Developing your Editor
@nikhil13 Open Source Sublime Text
This was already posted some years ago, you can read it at:
#7424 Sublime’s future and open source
@nikhil13 I have been big fan of sublime text-3 and have been using it for 3-4 years
I just completed a year of Sublime Text. On this time I had been working a package toolset to let me use Sublime Text for everything I ever need. You can find it on: https://github.com/evandrocoan/SublimeTextStudio
My goal is to actively develop my text editor while I am working on it. For that I use git to fork all the packages I am using, and soon as I find I bug I can open the source code of the package see what is wrong and create a commit within a fix for it. Therefore I also started the same project for VSCode with similar naming and inspirations: https://github.com/evandrocoan/CodeTextStudio
@nikhil13 But setting up packages, console, input etc can be very exhausting at times.
For example, yesterday I was working while I found a bug on the SideBarEnhancements package, I opened and source code for it, and fixed the problem and pushed a commit to my fork:
What happened? The other day I implemented a feature on my SideBarEnhancements fork, but I did not tested it throughly. So I did not catch a behavior on the Sublime Text core. Hence yesterday after struggling some hours I find out it was a going on the Sublime Text core. Then I filled a new issue on it with the steps to reproduce it:
Core$827 When the input panel is closed by
hide_panel command is not called
It was labeled as
enhancement. When I implemented the feature for the SideBarEnhancements I was expecting the command
hide_panel to be called every time some panel is closed, either by the
enter key (confirm) or by the
escape key (cancelled), because the panel is being closed, how else should be panel goes out of screen? But for my surprise the
hide_panel is currently only called when the panel is closed by the
escape key, i.e., explicitly called.
Now looking into it, I am not sure it can ever be implemented without breaking backward compatibility. The command
hide_panel is only issued when it is explicitly called, not when the panel is being “hidden”. Now, we are welcome to software development. To be or not to be, that is question.
The Sublime Text and VSCode Development
@nikhil13 Also updates have been getting really slow lately
Please do not say that. You need to understand, there are only 2 developers working on the core. Not 10 or 100, but 2. The development is going great as it is. I just hope they can focus correctly their valuable and limited time to keep the editor good as it is for the future development.
The stuff you really need, e.g. api additions, need so much knowledge, design and coordination that only the contracted developers can do anything about it. You don’t add ligatures or gutter columns on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Are you going to sit down and refactor some thing for a whole week, plus deal with the “+1” comments and update the blog, on a code base you’re not getting paid to maintain? The big pull requests in a project like Atom represent weeks of research, design, discussion and coding.
Why C++ is so hard to work with? For nothing, C++ itself is not entirely the problem, the problem is the computer you are using and how it works. Why use C++? Because you have the control, explicit control over the computer. It means you can do anything you imagination come with. Which is very good for performance. As long as your are very smart, you can do very smart things and make Sublime Text the fastest thing alive.
Forum$23042 ST3 crashes frequently since Build 3124
Also there the proposal of other languages as Rust, D, Ada, etc., trying to be as fast as C++, but less error prone, increasing the programmer code write performance. However I would say his is a field in development today. Now about this field there are several discussions out there. Some stick with one side, some choose stick with the other. In like 20 years from now we may look backward and see what each one of these sides accomplished and gone through. And draw out our conclusions.
The VSCode Development
I recently discovered VS code
Yo, there is a week I started working with VSCode. Because… It is open source, while Sublime Text is not. Why do I care? Well, because if there is a bug, and there are much bugs on the editor, I cannot fix. But what is my greatest concern are the segmentation faults bugs.
While I was writing this Text on Sublime Text, using my https://github.com/evandrocoan/MarkdownLight syntax fork:
- Sublime Text crashed 3 times.
- I fixed a bug on the MarkdownLight syntax, and created new ones.
The new bugs I created on the MarkdownLight is the not parsing of links on some parts of the text. I will have to look into that again, and see where I should start pushing then on the stack again.
The crash on Sublime Text is on that, I do not know why, why, why… I did not reported before on the https://github.com/SublimeTextIssues/Core/issues because the dump file had
size 0 so there is nothing to do about it. This was not the first time is crashed like that. I have about 5 or 6 crashes like this, since the fix of the other crash I reported on https://github.com/SublimeTextIssues/Core/issues/1503 (Crash while hovering a File Name on the Tab Bar ).
