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Sublime Text 2: Beta (sublimetext.com)
237 points by creativityhurts on July 1, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 90 comments

As a longtime vim user I'm interested in knowing if there's anyone that's switched to Sublime Text (or TextMate, or any other similar contemporary editor) and if so, how has it gone? There seem to be a lot of cool features here but do they outweigh the benefit of knowing that they key bindings you've learned will continue to serve you for decades?

Please, this is not flamebait. I'm interested if anyone's made a switch from an old standby like vim/emacs to a new editor and how they've fared. Maybe it's time for me to start looking at all the new editors out there.

The big question is: how proficient are you with Vim?

Some people adapt very well to Vim's method of input and control. If you're one of those people, it's doubtful that switching to an editor like Sublime Text or TextMate will benefit you much.

I'm a TextMate user first, but I do so much Linux sysadmin work that I need decent Vim skills. I'd estimate my skills at about a 4 out of 10. I use some plugins and have some of my own custom key bindings, but I take the long way around to many operations, and I've seen people closer to the 10 side of the scale that run circles around me. I like Vim. I like it a lot, but I feel like I'm the limiting factor when I use it, and I can't seem to get over the hump on my way to 5+. It's probably because I don't use it enough.

TextMate (as is any good GUI editor) for people who do a lot of text editing, but not a lot of text editing. I'm not a full-time developer. I'm a manager who knows how to code and is responsible for sysadmin duties. GUI editors have the advantage of guiding you through menus, on which the keyboard shortcuts are shown, so you get continual reinforcement.

TextMate has "Bundles", which are similar to Vim plugins. My favorite feature of TextMate is cmd+control-t. This brings up the "Select Bundle Item" dialog. You type words in to the box and the dialog box filters all available bundle commands for the current "scope" (e.g., ruby.source, html, ruby.source.string). This offers a high degree of discoverability for Bundle items that have either key bindings or tab triggers. It's a kind of training wheels for Bundles. Great for learning, and great for digging up features you know exist, but can't remember how to trigger.

I have the same problem. However, I originally came from Textmate and switched to Vim when Textmate essentially became vaporware. I do miss the fluid scrolling though. And decent project management. And I hate those pseudo-graphical ASCII-art boxes that Vim so loves.

And then I found Vico (vicoapp.net), which is basically a modern OSX text editor with Vim keybindings. There is still a lot of stuff missing, like macros and ci(, but it is already enough to make me prefer it to Vim most of the time. And it has full support for Textmate bundles, too.

On Windows, E-texteditor and Visual Studio plugins like Vsvim or Viemu achieve this, too. On Linux, Gedit can do it. Oh, and Emacs can do that, too, though that is a somewhat odd choice for a vimmer ;-)

I think you probably want to check out Vico: http://www.vicoapp.com/

When you fingers crave Vi but your eyes crave OS X.

I'm a big gui guy and vim has just been too much a pain to learn. Something tells me if you have been using vim for that long there is really no good reason to switch.

I switched from Vim to Gedit few years ago, but I can still use Vim keyboard shortcuts thanks to ViGedit plugin (https://launchpad.net/vigedit). There is also Vim input mode in Kate editor.

I'm a hardcore Vim user. Just recently I've switched over to about 90% Sublime Text. It's not as configurable as, say, Emacs -ie., you can't do Vim keybindings in it, but you can customize most things very easily.

Documentation currently sucks for Sublime Text 2, but it's not too hard to poke around and try stuff out on your own.

I've almost completely remapped Sublime Text 2 to use the subset of Emacs keybindings that I actually learned and committed to muscle memory.

The only real problem is that Sublime Text isn't free. I haven't registered yet, but I do intend to once an official release draws out and the documentation is fleshed out.

Also keep in mind that Sublime Text 2 works on OSX, Linux and Windows.

Kinda language driven. The haskellers, erlang and clojure people are heavily invested in emacs, I use intelliJ for scala, komodo and textmate for ruby/python, and I've always used vim on whatever unix boxes i found myself on.

(Still waiting for MS to gift me a free copy Visual Studio Ultimate :)

I gave the Sublime v 1.something a try when I was in a particular situation. It was ok; however, it was quite resource intensive. Start editing large files, and be prepared to wait...

I routinely edit files of 5-10k loc and have never had a problem. It blows ide's (eg eclipse) out of the water in terms of speed.

Maybe it's picked up since version 1. Also, it was a rather large file I was dealing with. Maybe I'll give it another go.

My understanding/impression at the time was that Sublime was at least in part using Python, although perhaps I'm mis-remembering. Once I observed that, the slowdown "made sense" to me. It may have also had to do with (regular expression) find/replace. So, altogether, my use may not have been "typical".

I've been using Sublime Text 2 since the first alpha and absolutely love it. Insanely customizable, really well laid out, great project management, fast as hell, etc. I'm still using 'E' on Windows, but on OS X this is all I use.

