Sublime Forum

Disastrous Sublime Text 4 "Upgrade"

#1

I’ve been using Sublime Text for a decade. Like so many people, I’ve gotten used to keeping huge text buffers of notes, reminders, information I occasionally need, et cetera, without officially saving/naming them.

When I made the all-too-common mistake of letting ST3 “upgrade”…not realizing it was to ST4…I not only got the BS “LICENSE UPGRADE REQUIRED” message without any clear warning it would happen, but I also lost all of my existing text buffers and history of all open text files

Of course I shouldn’t have entrusted Sublime Text with all that important information in the first place. That’s a mistake on my part. But it’s still an obscenity, that because they want to bully me into paying over again for version 4 immediately by sneaking in a version update without clear warning, I lost all of my text buffers. Years of notes, passwords, addresses, phone numbers that I had nowhere else.

Is this loss of all file state info when “upgrading” to ST4 intentional? Or just really bad programming?

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#2

There is a bug in the bundled updater. If you close ST before clicking Install, then

lost all of my existing text buffers and history of all open text files

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#3

Buy a new license or downgrade to ST3. As simple as that.

Big mistake. Things you consider important should be saved and have a backup.

Your fault really. SublimeText has always pushed updates like that when a new stable release is available. ST version 4 was announced a month ago. It got covered by some tech press. There are even some youtube videos about it.

Next time. Do yourself a favor and save on the disk instead of leaving files like that.

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#4

That they “always did” something bad and destructive of user data doesn’t make it okay. It just means they always do something bad, and can’t be trusted.

A user shouldn’t have to constantly track a company’s announcements and youtube media in order to know when they could suddenly have all of their file info wiped out. The ability to preserve buffers between launches is an intentional feature, so it should be expected that people will use it and count on it.

And no, downgrading didn’t help. The data was already gone.

The real lesson is that the Sublime Text developers/company can’t be trusted, so one should switch to a product that respects user data more. Hell, this isn’t even just the buffers I was mistakenly trusting them not to destroy, the file history vanished too, leaving me to try to reconstruct where in my maze of decades of directories each of the text files I did have saved was located. This is nothing that any trustworthy, competent company would do to its users. Accept an upgrade that doesn’t warn it will make you lose your license, and then suddenly lose everything you had open, and your history of opened files? That is absolutely unforgivable.

Sublime even preserves undo chains and unsaved files between restarts. Even without my using unsaved buffers as note repositories like so many other developers do, it’s reasonable that I was counting on those other features. And beyond unreasonable that they would violate that trust in switching to a new version.

This is not a product or company that a professional developer can trust. I can see why none of my corporate clients use it on their projects. VS Code may not have as many features, but it’s not gonna throw out your work between reboots just to try to screw you for some more money.

To be clear, I would’ve paid to upgrade in a heartbeat, if it’d been presented in a reasonable way. But there is no chance of my giving money to a company willing to abuse my trust like this in order to attempt to force the money out of me a little faster.

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#5

No one did anything bad. You just forgot save important files and now are blaming the tool for your mistake.

It is your responsibility as an user to at least keep track of announcements or changes.

Maybe save your files next time.

No, the real lesson here is to save and make backup of important files. Also here is a protip: You shouldn’t use palintext to store passwords or addresses. Use a a password manager like Keepass or Bitwarden for those things. Even a making a database is better than simply storing on plain text and worse of all not saving it on disk.

Many professionals, hobbyist and even students use Sublime Text. It is a tool after all. Just because the people you relate to or work with don’t use Sublime Text, it doesn’t mean it is not used professionally.

No one is forcing money out of you. You are free to evaluate Sublime Text 4 without limits. It will work even without paying a license. And best of all, nothing stops you from downgrading to Sublime Text 3.

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#6

No one did anything bad. You just forgot save important files and now are blaming the tool for your mistake.

No, as I said, this wasn’t a matter of forgetting, it’s a known and intentional feature that I was counting on. One that, from even your own apologist position, it seems they chose to break.

