• Posted by Peter Haza
  • On January 8, 2009

  • Filed under TextMate

  • 53 Comments

Textmate 2.0/Avian – Soon in private alpha

Today is a big day for all TextMate fans! Those who feared TM2/Avian would end up as vaporware can sleep well at night again. Out of the blue Allan Odgaard himself said that Avian is coming along nicely, and should be only weeks away from an early private alpha.

Unfortunately for us mere mortals, it may still be half a year’s wait for the public beta, but I don’t think that matters as much. As soon as TextMate is released to more people than Allan and Ciaran, and even if the only thing they can confirm is that they got a copy of TM2, I think that is proof enough for the waiting masses that TM2 is coming along, that it’s not vaporware, and the Macromates is a company you shouldn’t write off just yet.

Allan will probably have people signing a NDA to avoid competition copying and publishing features before TM2 is out, but the most important thing is that TM2 is in a state where it can be used for text editing and is still under heavy development.

Hopefully this will also stop the negative comments around TM2 being vaporware, when it’s clearly not.

You can read my previous speculation of what to come in TextMate 2 here and here.

Transcript from IRC:

allan: joachimm: Avian is coming along nicely though :)
alexross: allan: nicely? :)
allan: as in, I think I could give previews to really trusted people in a month maybe
alexross: oh, that does sound nice
ciaran: :)
allan: yeah, still lacks lots of stuff, but at least it will be as good at editing text as 1.x

allan: there can easily be 6 months from preview to trusted people to actual beta

53 comments

  1. Posted by Nick 8th January, 2009 at 08:23 am |

    Where can I request a feature please?

  2. Posted by Peter Haza 9th January, 2009 at 09:43 am |

    There are many ways to request features. One is to go to http://wiki.macromates.com/Main/Suggestionsand add it there, also make sure it hasn't already been requested.

    Another way to request features is by sending them on the mailing list (You can find more info on the mailing list here: http://macromates.com/community)

    A third option is to file a feature request through the bug tracker, though I think that's the least desired way. The bug tracker is located here: http://ticket.macromates.com/

    Please try to make sure you're not filing a request for something that has already been requested.

  3. Posted by Peter Haza 9th January, 2009 at 09:45 am |

    There are many ways to request features. One is to go to http://wiki.macromates.com/Main/Suggestions and add your request as a page there, also make sure it hasn't already been requested.

    Another way to request features is by sending them on the mailing list (You can find more info on the mailing list here: http://macromates.com/community)

    A third option is to file a feature request through the bug tracker, though I think that's the least desired way. The bug tracker is located here: http://ticket.macromates.com/

    Please try to make sure you're not filing a request for something that has already been requested.

  4. Posted by Nick 9th January, 2009 at 10:09 am |

    Thanks Peter, I am having this in mind for a long time, and been checking for ways to implement it. So I think its new request.

    My suggestion is simple – subtle vertical grid on background color, marking tab widths. So you can easily find matching bracket or opening if() just by glancing at the code.

    I use Select Balanced Tags Bundle http://subtlegradient.com/articles/2007/11/15/sel…to quickly find my way around in html, and want some simple guidelines so they can be used anywhere we use tabs. If you enable Show Invisibles its not quite the same – too much cutter and essentially useless.

    I think I'll try with mailing list, less headache.

  5. Posted by Still Frustrated 12th January, 2009 at 06:18 am |

    Can someone verify the timeline? If the public beta is out in 6 months from now and the release sometime after that, maybe 6 months from then. That means we can all be excited about getting a release in our hands in maybe 2010?Not including the minor bug fixes, that would put TM2 2 or 3 years after the last official release of TM1, correct? Awesome! I can hardly contain myself!

  6. Posted by ruisin 20th January, 2009 at 04:02 am |

    What is the situation of CJK support? Does anyone know?I need an answer but it is easy to be ignored with a software developed by western developers.

  7. Posted by Peter Haza 22nd January, 2009 at 08:24 am |

    Hard to tell, but CJK support has been request as long as I can remember, and I think it was a problem to support CJK with the current string library ATSUI Allan has used throughout TM 1.x. I'm pretty confident this will be fixed for TM 2.x, as I think I recall Allan saying that he's moving to Core Text which was released with OS X Leopard, which really would be a natural step.

