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Text editing revisited: Sublime Text 2 and TextMate 2

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. ↩︎

  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. ↩︎

  3. Most of the Ruby devel­opers at my office have also jumped ship, often out of pocket instead of through company channels. ↩︎