Sublime Forum

Why I left Sublime Text 3 for VS Code and still bought it before I leave

#1

Ok, I have left for Code a few months ago, and just right before I left, I again shelled out $80 for Sublime Text 3.

Why I left:
The community have said this again and again, Sublime Text feels like abandonware. We paid for it yet we received no news for months and sometimes years. Even after wbond joins Sublime Text HQ, the development process lags far behind other competitors. Large package contributors are leaving Sublime Text, they stopped maintaining their own packages. What’s left is now a mess of packages with no real contributors. Every updates mean more bugs. Without packages, Sublime Text is nothing more than a repackaged vim. I am saying it now, people are leaving, the rotting has begun, and in a few years Sublime Text will be obsolete. Both Jon Skinner and Will Bond you two are allowing this rot process happening.

Why I paid again just right before leaving:
Sublime Text was what truly define the text editor battlefield, I pay because Sublime Text changed the landscape forever. And for a long time, it was supposed to be the pinnacle of text editors. Yes, it is not free, that is why the war continued, if it was free the war would have ended years ago. Now, new competitions have emerged, namely Atom and VS Code. You know what, I hate their slowness. Especially, I hate Microsoft for all my heart and I could never see Github the same way again. But I code about 8~12 hours a day, text editor is what I spent a majority of my time looking. Productivity is the key. And as much as it disgust me to say this, but I praise VS Code, a great product by the evil Micro$oft.

How I will come back:

  1. Open source Sublime Text. Those who will pay would have paid. Those who never pay would have never paid.
  2. Clean the rotting packages mess.
  • Especially, do not allow packages to interfere with other packages, and enforce stricter isolation rules.
  • Better Package Control. Allow staring/upvotes/downvotes and when installing, let users see the stars/upvotes. There are simply so many useless packages and they serve as a noise to truly good ones. Ideally, the stars/upvotes should be separated from github’s and allow commenting. Comments on packages like “This package is no longer being maintained!” or “Use this XXX hack” from other users are actually more helpful than you think.
0 Likes

#2

Rot in the huge sea of community-written code is definitely a problem, and a hard one to systematically solve.

But I wouldn’t agree that the ST product itself is having a particular problem of maintenance: https://www.sublimetext.com/3dev

ST itself with no community packages is “nothing more than a repackaged vim”? No idea what you’re talking about there… it’s lightyears ahead qualitatively.

0 Likes

#3

perhaps you forgot that Package Control is open source, a PR adding these features would likely be welcomed

2 Likes

#4

This is a pervasive, but nonetheless untrue sentiment:

This doesn’t even include the Discord server where Sublime HQ employees are active participants on a daily basis.

We’ve released 87 dev builds since I joined the company, which averages to a new build every 2 weeks.

Our open source syntax definitions (https://github.com/sublimehq/Packages) have received a total of 2,925 commits between ourselves and the community since I joined the company, averaging 17 per week.

8 Likes

#5

We paid for it yet we received no news for months and sometimes years. Even after wbond joins Sublime Text HQ, the development process lags far behind other competitors.

Fully aggree with @wbond. There was a little gap in ST developement last year as the sublimehq team concentrated on creating Sublime Merge as a solution for the often requested git features, but otherwise the development process is very lively. In the end ST even profited from some of the develompents of SM.

  • ST/SM switched to GTK3 - a long term and often repeated community request
  • ST added support for ligatures during the last years
  • the theming engine got lots of updates and improvements
  • per-monitor high-DPI support was added

For all of you who forgot about the great improvements ST has made during the last few years, just install ST 3080 or something like that on you current OSX Mojave or Win10 with 4k display and just compare it with the current release.

Every updates mean more bugs.

Of course, every change or new feature raises the possibility to create new bugs in certain edge cases, but I have been using the latest dev builds since I started using ST 3 or 4 years ago and they all made my days.

I tried the competitors from time to time, but found them more buggy and more easy to crash.

I appreciate the recent efforts to fix bugs listed at GitHub/SublimeCoreIssues and the way those issues were taken serious. Of course it may sometimes be hard to find the reason for some of the described problems. Some may even be misunderstandings. I must confess to sometimes even find it hard to get the point with some of my own ones after some time. But the more precise and detailed they are described the better the chance is to get them fixed.

I am saying it now, people are leaving, the rotting has begun, and in a few years Sublime Text will be obsolete.

… if it was free the war would have ended years ago.

Not quite sure about it. We always pay the one way or the other. See how Chromium has become a defacto monopol. Really sure it is that safe as they want to make us believe? I am happy with Mozilla to not give up fighting against it.

Same here with VS Code or Atom. They are pay by user data. And no one knows the way they go in the future once they would be the defacto monopols as well.

Sublime Text is clean and safe and in contrast to VS Code compliant with all kinds of privacy laws.

Large package contributors are leaving Sublime Text, they stopped maintaining their own packages. What’s left is now a mess of packages with no real contributors.

This feels to be at least partly true, but is something you can’t completely avoid. Maybe VS Code is too young to let it be too obvious, but with a closer look many packages there are of poor quality as well. The way they are presented just hides that circumstance or - agree with you - you don’t see them as they are downvoted.

I guess the main issue with package availability might be the big big lobby JavaScript as the main web scripting language has these days. Many devs might use an editor for web development, so they know about JavaScript/CSS/HTML - the base of VS Code/Atom plugins. Hence they feel at home when creating packages. Many state of the art web development related libraries/functionalites are implemented in JavaScript these days - e.g. emmet or all the node modules. Not sure whether python has such a lobby, even though I think it would be capable to do most things with the same quality. I personally feel more comfortable with python.

Most packages are just small helpers for sometimes very special workflows/issues. So it might be hard to find the set of plugins which matches your personal needs. But compare it with all the App Stores out there. Millions of apps with billions of no value and many duplicates with poor quality. It’s just not a ST-only issue.

3 Likes

#6

I’m amazed at how people think they have the right to ask people to give up their livelihood, and the livelihoods of their employees for the sake of their own convenience.

Why don’t you donate tens of thousands of your own money to fund a open source clone of ST?

“Oh… yeah… well… that’s my money, so…”

Maybe if you argued that more of ST was open sourced and the price stayed the same, that I would understand.

1 Like

#7

Without packages, Sublime Text is nothing more than a repackaged vim.

Can’t agree more

0 Likes

#8

I don’t mind paying for ST (have already paid for ST3).

I just wish stuff like Package Control as already built into ST instead of having to install it anyway.

ST is a good editor, but does lag behind it’s competitors in some respects, while it shines in others.

0 Likes