  8. Posted by Potential customer 26th February, 2009 at 04:51 am |

    Right on! Where the heck is it? This post indicates that a private alpha should've happened three weeks ago. I can't believe that an NDA would preclude testers from even mentioning that they had TM2, especially since those mentions would get a lot of people to shut up about the subject. I'd really like to buy TM; I loved my 30 days of demo, and it seems like it would be very useful for me, but $50 for abandonware is not a reasonable proposition. It hasn't been updated since who-knows-when, there's no change log or history on the Macromates site, and the developer just complains about people asking and how much time he has to spend replying to mailing lists and IRC. Well, turn off the darn internet and get back to programming!

  9. Posted by Joshua 10th March, 2009 at 02:49 pm |

    There was an update to TM1 just a couple of weeks ago.

    He's brought someone in to maintain TM1 and fix bugs, etc… New features will be TM2, but TM1 is far from abandonware – that's almost insulting to presume that…

  10. Posted by Peter Haza 17th March, 2009 at 02:49 pm |

    I actually think Ciarán Walsh was brought in to work on TM2 along side Allan, not TM1. TM1 is working, and most of the easy to squash bugs have been just that. There are more or less no features being worked on for TM1, all brain activity goes into TM2.

  11. Posted by John Smith 4th April, 2009 at 09:09 am |

    Ah well, maybe it will be here in the next 20 years or so…

    08:39 < Chadk> So is TM2 in private alpha now you say? 08:40 < allan> Chadk: no 08:40 < allan> doubt it will be before earliest after summer

  12. Posted by Potential no longer 13th April, 2009 at 05:01 am |

    Well, here it is now 3 months after this blog post. I've been keeping my eye on the web and the Macromates mailing list, and there is no sign of TM2. In the meantime, Espresso has been released, and it looks awfully good. There's already an extension for it cloning some of TM's commands. I'm going for it. It still amazes me, that quote above: "At least it will be as good at editing text as 1.x". After two years of work! Oh, well. Good luck, my ship has sailed.

  13. Posted by flyboyart 13th April, 2009 at 02:56 pm |

    Patience is a virtue (so I'm told) however after YEARS of waiting for version 2 of TM and being told that it will be available shortly after Leopard ships (which shipped two years ago) and after email multiple email exchanges with the developers over years to no avail, I have to assume these guys have no clue how to:

    (a) manage a relationship with customers (b) set expectations properly about releases
    (c) manage a software development schedule (d) finish something

    This incredibly long development schedule wouldn't be tolerated from Apple or any other Macintosh software developer however we're expected to just be 'assured' Alan and team are working on v2 and 'someday' we'll find out what it's all about. Microsoft pulls this stuff over and over again and gets their butt chewed out by the entire world, yet somehow it's 'different' for the TM team.

    The 'explanation' I got a while back was that TM is still 'state of the art' through the widespread support for plugins and I should be more patient. While TextMate is a nice program for sure, it's ridiculous to depend on 3rd parties to continue to enhance your base product (built in 2004 no less!) themselves through plugins all the while claiming the program is 'state of the art'.

    Let's have a poll out there, how many pieces of software to you use that is FIVE years old and counting? What other software company would you have any faith or respect for that didn't update it's software for FIVE years? What is Apple or Mozilla didn't update their browsers for FIVE years? How would you feel? (Oh yeah, Microsoft didn't update their browser for years and look at the sh*t they had to put up with).

    Sorry for the rant, but I have used TM every day since 2005 and it piss*s me off to depend on software that has been abandoned by the developers. As a software developer myself, I'd be embarrassed to hell to be in the position Alan and the TM team are in. I'll begin the process to switch over to an editor that is better supported by the developer. Sorry TextMate, you've jerked this developer around too many years to continue to enjoy my loyalty and respect.

  14. Posted by Michael 16th April, 2009 at 01:14 pm |

    I agree with you in that I'm going to begin looking for another editor. I'd feel more comfortable if there was more frequent public communication on the status of 2.0. But the fact that I have to google for it sends me the message that it is time to move on.

  15. Posted by Udo 16th April, 2009 at 07:32 pm |

    Same here. TM has lost me since I have moved on to another editor…

  16. Posted by Nick 16th April, 2009 at 08:03 pm |

    So what's the best Textmate replacement now?

  17. Posted by Chris S 20th April, 2009 at 02:45 am |

    Nothing. Textmate is still the best. Lack of 2.0 still makes it the best. Textmate 1 is worth buying and still has an active community around it.