Also, as I have already pointed out, it’s not just the unsaved buffer. It’s FOUR features that were apparently, consciously disabled in transit to the new version:

  1. Text buffers specifically designed to be preserved between starts
  2. Undo chains specifically designed to be preserved between starts
  3. Recent Files lists, listing of open files, and all other file history features, also specifically designed to be used and counted upon.
  4. Unsaved file preservation, so that Sublime does not even ask to save files when you shut down. Every other piece of software will at least warn you that a file needs to be saved, but because it is designed specifically to preserve unsaved files, Sublime does not.

So not only is everything I was saving in various notes buffers gone, but so is the list of files I had open, including those for two different clients, and my own projects. And, again, this was me counting on features that were specifically added that allowed me to restart without saving everything and making note of what was open.

If you’re gonna provide a feature, your users should be able to count on using it.

It is your responsibility as an user to at least keep track of announcements or changes

Wrong. This is the real world, where users are not expected to keep up to date with the happenings of the dozens or hundreds of programs and apps they are using. Are you seriously claiming I should know about everything happening with node.js, react, angular, Word, Excel, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Photoshop, Illustrator, VS Code, Hard Disc Sentinel, Git Bash, Tortoise, PuTTY, WinSCP, VNC, Agent Ransack, Tor, Tixati, Greenshot, all the Topaz tools I use, spybot…and all the rest of the programs I use regularly or in some important way on my desktop, plus all of the apps on my phone, so that I know when anything important may change on ANY of them in order to preemptively stop it from harming my system or data? On top of worrying about whether Riot, Epic, or Plarium are going to nerf my champions into oblivion?

That’s absolutely silly. Actual adults in the real world have lives. Those technically competent have complex systems with huge numbers of tools and programs they use and count on. It is not a real-world expectation, that they keep up on the ins and outs of development of all of that software.

Maybe save your files next time.

I acknowledged that trusting in Sublime to preserve them was a mistake. But this isn’t a system crash that destroyed my data. That would be my fault. This is a conscious decision to destroy my data, on the part of the company I paid for this software.

Also here is a protip: You shouldn’t use palintext to store passwords or addresses. Use a a password manager like Keepass or Bitwarden for those things.

That depends on the level of security needed. With really important passwords, I’m not silly enough to save them anywhere. Keepass and Bitwarden are themselves a form of security weakness. Hell, a random string of characters in the middle of a buffer full of hundreds of notes is safer than either of those programs, since someone can socially hack you by simply sitting down at your machine and using it like you would.

Nobody is EVER going to know which random strings are passwords, and what they go to, with a simple text buffer full of years of notes. You, obviously, don’t put “server: [blahblah] account: [yaddah] password: [fubar]”, you simply paste in strings and remember what position in the file they were in.

Also, note that the whole “random string of special characters you can’t possibly remember without saving them somewhere” passwords are worse than simply remembering four semi-random words four or more characters long. correcthorsebatterystaple is FAR more secure than Tr0ub4dor^3. And yet is easy to remember. Those “we generate garbage passwords and save them for you” tools are a weakness, themselves.

Many professionals, hobbyist and even students use Sublime Text. It is a tool after all. Just because the people you relate to or work with don’t use Sublime Text, it doesn’t mean it is not used professionally.

It means that Comcast, Deloitte, AT&T, NASA, Charter, the Washington Post, NOAA, the NSF, and all my other clients do not use it, on any project I’ve been on, which is a bad sign. In my many years of corporate consulting, I’ve seen pretty much every important development tool treated as core on some given project…and not Sublime.

And this is a good reason for it. I will stop suggesting on projects.

No one is forcing money out of you. You are free to evaluate Sublime Text 4 without limits. It will work even without paying a license.

Except that it destroyed all of my file data. My history, list of open files, unsaved buffers, NAMED files that hadn’t been recently saved, undo chains that I, like many professional developers, depend on in case we need to refer to some change we made/undid since the last commit, and so on. How will continued use bring that back?

Their self-evident objective was that by suddenly shoving all of their paying customers into “invalid license” situations without warning, they would bully many of us into paying right away. We responsible grownups who’ve paid previously tend not to WANT to be using unlicensed software.

