Sublime Forum

Secret dream : make Sublime Text open source


I bought ST2 and I would be willing to pay another 60$ if ST3 was made open source. The sporadic development and inadequate support is worrying. The text editor is such an essential tool for most of us and requires such a significant time investment that the uncertainty surrounding its future is unbearable.

Given the circumstances, I will not be spending any more money on ST without any reasonable assurances concerning its continued development.



Honestly I’d probably be willing to pay/donate MORE if it was open sourced.

Usually this time of year I visit all the open source tools I use and make a yearly donation. It’s not much but over the years I’ve shelled out way more than I paid for ST2.

I really like Sublime and paid for v2 but am on the fence for v3. Looking at both Brackets (open source) or biting the bullet and getting a license for IntelliJ.

Both seem to have better communication with their customers.



There are so many awesome Sublime plugins that accept donations. Just to name a few: package control, bracket highlighter, emmet and so on.



Why are you talking about plugins and such? It has nothing to do with the discussion.

And stop saying that you can’t make money with open source software, that’s a huge misconception.



You can make money by offering support for open source software, not by selling it. And in many cases support is more time consuming than coding.

Anyhow, it’s a free world. You can use any other open source software; you are not stuck with sublime in any way. Not sure why every now and then some random dude pop up and claim that he/she sublime should be open source…

I wonder how many of you went to adobe or autodesk and ask to open source photoshop, 3dmax, etc…



The funny thing is that Sublime Text is basically already available for free. I know a bunch of people who have been using the unregistered version for a long time, either because they are cheap or they just can’t afford to buy it (students).

How about not open-sourcing the program in the strict sense, but just releasing the source-code under a non-free license? For example, to use the source you must have a valid ST license, and you may not use the source in other programs, and may not redistribute it commercially? And you have to redistribute the source with the binaries if you make any changes (a bit like GPL)?

This would not expand the circle of those who are not paying for ST. People who don’t care about Jon’s income, or who can’t afford buying ST, already pirate it, and will continue. People who do care, and who do obey licenses, would still pay for it.

Such a non-free license would still let you customize ST for personal use. Someone could implement the long-requested feature of file-type icons, for example. If a new feature is well-coded, then it could even be ported back into the main branch.



IMHO I’d say “be careful what you wish for”. Open Sourcing an active and thoughtful project could lead to enormous confusion. Open Sourcing works where the path is unclear, which is not the case with Sublime. As a paying user of Sublime, I am more than happy with the chosen path, and have found myself trusting the decisions made, the pace of innovation, and the quietly considered and absolute reference point. I cannot say the same for many “plugins” I have tried, which are somewhat arbitrary and often not well thought through. So I’d say, keep it closed source. Consider that the benefits of this editor far exceed the modest payment required to register.



Binaries of Sublime Text (up to build 3059 at this time) are offered on this website with copyright restriction but no physical restriction. What is the benefit of physically restricting the source, while it could be physically offered with the same legal restrictions?