Sublime Forum

SublimeText marketplace, is it worth?


I was wondering… you’ll see some users emerging in the forum here and there complaining about certain features not existing in Sublime out of the box and how they’d like it to be like vscode, atom et al

I think there are 2 main factors for this:

  1. St being closed source. This has being discussed zillion of times and while I think keeping it closed source is a good decission overall it’s also a fact than having a small (but very capable team) will be overwhelmed by competitors that have larger teams or open source tools with lots of contributors willing to spend few hours per day on such projects.

  2. Not having a proper marketplace… yeah, having package control with lots of open source packages is awesome… But, have you ever wondered why there are so many outdated & unmmaintained packages in the ecosystem? If it was easy to profit SublimeText package for creators, don’t you think many of them would become higher quality and maintained for much longer?

I’d like to know your thoughts about this matter, do you think having such a marketplace would benefit the whole community or would be contraproducent? I’m not trying to open any debate about free vs paid software here or open vs close source, that’s out of scope… I just wondered whether the quality of the packages would be increased by “motivating” package creators somehow.

Summing up, everybody saying VSCode is the “state of the art” nowadays and I was wondering why Sublime can’t keep with that tool (feature-wise) at this point…




Interesting question…

Are you suggesting that users have to pay for ST packages or that package writers should be paid ?

If the latter, is ST3/4 (etc) earning enough money to pay them?
The current “licensing arrangement” I think is very “honest”. There needs to be some/a lot of ironing out of design flaws / bugs before they can make people pay up front. I’d be disappointed if I’d paid up front.
It’s taken me six months to get ST3 up and running how I want. I’ve spent a lot of time working round limitations because things don’t quite work as “advertised”. (You can see my posts if you need verification). In fairness it does lots of things that are great, and loads of stuff works perfectly. But I don’t think well enough that you could enforce payment to then dish some of that money out to third parties.

Yes package creators “should” be paid, not a bad idea, certainly in the ideal world, but where’s the money going to come from ?
If the licence was obligatory; I think the devs would be over whelmed with angry punters (because they’ve paid so they’re “entitled” to a perfectly working product). It’d mean the restructuring of the organisation: a customer service dept, probably an increase in the now obligatory (hypothetical) licence fee and possibly a large decrease in the good will of it’s users.

I’m guessing the devs have already thought about all this and hence the more “liberal” licence arrangement, though that’s a guess.

I admire what they’re trying to do/have achieved with ST3, but that’s because I do a bit of coding (so have a bit of an idea of the effort involved) and they’re a small team (so I’ve heard). I’ve appreciated all the help I’ve received on this site. However are they going to be successful enough to expand and take on the responsibility of paying third parties? To do that the “product” will need a lot of improvement. And they’ll need a dedicated professional customer services team too…

Lozminda :unicorn:

A final p.s. Let’s hope that this discussion doesn’t go the way of this one, for example

This is just my opinion, it’s an opinion based question, I’ve tried to be as balanced and fair as I can, (some of what I’ve said Is verifiable) and if I’ve expressed myself badly in some way then that’s indeed, my bad, if so my apologies.



First of all, thanks for your opinion and let me try to clarify a bit more what I’ve tried to express in my initial post as I wouldn’t like the debate to be misleaded here. Couple of clarifications first:

  • “Free vs Paid” or “Open vs Close source” topics are out of scope here, I’ve tried to be agnostic in my initial post and being neutral without favouring any specific one
  • The initial topic is inspired out of marketplaces such as vscode, unreal’s marketplace, unity assetstore, playstore, etc etc etc… It’s easy to notice how such marketplaces help to increase the quality of the product itself as well as the whole ecosystem/community… My intuition tells me such ecosystems are more “sanitized” than the current model used by sublime based on “vanilla github’s”

I’ve tried to not suggest anything specifically as I don’t have the answers myself, that’s why I wanted to hear what both Sublime regular users as well as package developers had to say in this regard.

My main concern revolves around the lack of maintenance of some packages and the lack of quality of many other ones. And just to be clear, I strongly think this is not because the package developers themselves but mainly a problem about the time & effort they’ll be willing to put in the long term, many of the packages end up as unoficially “archived” & unsupported and many others will just be hobby pet projects. Obviously if a package developer was rewarded by their job they’d try to make it as profesionally as possible.

Yes package creators “should” be paid, not a bad idea, certainly in the ideal world, but where’s the money going to come from ?

I admire what they’re trying to do/have achieved with ST3, but that’s because I do a bit of coding (so have a bit of an idea of the effort involved) and they’re a small team (so I’ve heard). I’ve appreciated all the help I’ve received on this site. However are they going to be successful enough to expand and take on the responsibility of paying third parties?

