Version 5 of TheCodingMonkeys’ SubEthaEdit text editor is now available. With this release, the project will become free and open-source.

Dominik Wagner, former CEO of TheCodingMonkeys, who helped start the project in 2002, wrote in a blog post that while surpassed by other editors, mainly Apple’s own XCode, there are some holdouts that still hold a soft-spot for he and his colleagues’ collaborative text editing platform.

When Wagner, along with Ulrich Bauer, Martin Ott and Martin Pittenauer, started the project, their first goal was to win an Apple Design Award, which they pulled off with their 2003 win for Best Mac OS X Student Product. The inspiration for SubEthaEdit’s design, and for making a text editor at all, was Wagner’s history as an Acorn RiscPC user. He was sorely missing some of the more key features of the platform’s StrongEd text editor and hoped to bring what he loved about it to OS X.

SubEthaEdit now allows for collaborative coding, writing and editing on local networks and over the Internet with support for a number of programming languages. Though TheCodeMonkeys has shifted its focus to mobile games, like its iOS port of the popular board game Carcassonne, Wagner wrote that extending the life of its pet project drove the open-source release, which is distributed under the MIT license.

Wagner explained the focus of the release is to:

  • Bring the code base into a state that builds fine and fully supports macOS Mojave
  • Generate a nice repository with as much history as possible, both for reference and educational purposes (Fun fact: SubEthaEdit started out in Subversion, had a long time in Mercurial and very much later moved on to git)
  • Update and or remove dependent libraries, support current Mojave features
  • Get into shape for dual App Store and Website download releases, so contributions can have a quick turnaround time
  • Remove the dependency on the Website for system integration, e.g. the see tool and authorization scripts are now part of the distribution

Wagner hopes the release will attract contributors and keep the program up-to-date with compatibilities and features of MacOS as it evolves.