  18. Posted by bertobox 30th April, 2009 at 02:10 am |

    I love TextMate yet I'd love to try another editor if it's been awesome enough for you to switch. :) Could you please name any editor(s) that you recommend? :) thanks!

  19. Posted by Roberto Saccon 1st May, 2009 at 05:15 pm |

    The best textmate replacement is aquamacs. It is FAR superior. That is a fact. Another fact is that I am very lazy and I did the opposite, I switched from aquamacs to textmate. So if you are not lazy, dive into aquamacs, beside of a steep learning curve, it is free and highly rewarding.

  20. Posted by Joshua 5th May, 2009 at 02:00 pm |

    Not only lack of information, but the concept that people asking is somehow "inconvenient" to Allan is quite frustrating. We're not just random people, we're generally loyal customers. PAYING customers. We WANT to buy the new product…

    However, I feel the same as the above. Im looking elsewhere now. Maybe TM2 will find its way out of whatever black hole it lives in before I find a suitable replacement… but I doubt it. Through lack of information, screenshots, video (there are a few small things it seems, but those aren't very informative) and his general attitude towards inquiry about the project, I'm over him as a developer and he no longer holds loyalty from me.

    TM1 works well, so im not going to outright abandon it… but I no longer look forward to TM2 — for all practical purposes it truly is vaporware on the level of Nukem…

  21. Posted by prometheas 6th May, 2009 at 08:51 pm |

    Well, I'm going to say that you hit A and B, for goddamned sure.

    As for C and D — some ambitions are often very difficult to gauge. We don't know many details about exactly what goals exactly were taken on for 2.0, and we won't likely until the beta is public.

    I get the NDA thing; I would do the same, if I were Allan.

    Thing that gets me is that their bloody blog hasn't been updated in nearly a year. I mean — nearly a bloody year. Macromates deserves EVERY SINGLE ACCUSATION and speculative comment asserting that their product is dead.

    It's not hard to post to a blog, folks. I can't believe no-one is picking up the slack on that. It's highly irresponsible from a customer relationship perspective.

    Get a bloody intern.

  22. Posted by Harald 15th May, 2009 at 08:18 am |

    after years of waiting for TM2, i am in the process of switching to an other editor. i am sorry, but i am very frustrated about the information policy of macromates. i am paying customer of TM1 and i got a lot for my money back in the old days. but i'm fed up with waiting for a product, which probably will never be released.

  23. Posted by Ryan 19th May, 2009 at 10:44 pm |

    I stopped waiting for a TextMate update and I switched to XCode. TextMate was very nice when I first started using it but its flaws become grating after years without an update. TextMate's Find In Files puts a heavy load on my entire (two-processor) system that leaves me staring blankly at a wall for 20 seconds every time I run it because I can't even check my email while TextMate slams my system. I just can't allow that kind of disruption to continue all day, every day. XCode's find feature is much faster and I lose more time waiting for TextMate every day than I spend typing the closing curly bracket. There obviously aren't going to be any updates any time soon that will help. So goodbye TextMate.

  24. Posted by Yann 3rd June, 2009 at 06:53 pm |

    What's most amazing to me is that Espresso and/or Coda didn't manage to make their product a no brainer to switch to… Coda's so much better than TM on every level but… the text editor! What gives…

  25. Posted by Nicolas 7th June, 2009 at 01:42 pm |

    I have mostly switched from TextMate to Xcode now, using TextMate for small things only… I am a paying customer, and I'm really tired of waiting any kind of news about this product. ( Duke Nukem For ever was cancelled btw… -_- )

  26. Posted by Misty Boht 9th June, 2009 at 11:05 pm |

    So now that Snow leopard is here, and macromates has missed an entire OS X upgrade cycle, are we going to skip TM2 and start waiting for TM3 (which will shortly be announced to run only on 10.7)?

  27. Posted by Watts Martin 10th June, 2009 at 04:14 am |

    I've attempted to dive into Aquamacs more than once. The problem is that it's not a matter of being "lazy," it's a matter of having the available time to learn how to do in Aquamacs what's very easy to do in TM. There are shortcuts and bundle features that I use all the time in TextMate that I would have to spend a LOT of time figuring out how to duplicate in Aquamacs; even relatively simple things — telling it to default to a different font and turn off the toolbar, for example — require a surprising amount of effort compared to a true Mac program like TM or BBEdit. And editing a .php file that mixes HTML, PHP and Javascript is trivial on TextMate; have you tried to figure out how to do that on an Emacs variant? I have. Trust me, it isn't trivial.

