The proposed workarounds are not substitutes for actual textmate/e style snippets. They all involve mousing around to find the particular chunk of text desired from a pick list. Snippets use the context of both the file extension and the text in the vicinity of the cursor to figure out what's called for, so your workflow isn't interrupted.
If I'm editing a ruby file and I type 'class' and then hit the tab key, the e text editor types out:
- Code: Select all
The text 'ClassName' is highlighted, so that the next thing I type overwrites that w/the name I've chosen for the class. When I hit the tab key a second time, the cursor jumps down to the empty line before 'end', indented one level & ready for me to keep working. I never have to take my hands off the home row of the keyboard.
That's just one example--there are a ton of snippets defined in user-contributed bundles that do useful things like that.
To see a good demonstration of textmate snippets, see any of the railscasts, e.g., http://railscasts.com/episodes/73-complex-forms-part-1