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On Text Editors — Part 6

Jesse Atkinson

This is the last entry in a six-part series on my history of text editors.

What about Atom and BB Edit?

One you'll notice that I've completely skipped over Atom and BB Edit. Atom, if you don't know, is essentially Github taking Sublime Text, making it work entirely in a browser, and putting a little bit of their own stamp on it. It's a great text editor and a novel approach, but it is embarassingly slow and even more embarassingly a shameless ripoff of Sublime Text. Github, like many, are frustrated by the state of text editors and how each owner of them seems to abandon them. At least the owner of TextMate had the good sense to open source it and release it into the wild. If you like the look and feel of Sublime Text I'd say give Atom a shot. However, last I tried it out (roughly two months ago) it was a slow and sluggish beast.

BB Edit is absolutely fantastic. It's an incredible app with a long history of development and support. It's really well done. I recommend it whole heartily. However it veers sharply into the IDE territory which is not what I'm looking for. It's just not for me.


TextMate is, in my opinion, the most mature text editor out there. The fact that it is open source and free just speaks to how absolutely insane this industry, as well as the state of the tools we use to build it. is. I can wholeheartedly recommend Coda, VIM, Sublime Text, or TextMate to anyone. I think they're all excellent choices, but for me (at least for now) the choice is clearly TextMate.