ActiveState Komodo Is Now Open Source Software
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Thursday, 12 January 2023

ActiveState has finally let go of its venerable Komodo IDE, handing it over to the open source community which will now take the lead. 

Komodo had two versions, Edit and IDE. Originally the former was the only free offering, and of course had limitations:

Komodo Edit provides the basic functionality you need for programming without debugging, unit testing, collaboration, or integration with build systems unit testing

Then as examined in "ActiveState Komodo IDE Now Free" the paid and fully-fledged IDE version became free as well. Finally, from free, it goes to free and Open Source.

In reality, this is the natural way in the software life cycle a product should take when it reaches EOL. Paid to free, free to open source, and kudos to Activestate that it didn't keep the code to itself by just deprecating the project.

As to why this happened, there's a couple of reasons. First competition. With many free and heavyweight options which are now available that utilize multiple languages and are much better supported, there's not much space to grow anymore. Even for Perl use which Komodo IDE was most popular for, there's now support in VSCode and Intellij. This happens because it's much easier nowadays to support any language thanks to the Language Server Protocol which separates the language from the editor. For example, for Perl there's Perl::LanguageServer and any IDE that is LSP capable can work with it.

The other reason is that the technology that Komodo IDE was based upon has descended into the realm of legacy.

Mozilla retired the framework Komodo is built on, XUL and XULRunner, back in 2016.Komodo is built on a rather old version of Mozilla, which is beginning to show its age on new releases of various OSs.

For example, notarizing Komodo in the OSX ecosystem is currently not possible since it’s built on an unsupported version of Xcode and the OSX SDK. For most independent developers this likely isn’t an issue, but it’s a non-starter for ActiveState’s enterprise customers.

As such, Komodo’s retirement means that ActiveState will cease to develop code or create builds for KomodoIDE and Komodo Edit, therefore it will no longer provide new features and fixes for bugs or security issues.

With that in mind ActiveState has made the source code available on the company's Komodo GitHub repo.

The Komodo repo is comprised of a whooping 3. 2 million lines of code written in a multitude of programming language like Python, JavaScript, XUL, HTML, C++. Thus anyone can fork and use the code as see fit.

Still ActiveState is not ejecting the project into the wild. The move that shows that it is serious about the project evolving by the OSS community is that the project's forums, which contain much valuable information, will remain open for at least year, with the option of export the content to be hosted elsewhere if anyone is interested in taking on that management task in the community.

So now the fate of the project lies in the OSS community's hands. And we know that OSS developers are not to be underestimated. Who knows, the community driven version might be even better.


More Information

ActiveState Komodo IDE Now Open Source

Related Articles

 ActiveState Komodo IDE Now Free


Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 January 2023 )