Sublime Forum

What's happening


First, I like SublimeText very much.

Jon, while items (1) and (2) certainly should be done, aim of item (3) is not so clear. And it seems to be the most hard and time-consuming task. Do you really have to make it? From one side, support of 3D hardware in VM is progressing (vmware workstation claims to have it, VMGL supports OpenGL hardware acceleration in VM). From the other side, Windows Presentation Framework have all graphics (including desktop items like windows) as Direct3D applications. For example Intellipad, new editor from Microsoft (once called Emacs.Net), is built on WPF. Like Sublime, it has its own widgets and so unique look. And it uses some cool graphic effects like smooth font resizing and scrollbars fading, that seems to be from DirectX. Its rendering of text selections is very similar to Sublime’s. So Jon, you are not alone with hardware rendering in text editor. I think that hardware rendering is ST’s strength, not weakness and you should only develop it, generate new ideas and push it further. I once made light skin for Sublime and realized that it’s theming have great potential, it needs just gradual improvement, detalization. I think that not much work must be done to achieve Intellipad-like look (greatest light skin of all editors I saw). So my take is that you chose right line of development, and only have to follow it.

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Why not do both? Keep developing, but open source it so that others can help. I for one would be happy to help, since Sublime text is one of the few editors that gets most things right. Unlike vim and emacs it handles tabs and splits correctly. Unlike most editors other than vim and emacs you can make your own macros. The syntax highlighting isn’t limited to just keywords like some editors. It’s the closest thing to a decent text editor I’ve found so far (and believe me, I’ve tried at least 15 of them). Of my remaining issues (the fact that it isn’t free and the inability to resize the output panel) the first disappears automatically when open sourcing and the second I might be able to fix, particularly since, unlike most editors, this one isn’t written in a primitive language (C/C++). Also I would try and see if I can make an embedded interactive console, since command prompt boxes are annoying. Oh, and I’d try to make scrollbars appear only when needed.

Basically open sourcing saves you work, as people who want something can just make it themselves instead of having to open feature requests.

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i thought about what jon said regarding the open source etc. it is important to me to state that this gives me back the confidence to keep using this editor not matter what, because of the knowledge it won’t turn out to be an abandonware no matter what. my personal opinion is that it is best if jon will continue to develop it as a paid editor, because this was meant to be jon’s, and not an open source. but again, thanks for reassuring that this is not a waste of time, investing time on learning and customizing of this editor.

i don’t want to get into jon’s shoes but i wanted to add my opinion regarding the marketing of sublime editor. lately i found out that the ‘e text editor’ is being slowed down if not abandoned. this, together with intype, makes all the potential competition for sublime gone. i think that a modern editor for windows market exists and is actually shouting for someone to fill in. i do fill that sublime can make it, as a paid editor. so if i may, i would like to suggest few things. first, why not put a simple donation button on the main page? second, i think this editor is priced too high, comparing to other editors (like textmate that is around 40$), in my opinion this is one of the barriers to switch to using it. i would suggest the opposite, why not making it 4$ per license? many people who will try the editor and love it, will be very easy with letting out 4$ off their pockets rather than 60$ or even 40$, i think it can change things. regarding those who already bought a licenses in 60$ (which i guess are the most of the people reading it), find a way to make them happy (lifetime license, a kiss, i don’t know…)

just my thoughts.


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Cost of prying a favoured text editor out of a developer’s fingers? Possibly more that $4. If Jon could sell 135,000 licences a year at the current price, he’d make the same. Also, the product is worth the money, and $4 is a terrible signal to the market. It says ‘This product is shitty and valueless. Please look elsewhere’

One interesting organising principle, from open-source text editors, is emacs. The core code of emacs was controlled with an iron fist by Richard Stallman. It was massive work to get something into the emacs core. But developing your own major mode (say, HTML editing) was something you could do yourself, and distribute over the web. The reason you stay with emacs, if you’re a fan, is because it has good modes for the particular language you’re developing. Come for the text editor. Stay for the packages.

So emacs has a tightly controlled core, with a thousand-flowers philosophy around plugins. That seems to me a strong strategy, and it relies on one central developer, making sure the product keeps its integrity while many people experiment with new technologies. It’s the world we have with Sublime Text today.

So I really do think that Jon should not open-source the project, unless he decided he’s really done. Rather, he should keep control of the core, develop core packages for things like python and C and HTML, and then let other people integrate with new tools and such. Pick a new tool – say, the Mercurial distributed source control system. How many text editors out there have integration with Mercurial? Few, I imagine. Sublime’s core should offer all the API hooks we need to write our own Mercurial package, and that should be open-source.

My 2c.

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I just wanna say (repeat?) that I love Sublime!

I use it every day and it is essecial for me.

It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s gourgeous!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thanks for all the comments, it’s encouraging to see.

re: working with the current GUI, rather than replacing it. These are all very good points, I’ll put some more thinking into it.

re: open source. 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.

For interests sake, last time I counted, Sublime was around 70k lines of C++, including blank lines, comments and unit tests. Python is used as an extension language only, and it’s use is pretty much what you see is what you get: all the Python source is included in the distribution.


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There’s some features of new Intellipad editor from Microsoft that demonstrate custom made widgets and effects of hardware rendering, it may be interesting for Jon. First, menu bar - it’s custom-made, looks pretty and utilize less space vertically then standard one. Then, windows splitting scheme - you can split any window horizontally or vertically, creating arbitrary complex layout. There’s no way to save and then restore this layout, but surely it can and will be implemented. Second, smooth fonts resizing. I found it rather useful, and not just cool feature. If you can quickly adjust level of detail (lod) for text, you navigate faster. You can diminish text (lower left window) and have something like Sublime’ s minimap.

