When I Saw the Cathedral From My Bazaar

Yesterday, for some reason, I was checking the TextMatemaillist archives. I’m guessing that, as everyone else that at one point bought TextMate, I was curious about any information about TextMate 2, but my memory isn’t exactly what it used to be, specially for those small things that make you do a Google Search and start clicking link after link after link.

Anyway, it seems more and more people are interested in what’s going on with TextMate 2, which was announced about 2 years ago (the earliest blog post I could find about it dates 14 June 2009, but maybe there was something else in the maillist).

I managed to dig some posts there and there from Allan Odgaard (the TextMate author) and it seems he is working on TextMate 2 behind closed walls ’cause he 1) Thought it wasn’t ready, 2) Feared the backlash he suffered from the first TextMate alpha, 3) Things were not falling into places. I gather that from messages ranging from the early 2010 to almost the end of the same year.

When I read that, I couldn’t stop thinking about my own open source project (and now dead) Mitter. Yes, I know, it’s a twitter client vs a programmer text editor, different scales and such, but the whole development thing was completely different.

Yes, I worried about backlash and people calling me stupid (I think it happened only once, about a feature I refused to add) but, in the end, it was my application and the guy could jut chose something else; Yes, I thought it wasn’t ready, but people still came, checked it and gave me suggestions that would improve the application greatly (and I said that to them) either visually or functionally; Yes, sometimes, the pieces were not falling into the right places, but if I mentioned what I felt it was wrong, people would mention something that would either make the piece fall into place or make me realize I’d need a different piece or would completely throw me out of balance and make me rethink the whole thing.

I know Allan can’t just open source TextMate 2. It’s his money-making job (or extra-money-making activity), but still he could mention the pieces that are not falling into the right places or either get some alpha version to some users (and not, this is not me asking for an alpha version — I’m pretty bad testing things) just to keep the flame alive and people not think it’s suddenly a dead project.