So they don’t warn us “click here to update to a completely different program that won’t be covered by your license”, they just say “click here to update”.

And the collateral damage of that scam is that we lose all of our file data. ALL of it. Not just buffers that were DESIGNED to exist between restarts, but also our list of open files, our recent file list, our undo chains, and our unsaved named files that we were not prompted to save, because Sublime has chosen to make saving between restarts unnecessary.

And best of all, nothing stops you from downgrading to Sublime Text 3.

As I already said, the first thing I did was reinstall Sublime Text 3…but it didn’t restore my open named/saved files, IDE tree of files open, buffers, file history, or anything else. All of that was gone, apparently as a conscious choice by the developers in presenting me with an “upgrade” that was actually a change in program to a completely different one that consumed and destroyed the old program’s user data, in order to push me to pay for the upgrade rather than bothering to downgrade.

Would paying for the upgrade magically restore my file/buffer data? As I said, reinstalling Sublime 3 did not.

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#7

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

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#8

You should have had save the files on disk and made a backup in the first place. Blaming the tool for your own mistake is an excuse.

I have repeatedly pointed out that this is not all that was lost. It is starting to look like you are arguing here in bad faith, avoiding the points you cannot address because you are in the wrong.

No, I am telling you to keep up with the news and changes about the tools you use to be productive.

I named only programs I use to be productive. And not even all of them. It is not only unreasonable to be expected to keep up with that many, but none of the others expect you to at all. No competent, professional software company would do that.

Yes, but having a life is not an excuse for not preparing yourself for the worst case scenario. Specially with things you count on to work.

That doesn’t involve having to know when one of the dozens of important pieces of software is going to discard all of your user data without warning you.

Sublime did not destroyed your data. You did by being ignorant of risk. Your mistake was never saving your vital information in the first place.

I say for the fifth or sixth time: It wasn’t just the buffer. ALL of my user data was discarded. The entire list of files I had open was removed. The file history was removed. Files that were unsaved because Sublime DOES NOT WARN YOU TO SAVE THEM LIKE EVERY OTHER PROGRAM DOES were lost.

You seem to be cowering behind fallacy, here. Ignoring most of what I am saying.

You obviously do not know what your are talking about. Keepass and Bitwarden are the golden standard when it comes to securely store credentials.

Address my point, that anyone can walk up and get into any login because you have bitwarden or keepass on your machine. They are the “gold standard” in advertising to middle-competence users who don’t understand security. They are a crutch that exploits the mathematical ignorance of people who think @#$(*@#$@( is more secure than babyelephantdancingswiftly.

Your data is encrypted either locally or in a server depending which one you use.

You get up from your machine for a moment, and anyone sitting down on it can get into every login you have, because you are using that tool. You are more secure REMEMBERING passwords and not saving them anywhere.

cool story bro. Get a better argument next time before relying on a logical fallacy.

Oh really? And what, pray tell, is the logical fallacy here?

Complaining about it here won’t restore your files. Let it go. Next time save on disk, make backups or better yet use password manager. You made a mistake. Stop blaming Sublime for it.

Complaining that Sublime choose to discard all of my user data without warning, in order to “upgrade” me to a completely separate program that does not support my registration, warns potential users and buyers that this is the kind of game the company plays. That they cannot trust this software to maintain features built into it, or to maintain user data.

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#9

You should have saved the files in the first place if they were that important.

No, they can’t unless you give them access to your Bitwarden vault. In Keepass case is the same.

Nope. My vault is automatically locked and I have to retype my master password. Also, I work remotely. No one, but me has access to my computer. Remembering is passwords is inconvenient. Your brain can fail you anytime. It is better to use a tool to automate that. That is why Keepass or Bitwarden are a thing.

Anecdotal fallacy which consist in using your own experience as the only proof for something. I can say no one I work with uses linux, therefore linux is not use by professionals. That is the fallacy. In reality my work consist of using dotnet, so development is Windows oriented, no one around me is going to be using linux.