I've been using it for awhile as well and what's totally nuts is that the entire interface (colors, images, tabs, scrollbars, buttons) are all described in a CSS-like language inside a configuration file. I actually changed all the PNGs out to make the tabs look different and go for a Lion-like scrollbar and it was no sweat. Everything in the entire app is described in JSON config files so you can literally muck around with the internals as much as you want. The best is when you miss a comma, restart Sublime Text and the entire interface is garbled :)

Care to share your interface config for the lazy? Sounds sweet.

I hate the black tabs and would something more like Chrome.

It's hard to see which one is highlighted. They need more contrast.

Totally agree.

I also wish the tab text collapsing worked differently. Once you have over a certain number of tabs they become pretty much useless as you can't see any titles anymore. In contrast, TextMate keeps all the tab titles visible and just moves the extra tabs into a dropdown. It's not perfect, but it's more usable than what Sublime currently does.

like this? http://kodapp.com/

Yes, but kod's development is slow.

Me too, exactly the same. I used to work exclusively in E on Win and TextMate on OSX but Sublime 2 is the perfect bridge.

Honestly and evenly, if I'm a proficient vim/emacs user, why would I want to try this out?

I know there's plenty of market not underneath that hypothetical, but an editor has to answer that question to even register with me these days. I also assume I'm not alone.

Yeah, you're probably not the target of a full GUI editor... question probably isn't even worth answering.

What is a "full GUI editor"?

Vim and Emacs both have (optional) GUIs, but I've never used Sublime... am I missing something?

Ever since I stopped waiting on TextMate 2 and learned to love myself more, I've moved on to vim and now emacs. I'd be weary of any editor that isn't open source or has a solid organization behind it.

You know what I love about Sublime? It this nifty little feature where if you're looking at files in your file list in the side bar ... clicking through them brings up the content of that file in the tab you were last editing (no opening of a new tab) ... and when you go back to editing your file ... the content shows back up in the tab.

So you can look through files very quickly, just by clicking through them, instead of opening 20 files only to close them all when you find the one you want.

And if you start editing the content of a file you were just perusing, a tab opens for that file automatically. tres cool.

... totally sold me on sublime.

What would be really cool would be if the sidebar would jump to the file you were working on when you're editing it ... I have many projects open at a time, and I hate having to mouse down to find the file I'm currently working on ... to open ... say ... and associated or related file.

I do not know if this is due to some plugin I installed but my Vim 7.3 has the exact same feature.

I just gave it a try and absolutely love the minimap feature. Definitely helps with browsing through my code quickly. Once it had code-folding, I will hit 'Purchase'. Until then it's TextWrangler for me.

For Ubuntu and Debian users, I would recommend installing this from the PPA. https://launchpad.net/~webupd8team/+archive/sublime-text-2 Installing from this PPA worked well for me and it would appear to be up to date.

I would say this is more than a replacement for TextMate on OS X. Stop waiting for a TM update and jumpt to Sublime Text 2. I've been using it since the early alphas and it's always been top notch.

The only thing that bothers me right now is the slightly different keyboard shortcuts between Linux and OS X, but I think you can "correct" those manually by editing a couple of config files. Other than that, I LOVE this editor! :)

Not only that, but it's mostly compatable with things like .tmLanguage files, so there's even some cross-portability there.

(I've never used Textmate, being a Linux user, but being able to benefit from the ecosystem to get e.g. .pp file highlighting is great)

And it works on WINDOWS. I use to edit my python and ruby projects on mac and windows without having to learn 2 different tools. Love it.

I'd love to try it out, but I need a mirror...

I am really sick of new 'text editors' hitting the scene that can't handle editing text other than English.

Have you been having a problem with a particular language? I've been using Sublime Text to work on code with comments in Japanese without a problem for almost 2 years now (well, the fonts were squished at first, but that bug was fixed a long time ago).

CJK input don't seem to work right (although it displays fine once entered). There are special steps you have to take because of the way input works for those languages. Here is the cached version of an old article I read describing how to do it (summary: use the NSTextInput protocol).


(It's a bit harder to read because the screenshots weren't cached, but it should still be a good starting point.)

ST2 is fantastic. One of the many benefits compared to TextMate is that it supports Emacs-style marks, which enables commands like kill-region and yank.

I have created an "Emacsify" package with some important keyboard shortcuts and additional commands. You can find it here: https://github.com/stiang/EmacsifySublimeText

Sublime Text claims to be an editor for prose as well as for code. But does it allow you to use good-looking proportional fonts with good line spacing? Yes, in this respect (though in no other) a text editor should be like Word. I write all my "prose" in a simple text editor (Vim), but I dislike the limitation of using only fixed-width typefaces.

How does it compare with powerful IDEs like Intellij/PyCharm or Eclipse? I mean, does it make sense to have an editor that is both good at "code, html and prose" (debugging and refactoring comes to mind...)?

When I last worked on a Java project, I ended up going back and forth between Sublime Text and Eclipse.