    The only real competitor on the Mac to TextMate is BBEdit. TM users tended to enjoy kicking sand in BBEdit's face, metaphorically speaking, but funny thing: when TextMate 1.0 came out, BBEdit had just shipped version 8.0. TextMate 1.5 came out in mid-2006, and that's pretty much where it's stopped. BBEdit, well… hasn't stopped. There are still things that I like more about TextMate, but BareBones has not been sitting around on its bare butt in the last three years, and if BBEdit gets to version 9.5 or even 10.0 before we see TM 2.0… well.

  28. Posted by Steve Steiner 10th June, 2009 at 01:24 pm |

    I wish there was something better. BBEdit 9 is swell and all but its syntax hilighting still sucks and really slows me down compared to TextMate for that alone. TextMate pisses me off every day and even more because they are so incompetent that they can't get a product out the door. They made the classic Netscape mistake of rewriting the whole thing in one shot instead of replacing worn out components one at a time. They should go out of business. I'd love a replacement and I check every new editor that comes out and none has been as good as TextMate even with all of its grating faults.

  29. Posted by Watts Martin 12th June, 2009 at 07:03 pm |

    I'm giving BBEdit a try again, myself. The syntax highlighting isn't as sophisticated, no, but there's a lot to BBEdit that isn't immediately obvious until you start playing with it. I think TextMate fans tend to miss a lot of BBEdit's power because they don't spend enough time with it. (Mind you, I think a lot of BBEdit partisans have done exactly the same thing with TextMate, which frequently gets dismissed with the weird complaint, "Oh, that's for people who like Unix editors." NO, you idjits, if we wanted a Unix editor we'd have been USING ONE.)

    At any rate, I'll see how my BBEdit attempts actually work. I know some of it will be figuring out a lot of the "Oh, yes, BBEdit can actually do these things that TextMate does," and some of it may be learning not to miss some things TM does. And I may grit my teeth and go back to TextMate anyway.

  30. Posted by Corey 19th June, 2009 at 07:59 pm |

    "…it may still be half a year’s wait for the public beta…"

    It appears that was wishful thinking. It's been 6 months, and Allen announced a few days ago that, "Hopefully an alpha version will be ready before too long, but I can’t make any promises about dates."

    Like most people, I'm starting to severely doubt their decision to write the software with only 2 developers. It appears that they put way too much on their plate and handled it quite poorly.

  31. Posted by steve Steiner 14th October, 2009 at 03:05 pm |

    And now more months have passed…

  32. Posted by harald 14th October, 2009 at 05:10 pm |

    after evaluating eclipse for a while, i switched back to textmate … it's unbelievable, but i recognized, that textmate is … for me … still the best editor around. however, there's still hope, that something happens: ultraedit is announced for osx later this year and maybe TM2 … finally in 2010?

  33. Posted by Peter Haza 14th October, 2009 at 05:26 pm |

    Only time can tell, unfortunately. Personally I still think TM1 is great. I'm mostly eager to see what Allan has invented for TM2 rather than having any specific needs.

  34. Posted by Peter Haza 14th October, 2009 at 05:26 pm |

    Yeah, I haven't been into the TextMate scene for a while, so I have no idea what's going on atm.

  35. Posted by weneedsound 19th November, 2009 at 12:52 am |

    TM2 is like Duke Nukem Forever. I wish he would just admit he has lost interest in the development and open source it.

  36. Posted by Palaniappan 10th January, 2010 at 01:25 pm |

    One month, or one year?

  37. Posted by Peter Haza 10th January, 2010 at 01:30 pm |

    Hehe,


    I think my speculation failed miserably.
    Unfortunately I'm not that actively chasing latest TextMate news anymore, so I can't give any new estimate either.

  38. Posted by Palaniappan 10th January, 2010 at 01:36 pm |

    It's a shame it's taking so long. I think, contrary to common sense, TextMate is still the best text editor out there for the Mac. So many little things are missing in other editors – like tab re-adjustment when pasting text and box selections.

    :(

  39. Posted by Peter Haza 10th January, 2010 at 01:39 pm |

    This is also why I stopped hunting for updates. TextMate is by far still the best text editor, and I've learned to live with some of the shortcommings and quirks.
    When 2.x is out, I'll definitely upgrade asap, but for now I'll just wait patiently.

