ForgEdit – Consider Making it Open Source

I saw the initial beta announcement of ForgEdit today and went over to check it out. For a 1.0 beta, it has some nice features, but overall it’s pretty far behind the Mac text editors I currently own (BBedit, TextMate, skEdit, SubEthaEdit).

Since there is no license or pricing information listed on the main portion of the site, I found that information the forums: the plan is to have it be a $20 app. I understand that this was probably the idea from the start and that a lot of time and effort has gone into the product (read the backstory), but I think it would be wise to reconsider this.

BBEdit and TextMate are pretty well entrenched as the big two in this space, and they have a big headstart on features (not to mention plugins) and mindshare. skEdit is a very nice and capable app that fills the low-end price point well. I don’t see being a “me too” in this space working out very well for Stefan.

I think he should consider making ForgEdit an open source project. By doing that, he is able to both differentiate himself from the existing products on price and also would likely gain a few contributors that might help ForgEdit catch up to the others on features.

A good web site for the project with a blog, documentation, forums, etc. might bring in as much in ads and alternative monetization strategies as he could reasonably expect in license revenue.