Sublime Forum

Should ST be marketed to newbies as an IDE?


Many a question here and elsewhere has been answered “ST is not an IDE”. Well, reading many posts here that propose various hacks and QoL improvements, it seems to me that people have constructed in a way their own personalized IDEs out of ST. I know I did (for Julia).

So the question is: shouldn’t this be really admitted and acknowledged? That ST really is the raw stuff of which IDEs can be (and are) made?

And, make it considerably easier for people who are desirous of an IDE (typically for Python, I guess, or JS) to provide builds of ST that already ARE an IDE?

Just food for thought…



I think the distinction is less “Sublime is not and IDE” and more “Sublime is not an IDE but CAN be an IDE, with the right amount of setup”. The difference between the two is, to some degree, the level of familiarity you have with the tooling of the language or environment that you’re using and the level of interest you have in making those customizations.

In that light, Sublime is not an IDE because if you’re brand new to C++ coding, using Sublime is going to be a more brutal out of the box experience than using CLion or similar, which has been purpose built from the ground up to hide as much as possible about how things work.



I hear you. For better or for worse, ST is often imagined (especially by new users) to compete with VSCode. However, to make ST a believable simulacrum of an IDE that can go head to head with VSCode is (often) a long and frustrating process that requires a considerable climb up a learning curve.

Wouldn’t it make sense (in the interest of helping the ST community grow) to provide pre-built IDE versions of ST?

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I like it the way it is. I use it for development but also for editing a ton of text files during the day where I appreciate the speed of having the editor open the moment I click on the file.

Would drive me nuts if I had to wait until plugins and all that stuff is loaded which I don’t need for editing.



I suspect there’s a large number of people out there who use ST straight up stock and don’t even install Package Control.

Though for the strategic angle, I guess it matters more what the subset of users who actually pay for a license want.



ST starts as a powerful code editor without IDE bloat. Users who want IDE-like functionality can add it via plugins. Bloat is opt-in. For me, that’s a major advantage and one of the main reasons for using ST over IDEs.



Just so that we are clear: I am not saying that everyone should get an IDE. What I am saying is: make an IDE-like version for those who want it. I still remember when I was new to ST: it was pretty much useless to me as is, and I wanted more. But to get there took weeks and effort. With resources such as @OdatNurd’s video how-tos one can make a Python IDE-like version of ST, but only with dedication and perseverance. Do newbies have that? I doubt it.

Without more users, I think ST is doomed.

Frankly, I do not see myself enjoying using ST without this minimum:

  • PackageControl
  • AutoFileName
  • SidebarEnhancements
  • FileIcons
  • OpenUrl

By the way, I have around twenty packages installed, including the ones above. When I start the bare-bones ST, it might take a fraction of a second. When I start my preconfigured ST, it might take – wait for it – a fraction of a second. There is no reason for hand-wringing that bloat will ensue when ST is shipped with a bit of meat on its bones.



If people can make Vim into an IDE, then yes, ST is an IDE.

But no ST shouldn’t be marketed as much. Because most of its plugins and features are community supported and not quite as good as what newbies would expect when compared with other free editors.



Half a heart from me there. I agree that it shouldn’t be marketed as an IDE. I disagree that it’s features “lag”. They are nicely curated for generality and against bloat.



It’s not an IDE, it’s a very powerful text editor. And because it’s not an IDE it also doesn’t understand the language you’re writing in, but it also doesn’t care. The auto-complete always works in the same way.
I don’t want it to be an IDE. I use it daily with hardly any plugins. All I have is color schemes, case convert, deluxe switch file. I wouldn’t want it to be anything else really.

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I think most of you purposefully avoided my point that this proposal was aimed at newbies!
I can see how someone who has already climbed the steep learning curve does not necessarily want a change. But changing how ST is delivered to experience users was not my intent.

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