I use TextMate for everything that is text. Programming, organizing, shell-foo, writing for studies, protocolling, writing songs or guitar tabs, looking at patches and code, organizing, learning. And I have given up some great editors for it – Delphi, RDE, VIM, Weaverslave…actually, I switched to Mac in 2006 because of this software.
Back then, TextMate 2 was already announced. Since then, a book came out, and several maintainance releases. Lots of “Bundles” for more languages and applications were written. But mostly, it’s the same TextMate I bought in 2006 for €39. No 2.0, no release date, no feature list. But it recently got a Vaporware price (next to the Apple Design Award it won 2006).
Of course, the blogosphere chit-chats a lot. Allan Odgaard (the developer) is a quiet man, and, in contrast to his friend David Heinemeier Hansson, he’s not a business man. He just says he’s working on it.
I didn’t think too much about it. But then I read a comment war on the latest blog post:
The problem is not how you do your software but how you do your business. Remember that TM is not a open source project neither a free software. Allan, you are a business man here rather than a purely programmer. As a business man, communication skills are critical.
…I am aware of these things, the “problem” is that I do not wish to be a business man. I have no desire of being “big”, on the contrary, often I just want to be left alone. I am probably closer to an artist in mentality … I will finish 2.0 because I am passionate about realizing my vision … TM has never been about customers, only about building a great text editor …
I think I can sympathize with that. My employer Olaf Langmack accused me of thinking like an artist when I was developing for him. While he likes the attitude, he thinks that developing for customers, and therefore being commited to some business world rules, brings more meaning to a programmer’s work, and life.
I’m still unsure how to live with that (ethic?) conflict. But it’s nice to see that other coders have the same problem. Maybe I should thank Allan for that confessional post – it may be worth more than a new major release of the best text editor.