updated 05:45 pm EST, Tue December 13, 2011
Originally announced in 2006, still popular
Users of the still-available TextMate text editor have waited a long time for this day. Over five years ago, a 2.0 release of the popular hand-coding application was announced, following the program's debut two years earlier. Following a complete rewrite of the program, developer Allan Odgaard has finally released a "public alpha" of TextMate 2.0, available only to current TextMate license holders and requiring an Intel Mac.
Odgaard had said in September that he was aiming to get an alpha release out before Christmas, but after five years of waiting and claims that it was "90 percent complete" two years ago, credibility was low. Despite the age of the original program (which has been periodically updated, most recently to v1.5.10 last year), TextMate has remained a popular choice with hand-coding fans due to its support for macros, customization and other powerful features.
While stressing that the new release is not complete, the notable changes to it from the current version makes for a lengthy list, including support for themes, indent corrections, discontinuous selections, snippets, a project drawer, shell invocation and changes to Movement/Selection, Foldings, Format strings, Scopes, Command, Grammars, Semantic Classes and many other areas. The program does not yet support split views or Lion's full-screen mode, and the included bundle editor in the 2.0 alpha is provisional, but Odgaard says these areas will be addressed.
The current official release of TextMate, v1.5.10, is still available for approximately $54. It works with Intel and PPC Macs running 10.4.2 or higher. A free 30-day trial is available.