Just to clarify again, I have never said should be Sublime’s company the one that should be managing such a hypothetical marketplace, sorry if you understood that way. In fact, I like decentralized models and while github is not ideal… it’s not that bad… i guess :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, my point is, I’d like to know if you guys think the current model we’ve got right now could be improved easily so overall the whole community would benefit from it… My personal opinion is/has always been SublimeText is by far a superior product than vscode/atom et al but the fact some people have migrated from Sublime to vscode is an indication there is a lot of room to mitigate this “fugue”… The goal of this topic was to figure out how to do so in the short/middle term.

If nobody speaks out I’ll assume the big majority is happy with the current model we’ve got right now.

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Worth reading



No, I don’t feel a paid marketplace would improve the quality or length of time a package remains supported by the developer. A pretty obvious example would be the Apple App store and Android Play Store. Many apps cost money. Many apps are free. I’ve seen really great free apps that have extensive and long term support and paid apps that put out one buggy release and are abandoned. Charging money provides no guarantee to the purchaser that the app meets any standard of quality or that it will be supported for any length of time. If a developer wants to charge money for a SublimeText package, they are free to do so (and I have paid for a couple), but I don’t feel it would fundamentally address any of your stated wish list issues.

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First of all, thanks to contribute to the debate, really interesting feedback.

Ok, let me ask it differently here then. Let’s say a package developer is not against open-source… in fact, he loves that philosophy but he evaluates the pros/cons of submiting packages to github and concludes is not worth the effort, giving tech support, managing issues, etc etc… You don’t think a marketplace would be motivational enough so the pros would overweight the cons?

Also, a marketplace doesn’t mean it’s mandatory to charge for the stuff, look at vscode’s for instance, mostly of the plugins there are free.

Do you mean donations on github? Keeping your package in your own site and charge from there? Yeah… that’s doable although it doesn’t feel “easy enough” for package devs.

Anyway, maybe I should have asked things differently… my main goal was to discover why vscode is (or already has) become more popular than SublimeText when the foundation of the later is clearly
better than the former… I was trying to understand if there was an “easy” solution here.

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That’s assuming people are motivated only by money and that doesn’t usually seem to be the motivation of open source developers.

If the question is, “why is VSCode more popular than SublimeText?” I think you’re looking in the wrong place. VSCode has Microsoft behind it. Companies like Microsoft (and in the browser market, Google and Chrome) have enormous influence to get users and customers to use their products because, as huge companies, users can feel confident these products will remain supported for years to come and are generally guaranteed to have a large user base, making any investments in time, effort, and money in these products worth the effort. At least until some other new hip product comes along. :wink:

VSCode is also a true IDE and satisfies a different use case than SublimeText. People who are used to IntelliJ or Visual Studio or some other IDE are going to feel comfortable with VSCode. Since both VSCode and SublimeText offer plugins, I’m not sure that’s the defining feature to focus on.

One was a theme I paid for and then ended up not using because I found something else I liked more for free. The other was available through Package Manager, but to unlock additional features I had to buy a license key.

I should also point out that this subject of VSCode vs SublimeText comes up rather frequently here and has been argued by others much more eloquently than myself. I’m mostly just regurgitating the points others have made.



Not sure what you want in a ‘marketplace’. There are paid plugins in Package Control. I know @wbond has several I’ve purchased over the years like SVN and SFTP.

Sublime vs. VSCode - there is always going to be the next ‘big thing’. Sublime was it for a time, now it’s VSCode, and likely in a year or two something else will come along and replace it…



I also agree that there is an issue for discovering high quality plugins.
VSC marketplace is better on this regard and it has also better out-of-the-box support for some popular languages like Typescript/TSX.

I’m not sure just having a better UI will be enough for this. It’s generally hard to keep an up to date list of packages. VSC is a younger editor so it probably have more maintained plugins at the moment, but I’m not sure it will look great in 10 years.

Community is trying to organize itself a bit more for new helping plugin discovery:



That’s not exactly the purpose of the SublimeText organization. It was back before Package Control was a things, but since then the organization mostly served as a place for loose collaboration on packages. My current vision for it is to be a place that package authors who don’t want to maintain their package anymore can move their repos to and have a more or less guarantee that basic pull requests are still merged without having to bother with that themselves. Read more here.

Regarding the topic at hand, I fully agree with this statement:

Other than that, I believe that better discovery of good and/or popular packages can be achieved by having some sort of community involvement on PC’s website, either through a commenting, votes reviews, or a flagging system. That has its own downsides, such as having to prevent abuse/spam and moderation, of course, but in general would be a solid way to crowdsource evaluation of package quality. And, of course, it needs to be implemented.

If there is anything else you’d expect a “marketplace” to do, I’d like to hear it @BPL. I checked the vscode marketplace for reference just now and they have the exact same things I’m proposing here. Well, that and a prominent green “FREE” label on the majority of packages (reference).



Having published a package on VSC (accidentally twice) with some 60k cumulative downloads… I’ve had two bug reports and one single review. Unless ST users are different or some packages are outright deceptive and require de-listing, I’d say don’t spend the time on it.

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