Bare Bones [was: [TxMt] Public to-do list for TM (was: Textile Bundle?)

Mark Smith mark at
Fri Mar 18 16:23:03 UTC 2005

Hi Allan,

Well, this is going down precisely the street that I hoped it wouldn't and I'm probably going to get hammered for starting it, so I'll answer this first batch of three (yours first since you are the boss) and then quietly withdraw from the topic.

My point was not to make some counterpoint to TextMate's progress by sticking up for BBEdit and/or Bare Bones.

Rather, I hope that this excellent resource can free itself from continual snide comments about BBEdit and Bare Bones. It doesn't reflect well.

If BBEdit were perfect, TextMate would have no chance. If BBEdit and/or Bare Bones were lousy Bare Bones would have become extinct. I am happy living in the reality that is somewhere in between.

Allan Odgaard wrote:

>On Mar 18, 2005, at 11:59, Mark Smith wrote:
>> Can we drop this now and focus on TextMate ? (That's how it works on 
>> the BBEdit lists.)
>In all fairness, they may not make such comments on their lists, but 
>they do make them in public, like: “we have observed the crowding of 
>the landscape with products which don't meet our standards for quality 
>and thoughtfulness” or “these overnight text editors don't reflect well 
>on the genre or the platform” -- this combined with a radio interview I 
>heard is what have made me think of them as spoiled rock stars (hence 
>my reference).

Well, TextMate excepted, this comment about mac editors is generally true. The only exceptions I can think of are JEdit (with the usual Java baggage) and Pepper (which fizzled out). You might say that a commercial developer shouldn't be having a go at small independent shareware or freeware efforts, but it happend to be the case that several new editors on the block had started throwing stones at BBEdit even before they get out the starting blocks and ended up festering and forgotten. TextMate's launch included some friendly and subtle anti-BBEdit references too. No problem there, but at the same time, one can't complain if the Ogre then has a go at swatting a fly. In any case, the precise comments you refer to were from Rich Siegel and refer to the rationale for making Text Wrangler free.

Bare Bones as a whole are characterized by a conservative approach to development. Show me a single mature product which is not conservative and remains successful. Allan will inevitably become more conservative with TextMate as it improves and matures. His astronomical progress rate cannot be maintained indefinitely. It is simply ridiculous to compare the current rates of change of the two products. 

I do not wish to become the lists BBEdit fan boy. If I were 100% satisfied with Bare Bones and BBEdit, I wouldn't be here. On the other hand, I'm realistic enough to realize that both Allan *and* Bare Bones can count themselves amongst the absolute cream of MacOS X developmers despite the broad differences in approach.

>Please take such comments with a grain of salt, like with any other 
>comments sent to this list which doesn't meet your standards for good 
>behavior -- there are hundreds of subscribers from different countries 
>and cultures, not all share the same view of what's appropriate.

Sure. Its not as though I've got unusual standards. A bit of friendly banter is one thing, but I  think that disgruntled BBEdit users and Bare Bones hate mail will turn into an albatross for you sooner or later if you let it become a dominant aspect of the community. It will also make it a less interesting and useful place.

>Seeing how TextMate is a magnet for disgruntled BBEdit users, I think 
>the occasional reference is unavoidable, similar to how you'll also 
>find an occasional Microsoft bashing on most Apple lists -- but this 
>really isn't what dominates this list, I have 3513 messages stored, 
>only a handful mentions the other company.

Half a dozen already in the last few days and always of the same general form. "Try asking Bare Bones for a feature and see what you get" etc.

It appeared to be on the rise, hence my post. Sorry if it was either unnecessary and/or inappropriate.


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