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Text editing revisited: Sublime Text 2 and TextMate 2

Posted on 2 mins read

This post should be treated as an historical artifact. It probably contain broken external links and it may no longer reflect my views or opinions.

I’d started to write a followup to my previous text-editing comparison now that it’s three years old, but Marco beat me to it. You could skip this entirely, and just read his opinions on things if you’re in a hurry; he totally nails why I didn’t get onboard the Chocolat wagon, as pretty as it is1. As always, if you’re asking “Why not vim/emacs?”, then you can (say it with me now) get fucked2.

Here’s the relevant bits: TextMate 2 has been released as a series of alpha releases (buggy and feature-incomplete by defi­n­ition) to paid customers of TextMate 1; releases were not very rapid, and people grumbled. A lot. Then all of a sudden, late last week TextMate 2 was released under the GPL3 and the source for it was made available on GitHub.

Some pundits (Gruber, Marco, a mean­dering Hacker News comment thread) are claiming that this is the end of TextMate and that it’s time to move on. Maybe they’re right, but there’s currently a solid amount of bug-fixing and feature-repair happening on GitHub right now. This interest and moti­vation may peter out as people’s personal itches are scratched but it’s already resulted in 4 binary releases since the code was posted.

While many people (myself included, to some degree) have moved on to Sublime Text3, I’ve begun watching the TextMate 2 pull requests and nightly builds. I hope it’s not dead; I liked TextMate. I got a lot of good work done in TextMate; enough so to justify paying for that license all over again, at twice the price.


  1. They also have the best Shareware nag feature ever: the editor remains fully func­tional, but your
    font is locked to Comic Sans until you pay for a license. Hilarious, prac­tical, and note-worthy. [return]
  2. vi/vim: I don’t like modal editors. They don’t fit how I think or how I work. Yes, I’ve tried.
    emacs? That editor is bullshit. [return]
  3. Most of the Ruby devel­opers at my office have also jumped ship, often out of pocket instead of through company channels. [return]