On that time, the crash always created a dump file I could post, and post, and cry, cry, for the development team to look into it. Now the
dump file is empty. Hence I have nothing to hold on. But these crashes are more well behaviored than the other, i.e., does not happen too much, often, etc.
When it crashed the second time, while writing this text, I created a new issue on the core within the description for it: https://github.com/SublimeTextIssues/Core/issues/1832 - You can even see the picture of the second love moment:
Problems like this is what makes the Sublime Text development slower and consume, exhaust, drive away the development time. This would be a issue from Sublime Text I would like to fix. Because I really hate crashes. I definitely would not be using my current Operating System if it was crashing (blue death screen). I need programs and I a system I can trust to never let me down losing my work or just vanishing out some time they fell like wanna do some crashing.
The VSCode Problems
@nikhil13 although it’s UI is not even close to sublime text
I got these problems with their UI:
1. Comparing Sublime Text gutter with VSCode gutter, we conclude the VSCode gutter is too big. Issue: https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/30795
2. The font
Consolas 15pt with
"window.zoomLevel": 1.1, is rendered narrowed, comparing to Sublime Text with the same font size. Issue: https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/30794
Sublime Text build 3141
3. Add border options to
findMatchBackground. They would be called like
findMatchBorder. Currently the selection has no border. https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/30793
Would be awesome if it has borders like Sublime Text selections:
4. Help tool tip should be placed bellow the mouse cursor on the
settings.json file, instead of above item. For me it is horribly confusing putting it above it, beyond blocking my vision, as I read what is above my mouse cursor, not bellow it. Perhaps a setting to configure this behavior. https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/30797
- The mouse cursor is where the big red arrow is pointing.
5. > @Gama11 I have the vshaxe extension cloned into .vscode/extensions/vshaxe, which is the usual workflow for working on extensions as far as I can tell. I didn’t have the most recent commit pulled yet, so the version in my local package.json was behind the officially relased one. This leads to VSCode actually asking me to update the extension (which doesn’t make a lot of sense for an extension installed from source)
Issue: vscode$25159 Support development extension installations
Big Work Time
@nikhil13 I resented it earlier
For now, I doubt VSCode could be a replacement for Sublime Text because:
The file will not be displayed in the editor because it is either binary, very large or uses an unsupported text encoding. Issue: vscode$6474 VS Code fails to open big files (60MB)
Now I got an Open Source text editor to work with, VSCode. With already several issues to work through. Initially I am going through the:
vscode$25159 Support development extension installations
Because I just clone the extensions with git on the extensions folder and do all the changes there. Currently when I am contributing to an existent extension, VSCode keep upgrading & overriding my git extension fork with the latest release available on the marketplace. Now I am looking into the VSCode source to find where it is doing such, and cut it out when I have the extension forked as a
@nikhil13, It would be really nice if you could open source Sublime Text finally, so that all users who are moving to Atom or VS code or bracket due to all these issues could stay.
The problem about Open Sourcing Sublime Text is that it would still a C++ application and segmentation faults are its fidelity. As well said by @facelessuser:
To me, open source doesn’t mean projects get lots of love, it may get more love, but a large percent of users don’t want to actually contribute to an open source project except to tell you you to add their beloved feature, or fix this particular issue.
So @nikhil13, what would be your VSCode core features you are planing to get working on? Did you compile the VSCode from its source code or are you just downloading the Microsoft Build? For the first time I downloaded the Microsoft Build, to see how things were. Later when I decided to give a try as an Sublime Text alternative I started looking into how to compile it from the source.
Comparing the Atom build with the VSCode build, was really different. With Atom I just had to run one command and everything were completed successfully. On the instructions page, they state a lot of stuff. But seems I already had everything ready after the VSCode build, because I only had to run the command:
git clone https://github.com/atom/atom.git
And the final build release of Atom was completed. But for VSCode I still do not know what miracle it is expected to generate a release build. The issue I just pointed there, still with this question in open. But hey, it is open source, I can contribute for the project creating the build steps require to create the release build. But the problem is, how much time will take me to learn it? Why the development team, i.e., the guys who know how to do it, do not did it already? Any ways if some day I got really interested in doing it, I can employ more time. For now, I figured out some other way to deal it the build process, not requiring to build a release version. Therefore I am good and can move on into fixing and creating other things.
