Holy Komodo!
by Shane Caraveo

Shane Caraveo, September 5, 2007

It's a big day for us at ActiveState: we just announced that we're going to open source a large chunk of Komodo! I thought I should take some time and write about why we're doing this, what we hope to...

It's a big day for us at ActiveState: we just announced that we're going to open source a large chunk of Komodo!

I thought I should take some time and write about why we're doing this, what we hope to achieve, and how it affects those of you who have been supporting us through your purchase of Komodo IDE or your use of Komodo Edit and our free language distributions.  It's a big change for us, and I'm sure there are going to be a lot of questions and comments in the weeks to come.

Why are we doing this?  I, as well as the rest of ActiveState, believe that Komodo is an excellent development tool that, given a more open nature, could really blossom into something far larger than it is today.  There are a lot of people out there looking for a good development environment that they can get behind, but due to our commercial license, are unwilling to consider Komodo.  We've been talking internally about open sourcing Komodo for a long time now. Making Komodo Edit free (as in beer) was dipping our toes in the water; now it's time to dive in!

Our initial efforts with OpenKomodo will be around the development of community, and a community driven effort to create a development environment focused on the Open Web.  Community is important and critical to our success.  There will be plenty of growing pains in this area for us, but I do feel we can be a good community member in this endeavor.

We see the Open Web as an important issue to support both as individuals and as an organization.  ActiveState has always thrived on the belief in developer choice, which I feel is well reflected in our products.  Joining the chorus of voices supporting open standards on the Internet is important to us as individuals and as a business.

Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE will continue to exist in the form they are today, and we will be driving forward with new development on both fronts.  Both will track alongside the open source code base in order to maintain compatibility of extensions developed for them.  IDE will continue to grow in new directions as we add more advanced features to it.  I believe we can continue to add value on top of an open source base that many developers will find worth the investment.  I also feel that the open source base is a healthy way to protect that investment for our customers.

So, Where Is It?
You're right, we haven't released sources yet. We do have a specific timeline outlined on our website.  We're well into the process of getting this ready, but it's going to take a little more time. How long? To paraphrase Mozillian Mike Shaver, “Two F**king Months!"  We're not quite as fast as Mozilla!

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6 comments for Holy Komodo!


I've been testing a number of environments for PHP remote debugging over the last few days, and Komodo was the one that very nearly worked out of the box (to be honest, it was one of the only two I was able to get working, with the other being an xdebug plugin for vim). I've used Komodo off and on, although I've found its limited remote file support often made it cumbersome to work in the slightly-backwards development setup I had. I'm very much looking forward to where Komodo will be going in the future -- it's already one of the best web development IDEs out there, and no doubt this move will make it the obvious number one.


Good on you, guys! This is good news. When reading this post I expected paraphrasing Steve Ballmer's famous "Developer-Developer-Developer" performance.


Python really lacks some good IDE. OpenKomodo IDE could take "advantage" of this. Till now is the best OSS py ide I have found, but not so nice as Komodo. Good luck, i'm looking forward for news from this project.


There are dozens of quite usable, viable, and well loved Python dev environments out there; not the least of which being Eric3/4, Vim, Emacs, or the vast majority of those listed at the Python editors wiki: . Ultimately, the choice of editor (for any language) is quite often a matter of personal aesthetics. I welcome Komodo to the space not because there aren't any other good editors available (there are many), but because giving people more choices of tools can only improve the quality of all tools.


What was that comment about pydev?

It's not the first time I've heard such outrageous bullpoop. After seeing a few such recommendations I downloaded pydev and Eclipse and set it up. What a waste of time and disk space!

I will be the first to admit that my choice of Vim (gvim for Windows) and the Cygwin bash shell, is not the fanciest of platforms. But it does the fundamentals right and doesn't get in my way. Until something like BlueJ comes along for Python, I will stick with an editor that has syntax coloring, and any old general GUI environment so I can run unittests in parallel with editing.


Shane, this is great news. I've really liked the direction ActiveState has been heading with Komodo. Such as community extensions highlighted by the recent extensibility contest. Open Komodo is another step in embracing the open source community, one that I think reward ActiveState ten fold. I'm anticipating great things.