Thursday, August 9

TextMate Text Editor Goes Open Source

TextMate is a popular text editor for Mac that enjoys a huge fan following. It is fast, lightweight, customizable and comes with lots of plugins.

Just an hour back, TextMate creator Allan Odgaard has surprised everyone by open sourcing the text editor. The public repository is hosted on GitHub.

Today I am happy to announce that you can find the source for TextMate 2 on GitHub.

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.

I am also a pragmatist and realize that parts of the TextMate code base is useful for other (non-free) applications, so I may later move to a less restrictive license, as is currently the case with the bundles.

Though there is no dearth of good text editors on Linux and Sublime Text 2 is very close to TextMate in terms of functionality, I believe soon some one will port TextMate to Linux (Sublime Text 2 is closed source)

Some of the features of TextMate:
  • Ability to Search and Replace in a Project
  • Auto-Indent for Common Actions Like Pasting Text
  • Auto-Pairing of Brackets and Other Characters
  • Clipboard History
  • Column Selections and Column Typing
  • Completion of Words from Current Document
  • CSS-like Selectors to Pinpoint the Scope of Actions and Settings
  • Declarative Language Grammars for Graceful Mixing and Hacking
  • Dynamic Outline for Working With Multiple Files
  • Expand Trigger Words to Code Blocks With Tab-able Placeholders
  • File Tabs when Working With Projects
  • Foldable Code Blocks
  • Function Pop-up for Quick Overview and Navigation
  • Plug-able Through Your Favorite Scripting Language
  • Recordable Macros With No Programming Required
  • Regular Expression Search and Replace (grep)
  • Run Shell Commands from Within a Document
  • Support for Darcs, Perforce, SVK, and Subversion
  • Support for More Than 50 Languages
  • Switch Between Files in Projects With a Minimum of Key Strokes
  • Themable Syntax Highlight Colors
  • Visual Bookmarks to Jump Between Places in a File
  • Works As External Editor for (s)ftp Programs
  • Works Together With Xcode and Can Build Xcode Projects

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