TextMate: The Last Straw

March 16, 2010 Alex Chaffee

That’s it. I’m done with TextMate. It hasn’t been updated in over 2 years, either for essential functionality (replace in path) or performance fixes (searching through log files) or UI issues (how many boxes must you click to enable autosave?) or bug fixes. Every few months the author pokes his head up and says “I’m working on TextMate 3.0!” and then disappears again, happily accepting new license fees into his PayPal account.

I’ve just been bitten twice in two weeks by a bug that caused not just data loss, but data mangling in a way that was very difficult to fix. Here’s the rough steps to reproduce:

  1. Edit some files in TextMate
  2. Leave TextMate running in the foreground
  3. Switch to console and “git pull” in the latest code from your workmates
  4. Run a search-and-replace that edits a file that was changed (by someone else) during the merge
  5. Save that edit

You’ll see (with “git diff”) that your version of the file has your new post-merge changes… but it also has reverted your buddy’s changes from the merge. It’s like you decided that those changes were no good and reverted them yourself and then added your own.

If you fail to notice this before checking in, you will totally hose your version control… but just for that one file. You can’t just revert a whole commit… you’ll have to step through change by change to figure out which change was theirs, which change was yours, and which change looks like it was yours but was actually an inadvertent revert of theirs!

I can’t work under these conditions. I’m switching to RubyMine today. See http://bjclark.me/2010/03/10/rubymine-a-love-story/ for why.

P.S. I just found a bug report for this dated 2008-04-02. That’s just about 2 years ago for a critical data-losing bug. Woot.

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