Sublime Forum

Open Source Sublime Text


I guess Jon is very happy developing Sublime Text and would definitely not like anyone else bossing him around how he should do stuff. I guess anyone does. I mean, if the code went public, he could spend most of this time review and rejecting pull requests other than actually coding stuff. Other than that, he would have to directly and equally compete with Atom and VSCode teams, which are much bigger than his. But even worse, while having a smaller team, Atom and VSCode directly code with JavaScript, which is very much high level than C++. Let explain this with a picture:



I think you’ve misunderstood what I wrote. I am asking for a crowdfund to open-source the existing code, not all new code written from now on. No-one would be under any obligation, moral or legal, to obey the whims of anyone asking for PRs, submitting bug reports etc. All I want is for Sublime Text to exist free of capitalist influences and to not become obsolete if Sublime HQ becomes insolvent. Making the existing code open-source would not force Sublime to “compete” with other open-source editors any more than it already is; and if anything open-sourcing would only help Sublime in that regard.



John already said he prefers Sublime Text project open source other than dead:

Jon Skinner: I’d rather see Sublime open sourced rather than abandoned, but it is a commercial venture, and it just doesn’t make any sense to both release it as open source and continue working on it.
What's happening

While his commercial venture keeps working for him, he will keep to closed source. Unless you buy it from him, and release it as Open Source. How much would you think Sublime Text worth and how much would motivate Jon Skinner to sell it to you open source it?

  • 3 million of dollars
  • 5 million of dollars
  • 10 million of dollars
  • 50 million of dollars
  • 250 million of dollars
  • 750 million of dollars
  • 1.5 billion of dollars
  • 4.0 billion of dollars
  • 5.0 billion of dollars

0 voters

But, if Jon sells Sublime Text to you and you open source it, (instead of keeping it private and selling licences), wbond, djohnston, karin would be unemployed. And:

  1. Who will work full time fixing Sublime Text bugs? People can only work on it occasionally, because either they work full time or no food.
  2. Who will pay to keep the Sublime Text website & forum online?
  3. What will @jps to do with 5.0 billion of dollars?

I think Jon would not think too much before open sourcing it, if you pay him that much. He would not have to work for the rest of his life anymore. Can someone crowdfund that much?



Let’s not forget, once you’ve crowd funded it, and released it from “the shackles of capitalism”, unless a project like Sublime Text is funded by other big companies (Github funds their own Atom as Microsoft does with Visual Studio, but now they are both Microsoft, so who will survive :thinking:) development for such a large project may dry up.

I’ve never understood this fear that if a project isn’t open source it may die. There are many open source projects that are also dead or dying a slow death. Yes, there are also open source projects that thrive, but open sourcing a project does not guarantee its survival.



free of capitalist influences

Do you have a recipe how to be free from capitalist influences in a capitalist world where even merely living in a flat or house (as opposed to living in a cave, dugout or tent) without any extra ambitions (food, travel, hobbies) costs money? Right, why don’t just we all make a living from donations and crowdfunding!

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That’s a hilarious poll addons_zz.

20% of responders value Sublime Text at $5 billion - a valuation of that amount would mean Jon was making a post-tax profit of at least $250 million a year, but more realistically for this kind of business he’d be needing a yearly post-tax profit somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion. To achieve that he’d need to be getting something like 10-20 million new users every year (the entire population of a mid-sized country). This forum currently has 28,192 users - the lowest available figure in the poll of $3 million looks rather optimistic - most likely is that ST has generated revenue of a few million dollars during its entire 10-11 year existence and a valuation of less than $1 million would be more likely [note that: 28,192 * $80 = $2,255,360].

I doubt Jon is making more that $150-200 thousand a year from it, but nothing wrong with that. It’s a nice cottage industry with a very decent pay cheque, he’s his own boss, provided gainful employment to a handful of people, he’s created a much loved piece of software that’s used by tens of thousands of people, heavily influenced the design of modern coding editors, and earned the respect of those who have an idea of what he set out to do - Sublime HQ News November 2007 (start with the bottom post and work upwards). Also, while he might not have invented simultaneous editing, he certainly popularized it and I am almost certain that Sublime Text was the first coding editor to have them. That’s all pretty impressive in my book.

I’m very glad to hear that Jon would prefer to ‘see Sublime open sourced rather than abandoned’. But fingers crossed ST will continue to evolve and operate as a commercial product for a long time, I’m firmly of the view that if Jon quit and ST became an open source project that would be the beginning of its demise.

P.S. Just noticed that only 5 people voted in addons_zz’s poll, so 20% was 1 person. :slight_smile:



Yes, there are also open source projects that thrive, but open sourcing a project does not guarantee its survival.

I agree with this statement.

IMHO open sourcing software won’t guarantee the project quality will be increased by a matter of fact neither. Actually it’s not really common to find high-quality software across github… I see over and over lots and lots of good ideas with potential living in zillions of repositories poorly executed&implemented. Lots of projects not even considering importants factors such as system quality attributes.

Of course, I’m not implying poor quality software will be inherent to be open-source as that’d be factually wrong… cos you can also find lots of poor closed source systems as well.

My point is, by making open source a particular software don’t just expect magically the quality will be increased cos that’s not it. Nowadays we live in a world where the tendency is open-sourcing everything… yet I see really poor products over and over… so, do we have better software nowadays than let’s say 20 or 30 years ago? Maybe not…

It’s funny, even some recruiters assuming all people will post their source code on their github accounts over and over :confused: . Actually, I just upload to github fast experiments or code I’m not really interested on… Closed source is not necessarily the devil, you know? :slight_smile:



Kind of related to this thread… today I’ve started thinking about this, can-be-an-open-source-project-considered-a-cooperative-game. Probably in that forum nobody will answer as it’s not strictly a “pure” mathy question but… what do you think about it? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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Have you seen this: Open-source game theory is weird

I’ve never done any game theory maths, and frankly don’t think my maths is up to it these days without a monumental effort (which ain’t going to happen), but the subject is very interesting from an economic and philosophical perspective.

You might also consider trying the StackExchange Economics site, I’d imagine there’s quite a lot of game theory discussion there.



I reply to you cos your comment is pretty much accurate with my brief experience about getting involved into the open-source world … Few days ago I’ve uploaded to github my first open-source project ever called pyblime, before uploading the project to github I thought this could be quite a fun experience that would allow me to get feedback and working with other coders, so ideally we’d join everyone’s forces and we would be able to create something usable and cool.

The reality is proving to be quite the opossite actually and right now I must to say even if I’ve tried to get involved others over the last days by promoting the project on differet mediums I’ve got almost no feedback and I’m finding it’s just me basically dispatching all the tickets, no questions, no feedback, nothing… Only help I’ve got so far is from @kingkeith, which btw is really appreciated… I’d say right now that one of the main drivers that keeps motivation flowing.

In any case, I must to say I’m gradually starting to get more and more dissapointed about this open-source experiment/experience… cos as you said, I’m sure once the project become production ready and stable a lot of guys would start emerging and asking for their favourite features, also even some little contributions as well… but if that point was ever reached I’d care very little about it and probably just abandon the idea and moving into another project.

I’ve always favoured close source sofware and this little experiement is not helping me to change my mindset… Anyway, it’s even reinforcing the main idea about SublimeText not going open source from the very beginning was just the right choice… :slight_smile:

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It’s time to open source.



Just one simple question: Why?



Is it possible to release source code with copyright?



I have a wish list of enhancements to the syntax engine, but even if the whole thing were open sourced I doubt that more than a handful of people would ever become familiar enough with it to make major changes.. .



or simply use cuda text.



Curious. Can you describe what enhancements you’d want in the syntax engine ? The syntax engine has gotten pretty powerful in ST4 with non deterministic parsing & inheritance.



Just commenting to say that I moved onto VSCode long ago. Very glad I didn’t stay aboard the sinking ship, based upon the last few big changes to Sublime! Even if Microsoft was wiped from Earth tomorrow (inshallah), I can now control and customise and update the most important tool in my vocation forever, even if it loses so much popularity I have to do all that myself.



Uh, yeah, open-source code exists for as long as it can be stored on hard drives or golden Voyager records or oral tradition or whatever else. I didn’t say it open-sourcing would magically pay rent, genius.



“Just commenting to say …”

Solid gold content, thanks for sharing.



I just thought I’d jump in, (instead of doing some useful work). Instead of making it open source can I see the source code for ST4 please? It’s only 64 bit (I still have a 32bit machine, I’ve been upcycling, there are probably still millions of perfectly useable 32 bit machines, you know CO2 an all, and Windows being… well handy for us upcyclers) …so I can’t use it and there isn’t a 32b version for Linux.
(I can’t even use VSCode as there isn’t a 32 bit version of that), but I’d be happy to have a crack at converting ST4 to 32 bit, I mean how hard can it be? (it’d probably take a team of us, I don’t mind signing some kind of disclaimer)? (Or at least have a look and go, “jeesh what a nightmare”).

I’m not sure what advantages 64bit brings to a text editor ? Anything 32bit will run on a 64bit machine (if your types are defined) no ?

Naturally it’s never gonna happen, but there’s a decent reason to let some folks look at the source code, so those of us not at the bleeding edge (at the scabby festering edge) can use ST4 to make the world a better place by using junk…:infinity: :arrows_counterclockwise:


Ps Quoting someone who’s quoting Jon Skinner about ST2

"I keep meaning to write a blog post with some details on this, but as with many things, I usually end up coding instead.
Sublime Text 2 is almost entirely C++ (with a smattering of Objective C for Cocoa and Python for plugins). Coding is generally fairly straight forward: code on one platform (mostly Linux at the moment, but I switch around frequently), and then make sure it still compiles elsewhere.

If it’s still written mainly in C++ (maybe not any more) I can’t see what difference 32 and 64bit makes (except for the compiling) unless there’s some serious bit fiddling going on. There’s even a 64 bit type for 32bit machines uint64_t…