fortunately for us Troy had:
- decades of programming experience and
- a deep knowledge of OS X’s application frameworks, having spent nine-years with Apple’s AppKit team.
Background: The AppKit is a set of classes, first developed by NeXT Computer, and today by Apple, for rapidly developing applications.
I briefly pondered writing a TypeMetal review, but quickly decided that this application is so straightforward and self-evident, that my review would slow down your app auditioning process. I think it's best to jump right in, the way I did.
Just Write – TypeMetal Magically Creates HTML
FYI, I was hooked after I downloaded the TypeMetal demo, played with a couple of list commands (command ] and command \) and clicked the Source Loupe button. Thereafter, I imported some HTML and was blown away by TypeMetal's editing prowess.
TypeMetal Gains Ground
There's absolutely no doubt that I'll be spending more and more time creating and editing HTML directly with TypeMetal.