Strong opinions, weakly held

TextMate 2 released as open source

The source code for TextMate 2, the Duke Nukem Forever of text editors, has been released under the GPL on GitHub. (Here’s a link to the repository.) I switched to TextMate when Ruby on Rails was just released and I switched back to OS X, and the editor has hardly progressed since then. (That was back in the summer of 2005, I think.) For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Vim for pretty much everything but Java.

It’s important to note that we’re not seeing a simultaneous release of version 2 of TextMate. The new version of the editor clearly is not ready to go. The question is whether there’s enough energy around the editor for development to progress. If Allan Odgaard is serious about pushing it to completion, it has a good shot at making it — TextMate still has a large, loyal user base and people who would be willing to contribute in small ways. If he’s publishing the source and washing his hands of it, then I think this is curtains for TextMate.


  1. I have to admit, I stopped using TextMate a while back because of basic FUD about it’s future. Whether or not TextMat 2.0 ever ships, I worry that it could also be a dead end. Basically I only use tools that:

    1. I have to use
    2. Are perfect just as they are
    3. Are good now and I trust will continue to improve

    Unfortunately, my assessment is that TextMate fits none of these criteria, and given that there are many other fine text editors out there (and more every month), I decided to give up on it.

  2. Ultimately that’s the reason I gave up and just started using Vim for everything I wasn’t using Eclipse for awhile back. You can run it in a GUI or in a terminal session, it’s really powerful once you’ve built up your Vim muscles, and it will probably outlast all of us. I’d rather focus on mastering one tool rather than switching editors to whatever people are using every few years. It has worked out well for me thus far.

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