My thought: and one will navigate even faster, if combine this lod effect of font scaling with changing lod for document structure - something like folding, but more flexible, with several levels of detail. Like Google Earth for text document… Take HTML document, for example. From birs’d eye point of view we’ll see only (body) and (html) areas, without detail. Approaching closer to (body), we’ll see

tags , then

, some

    1. and their contents… This is not far from zooming user interface. Maybe this could be useful. Just a thought…

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    I’ve been fiddling with WPF a little (as in, about three hours) and it does look like it might be suitable for doing sublime-like supplemental programs. Here’s my current attempt at a sublime-style window;

    Two things strike me;

    1. It should not be too difficult to create apps which are ‘satellite’ to Sublime and which are launched from Sublime commands. I’m going to experiment with a file and folder tool which will load when Sublime loads and which monitors Sublime’s open files. I may also be able to put together a library of sublime-like controls for WPF. If so, any other .Net developers out there may be able to use it to create dialogues and forms.
    2. If Jon could host WPF controls (and I have NO idea how hard this would be) then we might be able to have a panel which contains a WPF control. This would mean that someone other than Jon could develop some of those things that people are looking for – like project management.

    As yet it’s very early days, but WPF+IronPython might be a good basis for some package development.

    (EDIT: I should be clear. WPF is the Windows Presentation Foundation, the GUI system used by Intellipad and the newest .net GUI system. Intellipad also has a python-based plugin system, which I assume is IronPython)

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    [quote]jps wrote:

    • Remove the dependency on hardware rendering, enabling Sublime to run in situations where it’s not available, such as virtual machines.

    I completely agree with this. As I already said before, the minimap can be something simpler such WinMerge one:


    That IntelliPad is quite beautiful. But in my opinion, Microsoft = trash, last week I took 3 days+ to install my ex-beloved VisualStudio and 2 days+ to make SQL Server EXPRESS work in my computer. :cry:

    Once someone said me “I like Microsoft products because they work” (against linux and OpenSource stuff)… well, maybe they can work, but to make them work is another story… :imp:

    well, enough of hatery.

    [quote]sublimator wrote:
    Sublime Forum Users: 78
    E Forum Users : 1725[/quote]

    Well, I used E just a little because it started buggying. I asked for help in the forum, but they weren’t carrying about it…

    As people say there in Brazil “marketing/advertising is the soul of the business”.

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    I’m a bit late to the party but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.

    The core is almost perfect. Most things we can add using the API so time should be concentrated on the things we have no control over. Things such as the sticky search highlighting and the tweaks to Find behaviour that have been mentioned elsewhere.

    The renderer rewrite sounds like a big job but I must say that it would be nice to use Sublime when I’m accessing Windows via Remote Desktop. Perhaps something to do more for fun than mass benefit.

    Regarding sales. I believe that Sublime will continue to gain momentum; it’s just a matter of time for the word to spread. All who have seen it love the sublime editing experience. It truly is the best.



    Hi all - Just experimented with sublime for a couple weeks and decided I’d be forever disappointed if I didn’t purchase a license. So I did. However, and I probably should have done this in reverse order, I’d like to confirm what the outcome of this thread was. It appears Jon decided to keep development alive and not go down the open source route, but I didn’t see that actually posted anywhere. Is there a roadmap for sublime? Regardless, I think it’s a great editor as-is and I’m not disappointed by the hefty contribution.




    Hi Geoff - welcome to the forums!

    Development is certainly alive, and I expect it to stay that way in the foreseeable future.

    There’s no published roadmap per-se, largely because what’s at the top of the priority list has changed reasonably often in the past. The current short term plans are to add some more polish to the current beta, and get that shipped into a stable version, migrating project support out of beta status. Slightly longer term, I’m expecting to focus mostly on the Python API, so that more features can be implemented as plugins.

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    Hey, thanks for the quick response! Glad to see that sublime is alive and well, and will be for the foreseeable future. I’m looking forward to checking out the future versions.



    Just wanted to say that I love ST! I would love open source but I completely understand what John said about open sourcing a commercial project. Here is what would help: using github to manage the language and other default packages so that the community can fix and improve them.



    I have mixed feelings about ST going open source but at the same time I think your also placing too high a strain on yourself. I see you either (temporarilly?) abandoning some of your deisng/development goals or simply allowing yourself however long it takes you to accomplish them and not worrying about all the “is this project dead?” noise.

    You could also hire someone to help you meet your goals but this might require a price bump. Which ever way you decide to go you have my support. Till I get work that will have to be moral support tho :smile:



    Please be sure to note that this thread is from 2009, before Sublime Text 2 was announced.



    haha, I didn’t realize. Thanks wbond for pointing that out. I guess I was too excited about news… :smile:



    concerns? easy

    Open sourcing could turn ST into something akin to eclipse where 245629365236454 developers all add feature upon feature upon feature and you end up with a bloated, ugly , slow, mishmash of utter crap. And this thread is horrendously old and i thought it was a new thread grrr. mental note to self, look at date of original posting before replying :confused:



    There was another editor that tried to follow the model of paid open source: E-text.
    Long story short, last commit is 4 years old.



    Back in the day, when sublime was just a little baby, E was a pretty good editor.
    Then it was open sourced.
    Then it was abandoned.
    Then we discovered Sublime :smile: