Sublime Forum

Open Source Sublime Text


No, they use different programming languages and have different APIs. The only thing you may use on Visual Studio Code are the syntax definitions.

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I have used Sublime for about a week now. I enjoy it for the most part.

Pro: nice layout, flexible key bindings, package control, REPL, multiple themes, autocomplete, matching brackets, matching quotes.

Con: install packages some packages require github and terminal knowledge. Even some good packages don’t have well-written manuals. key binding is written in JSON, you need to understand JSON. REPL is great, but needs some more work.

Overall: Sublime is my favorite. It would be nice if is better integrated with point-and-click and drop-down menus. For example, you need to browse package codes to make changes, not everything is in Preferences.

With that said, RStudio IDE is a successful open source IDE, they are doing well. SAS is proprietary software, and it is not. Octave is an open source, IMO not doing well. Matlab is proprietary, and it is doing well. So, it all depends on where the leadership of the team takes it.



key binding is written in JSON, you need to understand JSON.

Atom and VS Code, too. But with latest PackageDev support for auto-completion of key bindings, settings and commands improved a lot and will improve further in near future.

Even some good packages don’t have well-written manuals.

One aspect of what I meant with much room for open source lovers to contribute.

need to browse package codes to make changes, not everything is in Preferences

My favorite way to access package settings is Side-by-Side Settings. But there is indeed nothing which would prevent package developers to use the Preferences.sublime-settings to store package settings to by providing well formed settings names prefixed with the package name.



Packages such as sublimeREPL, package control, and key map should be standard shipment when you download ST.

They are essential and convenient. I don’t see why someone would not want it, if they really don’t want, they can uninstall.

This is what I meant by better integrated.



Package Control makes network connections and downloads software onto your machine. It is also an open source piece of software that no one pays for, so it doesn’t get the same attention as Sublime Text itself does.

With recent versions of Sublime Text there is a command palette entry that makes it very simple to install Package Control for users who want it.

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I’ve used sublime text for a long time and have never found a need for 2 out of those 3 packages.
I like the spartan starting conditions of a fresh sublime text install.
After that, just install what you need.



The barrier to entry in is high if your background is not CS. While ST is light and versatile, tweaking/changing preferences is not easy. I spent a week changing THREE key bindings.

If you google all day, you will find what you need, that’s what I did.

Not the first user with such frustration, so, I’m just putting it out there.



I love Sublime and have bought v2 and v3 but I am very worried about the bus factor. If anything happens to Jon, or simply enough time passes and he loses interest, then everyone who has invested time into learning how to use Sublime efficiently will be left high and dry as soon as it becomes incompatible with OS changes. It’s by far the fastest and cleanest GUI text editor, and it would suck for the source code to languish on someone’s hard drive. I really don’t think there’s that much economic reason to keep it open-source (it’s perfectly usable in trial mode anyway if people are looking to “pirate” a copy), and a no-resale license could protect Jon from bigger companies muscling him out with better/more support. To be honest, it seems quite selfish to hold something with so much public usefulness hostage. If you’ve already made a fair amount of income for the time you’ve already spent working on it, you don’t really have the moral right to keep it closed-source, and if you haven’t made a fair amount yet, you could always crowdsource an amount you think is fair in exchange for releasing the source. I’d be happy to contribute to that crowdfunding.



SublimeHQ isn’t just Jon these days, so the bus factor isn’t as relevant



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.