TextMate 2 Goes Open Source

TextMate 2 Goes Open Source

Allan Odgaard’s TextMate has been a beloved text editor since 2004 and one of Cult of Mac’s favorite apps for about just as long, but since 2009, development on the app has slowed to a crawl: three years ago, Odgaard said TextMate 2 was about 90% complete, but a public alpha didn’t hit the web until December 2011, and as of writing, a final version still hasn’t been released.

However, in a surprise (and very awesome move), its source code has: TextMate 2 is going open source.

Over on the official TextMate 2 blog, Odgaard explains:

I’ve always wanted to allow end-users to tinker with their environment, my ability to do this is what got me excited about programming in the first place, and it is why I created the bundles concept, but there are limits to how much a bundle can do, and with the still growing user base, I think the best move forward is to open source the program.

The choice of license is GPL 3. This is partly to avoid a closed source fork and partly because the hacker in me wants all software to be free (as in speech), so in a time where our platform vendor is taking steps to limit our freedom, this is my small attempt of countering such trend.

If you’re interested in tinkering or even compiling TextMate 2 for yourself, you can grab it on GitHub. Otherwise, hopefully this heralds the imminent release of TextMate 2 to end users in pre-compiled, fully polished form.

  • TimValenta

    Quite the surprise! I have a healthy respect for privately developed software (from this spectacular developer, at the very least), but I suspect he wants to “unleash” the potential of the software.

  • Jonathan Ober

    I enjoy Textmate…probably because of it’s awesome find and replace features. I love the editor and hope the new one arrives soon. Software like this makes it easier for me to move away from Adobe.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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