  40. Posted by Nick 10th January, 2010 at 01:40 pm |

    Hey, those who jumped the ship – what do you use? Espresso? Coda? What?

    I want something simple and powerful, with not much GUI. You know.. something like Textmate.

  41. Posted by JulesLt 16th March, 2010 at 08:10 am |

    The irony is there seems to be more activity around TextMate compatible editors on Windows (e-editor and Sublime) than there is on the Mac.

    Unfortunately, neither really offers the close integration with the OS environment (‘e’ uses Cygwin, so allows some integration, and therefore some bundles to work. The Linux version may be better but only in Beta, and I’m not changing OS to change editor!)

    Sublime abandons close compatibility for inspiration (so you can take themes, and languages, but not most bundles) but also has some interesting ideas of its own. I think the idea of narrowing the scripting focus to Python is probably a good one – even if I’m more familiar with other languages.

    Nick – if you want something simple and powerful, and that will never be abandoned, and with little GUI and strong Unix integration, it’s always worth learning either Vi or Emacs. (On the other hand, Textmate was the first editor since 1992 to switch me away from vi).

    Put me down in the ‘increasingly concerned’ crowd. It’s still a very usable program to me, and I don’t regret the money I paid, but I think the lack of product updates and news will eventually start to hurt the community around ‘mate.

  42. Posted by Stephen 29th April, 2010 at 06:22 am |

    Well, it's been YEARS. So I guess that's that.

  43. Posted by David 6th May, 2010 at 05:45 am |

    I bought TextMate several years ago because it had the best Mac OS X design, it was fast, and elegant. I think it actually improves with age because you gradually learn how to use the more powerful features and extend it through macros, bundles, and shell integration. And it keeps getting faster which each Mac upgrade. I've upgraded from iMac to PowerMac, and then recently to MacBook Pro. The new hardware just makes it run even faster.

    Many of you say that just can't wait any longer for TM2, but what exactly are you waiting for? Does TM1 lack some essential feature?

  44. Posted by David 6th May, 2010 at 05:45 am |

    I bought TextMate several years ago because it had the best Mac OS X design, it was fast, and elegant. I think it actually improves with age because you gradually learn how to use the more powerful features and extend it through macros, bundles, and shell integration. And it keeps getting faster which each Mac upgrade. I've upgraded from iMac to PowerMac, and then recently to MacBook Pro. The new hardware just makes it run even faster.

    Many of you say that just can't wait any longer for TM2, but what exactly are you waiting for? Does TM1 lack some essential feature?

  45. Posted by David 6th May, 2010 at 05:45 am |

    I bought TextMate several years ago because it had the best Mac OS X design, it was fast, and elegant. I think it actually improves with age because you gradually learn how to use the more powerful features and extend it through macros, bundles, and shell integration. And it keeps getting faster which each Mac upgrade. I've upgraded from iMac to PowerMac, and then recently to MacBook Pro. The new hardware just makes it run even faster.

    Many of you say that just can't wait any longer for TM2, but what exactly are you waiting for? Does TM1 lack some essential feature?

  46. Posted by Joshua 6th May, 2010 at 11:59 am |

    TM does lack some very basic features… not the least of which is split windows. I used to think that the split window thing was silly until i started using VIM… (i use both… vim and tm) … but it would be very nice to have split window support in TM.

    Also, the undo feature in TM is about the most aggravating feature for me…

  47. Posted by Joshua 6th May, 2010 at 11:59 am |

    TM does lack some very basic features… not the least of which is split windows. I used to think that the split window thing was silly until i started using VIM… (i use both… vim and tm) … but it would be very nice to have split window support in TM.

    Also, the undo feature in TM is about the most aggravating feature for me…

  48. Posted by Nick 6th May, 2010 at 12:16 pm |

    Also would be cool to be able to open one file from a project in different window and multiline project search would be nice too.

  49. Posted by Nick 6th May, 2010 at 12:16 pm |

    Also would be cool to be able to open one file from a project in different window and multiline project search would be nice too.

  50. Posted by Rune 31st July, 2010 at 02:05 pm |

    Agree, TM 2.0 seems more like a joke now …

  51. Posted by Colin 25th August, 2010 at 03:30 pm |

    CodeSense, which I've just discovered is apparently in TM2, which makes me more annoyed that it's taking so long. As it is I'm stuck with NetBeans or similar, which I hate.

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