Even if you’re not on a Mac and therefore don’t use TextMate, you probably read about its little Halloween theme on other blogs and saw examples of it in flickr. I noticed the festive Jack-O-Lantern icon after the software update on October 30th, but it wasn’t until I opened a folder of files on the 31st that I noticed the cobwebs. I thought it was a fun little way to celebrate what I see as a harmless, American, pop-culture holiday.
While it was fun on Halloween, yesterday I was ready to get my familiar purple icon back and headed over to the Macromates blog to find out when that would happen. It was fun reading the comments about the Halloween theme but there were some mixed opinions about it. Apparently some people were really upset:
“…I found this offensive and promptly removed the theme. Please understand I do not think it is offensive because I am some fanatical weirdo. But the roots of Halloween are in animal and human sacrifices as well as rape in the name if Satan. This is not just something that happened hundreds of years ago, this happens today in abundance; in the U.S. Canada and UK. If you don’t believe me ask a Satanist or wiccan or do your own research. Many religions have an issue with the practice of Halloween including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Even many Atheists don’t like it because of the animal and human damage done every year in relation to this event. That said, it really wasn’t the above reasons that offended me most but it was the fact that it was just assumed that I accepted this holiday and wouldn’t get offended. I am sure you wouldn’t have a Chanukah or Nativity theme so you wouldn’t offend people. The Islamic holiday Ramadan happened recently but I never noticed TextMate having a green theme with a crescent moon. How disappointing.”
After reading through the comment thread I decided that I’d just be patient and wait for the next software update. I really didn’t want to get involved there. Well, this morning the update finally came. Here is the applicable lines from the release notes:
[2006-11-02: REVISION 1324]
[REMOVED] TextMate no longer pays tribute to human sacrifices, rape, nor does it show a picture of the God of the deaths in your dock — ticket 945BEB5D
That made me laugh. While I think the folks at Macromates stepped on a few toes when they decided to force a somewhat taboo holiday on their supporters, I think they handled the criticism wisely. What do you think? Should internationally popular websites and software applications try to do things like this to entertain people, or should they be emotionless and humor free?