Monday, September 16, 2019

TextMate 2.0

Allan Odgaard (via David Heinemeier Hansson, Hacker News):

After far too long, there is no longer any qualifier suffix in the version string, so it is now finally just “TextMate 2.0”


Not everything on the wishlist made it into 2.0, but TextMate remains a work in progress, so don’t despair :)

Congratulations are definitely in order after so many years of development. It is apparently a free update. There are tons of changes listed, but unfortunately they aren’t (yet?) organized in a way that’s very helpful for those who haven’t been using the app and following along with its development. In any case, it’s great to see continued development of native Mac text editors.


Allan had been making very fast progress on TextMate for the first several years, and the community was full of excited “early adopter” types, who were very chatty and supportive, and were actively engaged in improving the TextMate language “bundles”, trying out new features, etc. I found the ##textmate IRC channel at the time to be the best place to get technical help with pretty much any programming language.

Then at some point Allan decided that he had made some suboptimal design choices in pretty much every component of TextMate 1, and wanted to improve those with new designs. But he thought it would take more work to incrementally swap new parts in that were compatible with all of the other stuff he wanted to eventually replace, so he started in on what was a substantial rewrite of everything.

That (a) took away his incremental improvement of TextMate 1, (b) took his time away from being as responsive to user questions/ideas, (c) caused bundle authors to slow down on improvements to TM1 bundles while they waited to see what new features TM 2 had in store.

At the same time, the creation of an “insider” IRC channel took away some of the activity from the main IRC chat, the migration from one big SVN repository to a bunch of separate per-language Git repositories damped a lot of the bundle development activity as people were no longer exposed to every change to every bundle, so the bundles didn’t cross-pollinate as much.


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