I tried every code editor out there, every IDE I could find. Six or seven years ago, I came to the conclusion that I do prefer simple editors to them, mostly because I prefer a sharp tool than a clumsy thing that tries to solve every problem. Oh sure, stuff like NetBeans or Eclipse perform really well on Java, but I don’t code with this language, so let’s skip directly to code editors.

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I spent something like two years with Emacs, it was great since I really enjoy Lisp but I never really liked the way the you input the shortcuts, making you holding Ctrl every couple of seconds to do something. Moreover, the way you have to setup it, installing loads of libraries, byte-compiling everything to have something still going fast was fun, but those shitloads of stuff to install can drive you crazy when something goes wrong with your install.

Vim had been my favorite code-editor for most of the time, maybe like five years. It’s clearly an awesome piece of software and was convinced it would be my daily companion until something better come-out. Great plugins, blazing fast editing, tons of colorschemes (yeah I like changing those two or three times per week, mostly to visually break routine).

And two years ago I got a MacBook, switched from daily C++ development to Rails. Textmate always tickled me, and I finally gave it a try. I loved it. The feeling of having something modern, clean and simple, focusing on just what you need, providing new features like snippets, that cmd -T shortcut to jump to any file, it was just so cool.

But recently, things felt wrong. I’m using it daily for two years now and some details made me realize it’s going nowhere, which is the point in this blog post.

No window splitting at all Scripting it with your favorite language basically means writing a script which will be called by your TM script You can crash it just by opening any log file Colorschemes are so damn cool nobody tries to create new ones ! But those are minor problems, except for the splitting issue which I really miss. The main problem is :

Textmate 1 is abandoned. We’re all waiting for Textmate 2 to came out. But it’s taking ages, and sincerely like its author said, it just another Duke Nukem Forever incarnation. I even doubt it will be released, maybe because if it’s not perfect, its author will be flamed to oblivion by everyone, encouraging him to continue until its perfect. Well, it may not be the case, but currently we have no clue of a potential release date.

To me, Textmate is like a modern vim (ok, it’s not open-source, it sucks, but I can accept that if the tool is really awesome, which is almost the case). No need to look at your keyboard and asking yourself why the fuck it’s ctrl-] to jump on a help subject, it’s just simple. Another cool one : moving around in Vim with jk keys is really nice, but as I still have to use arrows to browse in my cmd history, I can’t get my fingers escaping from those arrows. For sure another shortcut must exist to do that, there are many reasons to excuse this behavior, but it’s still not “great”, it’s just cool.

You’ll probably think by reading this that I’m an unsatisfied programmer who can’t find its editor (which is true) but the point isnnt exactly that. I found my editor of choice. I’m raging against it because :

Even if they won tons of money while selling Textmate, there’s only one developer. Come on, it’s a code editor, it’s serious business. Communication around Textmate 2 is a nice example of worst practices. Its author is trapped in that Babylon tower thingy, if he don’t release it, he’ll be smashed by everyone (which is already the case) Its author have to release something great or everyone will flame him, write awful frustrated blog posts, Scotty will beam him up to pluto …

Learning an editor is an investment, we all know that, and feeling stuck because you can’t help its author to make it great, you can’t do anything at all ‘cause its closed-source. It feels like I bet and lost. I’m not blaming its author for its license choices, I’m okay with that, people have to eat, but that implies Macromates have duties too. A big one, update our fucking editor for god’s sake. Writing good stuff then disappearing is the best fucking way to frustrate everyone. Moreover, I’m stucked. Emacs or Vim don’t satisfy me anymore, 20 years old software rocks for stability, but there’s some evolutions we had since I’d like to have in my editor.

Conclusion: there must be a law against selling closed-source editors, I killed thousands of kittens with the troll potential of this blog post.


I finally threw away my never ending thirst of perfection. I’m happily sticking to Vim as it is and it does the job really well. Feel free to browse and fork my vimrc