Monday, January 28, 2008

Kudos to ActiveState

ActiveState, the company behind the Python cookbook and many other useful and free resources, is a great supporter of free software. Its free Komodo Edit is a nice piece of software, well worth trying.

I started using Komodo Edit a few months after I switched from using Windows to using a Mac. On Windows, my Python editor of choice was SPE. However, I found that SPE, not being a native Mac application, had some small quirks that I found annoying. After trying Textmate, praised by many Mac users, and Wing among others, I settled on the free Komodo Edit. While I missed the class browser I had gotten used to with SPE, I found that Komodo was enough for my basic needs.

After reading this post by Jesse Noller, I started using pylint within Komodo and while I did not find any bugs (so far!) in my code, it did encourage me to improve the existing code. The possibility of easily adding new tools to Komodo Edit lead me to try its more powerful sibling, Komodo IDE. Komodo IDE has an integrated debugger (something I had *never* used before for code development but that I will likely use more and more in the future) and a code browser side bar which is even better than the one included with SPE. After using it for about a week, I decided to treat myself and purchase a license for it before the trial license ended. However, since I found the price a bit steep for something to use just for fun, I inquired about available discounts. I was told that, even though I did not use it for my work, I was eligible for an educational discount given that I work at a University.

However, there was more to come...

When I indicated that I intended to buy it online, I got an email telling me that I was actually eligible for a deeper discount since I had a license for an earlier version of Komodo Personal edition. This was a total surprise for me. Here's what happened: more than two and a half year ago, ActiveState had a special promotion for open source developers to get a free license for Komodo Personal edition. I had taken advantage of this offer at the time and installed Komodo on my Windows computer. However, I found it was comparable in functionality to SPE for which I had a slight preference. As a result, I gave up on Komodo after trying it for about a week.

Now, more than 2.5 years later, the friendly people at ActiveState reminded me that I had a valid (but free!) license and told me I could simply pay for an upgrade to what is in my opinion a much superior programming environment than the version I had a license for.

Talk about friendly customer service! Thank you ActiveState!

1 comment:

Isaac Rodriguez said...

Those guys at ActiveState are really nice. I used to have license to VisualPython, which they discontinued, and when I inquired about it, they offer me Komodo IDE Professional free of charge.

Now, I would like to move to the newest version, and I will check their upgrade options.