Like a few other posters, I'm happy and relieved to see action in the world of Sublime Text. The new ST3 beta has some showcase features and should empower plugin developers to expand the featureset of the editor even further. The new Goto def / symbol features bring these useful IDE tools to Sublime across different languages and platforms: Nice. And as a programmer, I really appreciate the big work that's gone on under the hood and recognise the benefits to ST in the long run.
But as a user, well, I'm a little underwhelmed at present. Why?
Both the Ideas/FR forum here and sublime.userecho.com create a dialog with users and the latter in particular germinated some great ideas. So far, at least, such ideas seem to have been largely ignored.
A number of bugs, annoyances and limitations have been posted by numerous users over time. It seems few of these have received attention. Somewhat ironically, in paying for a product, one can and should expect some form of basic support. So for instance, where Sublime Text is pitched as "a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose" it is reasonable to expect from purchase that a bug such as textwrap misbehaving with punctuation for plain text entry (fixed in ST3) should be addressed and released to paying ST2 customers. I don't entirely accept the "try before buy" argument either, since such issues are not always apparent while you're trying stuff out.
Reflecting over the history of ST2 (and I say this in hope) the author started a development cycle with a view to ongoing improvements and feature additions over time. Stable/final release signified, more or less, feature freeze; updates beyond this point were largely about fixing major or showstopper bugs. Ergo, we can expect more in ST3 before it goes final.
At the risk of suggesting the bleeding obvious, howabout a roadmap of planned features developments for ST3? It doesn't need to be an essay, just an insight into the developer's plans for broad areas of improvement to be addressed during the ST3 cycle. This addresses a lot of questions for potential buyers up-front, quells complaints and suppresses a great deal of "abandonware"-type noise.
For instance, my pet-wants as a user from Sublime are:
1. No menu in distraction free mode under Linux
2. Proper code-folding that uses .tmLanguage hints for foldpoints
3. Macros that record everything, not just dumb keystrokes
4. Virtual whitespace
5. Proper block (and other) cursors, especially if (4) is implemented (Brief style behaviour)
6. Sidebar API and related enhancements. Would facilitate the development of an intuitive FTP solution. SFTP is great, but I just want to be able to connect in and drill down my remote directories and remote edit files.
All of these have been discussed heavily on these forums and at userecho. Obviously the above list has items that range range in complexity but most competent developers can quickly establish the amount of work in a given problem domain, and I certainly don't question the competence of the author! We don't necessarily want an itemised list of specifics and weekly progress reports, but a summary of focus areas for ST3 as development progresses towards final so that potential buyers know what to expect.