The Open Source Initiative
@facelessuser My personal experience with open source is that you have a small percent of contributors, and a much larger user base that wants a piece of your time for their idea or concern.
Oh, I was that bad boy several times. Though, not everything I reported was something was making trouble to me. That is, when I saw some error popping out, I just take the basis and open a issue on its issue tracker. But just because there is a error, does not mean the error is something breaking my workflow. So, most times I do not stop everything I am doing and start debugging and looking how to fix it.
For example, on the package MarkdownLight I had opened this issue #13 on Nov 21, 2016. But just today I had it fixed. I did so because I was typing a markdown, and that bug messed with my entire document style. So I had two options:
- Go on the same issue and post: (Bumping it)
Still not working
Any news on this?
- To change the markdown syntax, to some other one.
- To use another text editor.
- To fix the problem for good.
Today I choose to fix the problem for good. Commit: evandrocoan/MarkdownLight@2d92bd5. But no pull requests made. As there is already one pull request mine, upgrading the syntax from
I usually do not not do pull requests because most developers went MIA (Missing In Action). But sometimes they emerge from the ashes, and got me by surprise. Which by the fact, this is some other feature I need to implement for Sublime Text. Loop through all my forks and check whether the original project owner is starting updating it.
My idea is to do this an automatic process. Except when
git cannot merge the changes automatically, then he sends me a big warm warning about the unmerged changes. I should do it this vacation, but I decided for now on to move on from Sublime Text and start working with VSCode. I would came back into implement this for Sublime Text on the next vacation time. Because well, now Sublime Text is crashing and I fu***** hate things crashing. So, as VSCode is open an source program, not written in C++, has bigger changes to not let down never.
Why would I think so? Well lets us use the current situation. Sublime Text is crashing sometimes, and there is nothing I can do about, other than cry to the Sublime Text development team. But now let us suppose, VSCode start crashing. Which are my options?
- Start crying to development team.
- Fix the damn thing myself.
Wow, super-boy. The man who fixes everything! No way, I can barely fix my misspellings errors on this text. However, comparing between the options with VSCode and Sublime Text, I much prefer VSCode because I can much more than stay just sitting and crying waiting for the others to fix my problems.
Also there is more on the equation than just the Sublime Text core crashing. Which are the dedicated time, and efforts I spent on Sublime Text. I have to consider the option that Sublime Text team will consider that my crashing problems are not good enough for their attention because I am the only one complaining about.
Though they are correct, on the business man point of view. Just one user troubling is not enough to spend time looking over his problems. Therefore I also have my own business man point of view. I am, developing several resources and employing huge amounts of time with Sublime Text and my Sublime Text Studio toolset collection. I have to consider that at some point Sublime Text can just became unfixable and I had no other option than not use Sublime Text any more. So, I cannot make Sublime Text, a closed source project, my only escape point.
That is where enters VSCode. I am not saying that VSCode will be my savior and that Sublime Text is dead. Much by the opposite. VSCode could definitely die and my only option would Sublime Text, or something else as
Atom, etc. But for now I am going to put on pause the Sublime Text stuff and start diving more into VSCode and develop the Code Text Studio, which is the same toolset I had been preparing for Sublime Text last year. However its has a big difference, it includes the source VSCode on the installation step. Which does not happen on the Sublime Text version, as it is a closed source project.
I hope this increases my changes of success, however we also need to increase the point of view. I am not the only one the equation, but just a very tiny small portion of the game. The ones who really matter are the big mass of developers. They decide how the game ends, who wins and are the losers.
Whether VSCode is going to be a success depends on the the masses adheres to its use and engages on its development. Also counts how much more time Microsoft pretends to employ its man power on develop the VSCode for free. If Microsoft stopped working on it, I am not sure about how much time would last the development of VSCode. Maybe the community employment (me, you, everybody else who works for free) should be enough. May be not. Issue: https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/31289 (How much time Microsoft pretends to employ on VSCode?).