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.