Your Sublime Text 3 license is valid. You are still registered and can use it in Sublime Text 3. Sorry about your loss of data, you should really make a backup next time before upgrading to the next major version.

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#10

Sorry about your loss of data, you should really make a backup next time before upgrading to the next major version.

Let’s focus on this:

They did not tell me that this was “the next major version”.

In other words, that it was a separate program, which would discard all of my user data, and would not support my license.

And, again, discarding my user data is an unacceptable change.

Would you find it acceptable if you updated Bitwarden, and it turned out to be a different program that loaded all of your old user data and then deleted it? So that you lost everything Bitwarden had been saving for you? That’s what happened here. Would it be your fault for not backing up all of your passwords every time you accepted a prompt to update?

I repeat: This wasn’t just unsaved data. It was also my entire list of currently open files, my recent file list, et cetera.

And they DID NOT TELL ME IT WAS A MAJOR VERSION.

Meaning a different program that would destroy all of my user data.

That is intolerable.

A company that does that cannot be trusted with any important task.

And other potential users need to know that.

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#11

You must be living in a cave. They did announce it.

Official

Press

Forum
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27230042

Sublime Text even shows a changelog after updating.

In my experience, the upgrade work fine for me. My directory and files that were saved passed on fine to Sublime Text 4. Even my Sublime Text 3 plugins worked.

I trust Sublime Text. Never failed me before.

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#12

You must be living in a cave. They did announce it.

Again, grownups don’t have the time to go around following “announcements” by software companies. They expect that when they’re shown an “update” button, the button would WARN THEM if it’s actually going to install a different program and discard all of their user data.

I trust Sublime Text. Never failed me before.

It’s self-evident from your arguments above that you’re not to the point in life where anything important is at stake. Not meaningful. A much more transparent use of anecdotal argument as fallacy than finding it unsurprising that a whole slew of major corporations never use Sublime on projects.

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#13

In my experience, the upgrade work fine for me. My directory and files that were saved passed on fine to Sublime Text 4. Even my Sublime Text 3 plugins worked.

Then you should’ve led with that, instead of fallacious evasions and excuse-making. Or better yet, let the grownups conduct the discussion, so you don’t just make things worse.

What you did, by focusing on blaming me for counting on features built into Sublime — and by saying that sublime “always pushed updates like that” — was imply that discarding data during a major version update was SOP.

And when I kept stating, clearly, that they had chosen to discard my data in the major version change, you constantly let that go unchallenged, even as you repeatedly attacked secondary points. Again implying that this loss was a normal and intentional part of the company’s behavior.

Your fanatic “defense” of Sublime actually undermined Sublime’s credibility. Again, this probably should’ve been a discussion for the adults to have.

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#14

There is a bug in the bundled updater. If you close ST before clicking Install , then [lose all data]

Is there any way to fix this? To recover my lost data?

When was this bug found?

Are they letting this continue to happen to more users?

Did they immediately stop it the moment it was discovered?

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#15

don’t use the old appeal to authority with me. You as a grown-up failed to take the proper procedures. You not only keep important information in plain text of all things, you didn’t even saved the files. I’m sorry, but this is on you. Not Sublime Text, not SublimeHQ. You are the culprit.

Complaining here or discussing with me won’t return your lost data. It is lost because of you. Move on. I already gave you the best I advice I can. Use password managers for credentials. Make a backups. Let this be a warning to you to do better next time.

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#16

From what I saw, unfortunately, no.

The bug was reported when ST 4 was released but the potential cause was found less than one week ago.


the potential cause is found less than one week ago.

I don’t know. There is no new release yet since then. But @bschaaf definitely puts it in the top priority.

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#17

To recover my lost data?

Unfortunately the way this bug manifests leads to a complete loss of the session. Your best bet would be to restore from a backup.

When the bug was first encountered we didn’t have any way to reproduce it. Through analysis we were unable to find the cause and instead added some session redundancy, unfortunately the way the bug happens makes that redundancy useless. We’ve since been able to reproduce it thanks to a community member and have implemented a fix.

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