ST makes navigating the code more quick and smooth - the minimap takes away the feeling of looking at code through tunnel vision, you can preview files much more quickly, and view more code at once with minimalist full-screen mode settings and multi-column layout. The regex search with active highlighting in both the minimap and the file is also nice, and multi-select is pretty helpful for refactoring repetitive code.

That said, ST is just a text editor, not an IDE - while some features, like autocomplete, are partially compensated for, it doesn't do type checking or follow references across files, so other features that stem from those will be missed; e.g. refactoring across multiple files is usually faster in Eclipse. I would usually do most of my editing in ST, and then type-check, compile, and debug in Eclipse.

I'm loving Sublime... except the character spacing is weird for me (running on OSX using Droid Sans Mono). Has anyone else experienced this or know a solution? Sublime/Textmate example: http://cl.ly/050P2l37121b2R0P0a3V

Update: After going through other mono fonts... it seems like all of them are spaced just a little farther apart than what they appear like in Textmate, Espresso, etc.

That screenshot makes it look like there's no text folding arrows for Sublime, is that true? I wouldn't even try it out if it's missing that feature because I use it in Textmate dozens of times a day.

It's true. And it's one of the reasons I can't keep using Sublime.

Also, as nice as that preview-scrollbar is, it doesn't show the full file. Just ~ 3 screens worth. Almost totally useless for navigating a file as opposed to a function. As much as I hate Visual Studio, the MetalScroll plugin is just what I would have liked. You can get a "feel" for the layout of the entire file / class / etc in one glance, navigating with it is massively better. http://code.google.com/p/metalscroll/

What would make me happy is TextMate + Chrome-like tokens in the scroll bar for where matches exist when you search. And threaded project-searches. But alas, TM hasn't changed in quite a while. I guess it's time to learn Vim.

Been watching sublime for some time now after I gave it a short try. If only these lightweight editors provided CTRL-click type navigation I'd be sold. I use IntelliJ IDEA now - it is a powerhouse of irreplaceable help. It works magic with Java/Groovy/JavaScript/CSS/HTML navigation.

I need Sublime to provide type navigation. Forget debugging and other features.

I use it and love it. If you ever tried 1.x and have not tried 2.x then you should give it another try. It's worlds better.

As a TextMate user, I love Sublime and I'm trying to migrate over.

The built-in project-wide search is extremely slow (it seems to search absolutely everything and consumes 100% CPU while doing it) and seems unfinished. I really miss AckMate (https://github.com/protocool/AckMate/wiki/Usage).

Also, some files with canonical names (Gemfile, Rakefile) don't have file extensions nor shebang lines, and so Sublime can't determine the language for syntax highlighting. Is there a way to fix this?

Their server is getting hammered right now. Anyone have a mirror?

I LOVE this program and I can't wait for it to be in the Ubuntu Software Center...everyone should be able to get and use this really easily.

Sublime Text 2 is not open source and will never be included in Ubuntu or (likely) any other Linux distro. However, I will say that it is one of the very few software packages I have ever purchased. That's saying quite a bit coming from a dyed in the wool GPL guy like myself. :)

Ubuntu Software Center includes non-open source software.

Most distro do include non-open source software, even Debian. And Ubuntu now has a 'For Purchase' tab in the Software Center, with a couple of programs already.

I've been using Sublime 2 since early alpha, it is... aptly named. I've tried dozens of editors and eventually settled on TextMate many years ago.

Within 2 days, Sublime had completely* replaced it--something that many editors have failed to do.

I can't wait until I get paid, so that I can throw money at them.

* I still use TM on occasion for its GUI theme/bundle etc. editors.

Poor syntax highlighting for HAML and coffeescript highlithing is non existent... This is why I love vim and the Janus "bundle" https://github.com/carlhuda/janus/ : they are always up to date.

CS works for me. Just get the bundle for TextMate.

I've wrote a ruby gem to act as an equivalent of TextMate's mate command, OS X only I'm afraid.

gem install slime

I bought the alpha a few months back because I was very impressed with the demo. Its fast, looks good and has good amount of power, power close to Vim level in my opinion. But at the end of the day I use Vim because it is so ubiquitous (and open).

Here is an alternate download location from the developer:

Source: http://twitter.com/sublimehq/status/86799940021518336

Does it do language autocomplete?

Yep. You hit CTRL+SPACE and it'll give you a drop down list of possible completions. It'll also have your previously typed variables in the list.

I'm more of a tab user myself though. So I'll type array_p and hit tab once for array_push. (for example)

it sorta does. If you hit tab while typing a method name, it'll guess at which one you're trying to type and populate the args as well. It's not particularly useful, but it does indicate that there is code in the app that is trying to do this, and could be improved.

This is one drawback ... so far it doesn't (from what I've seen anyway)

Why should I use Sublime Text and not emacs? (note that I'm not experienced with emacs)

Probably because it will take you between 3 to 5 years less time to learn how to be proficient at your text editor if it's ST rather than emacs?

Saner keybindings some will say.

I am a big fan of this project, and it's made some great progress over the months. Only thing holding me back right now: code navigator. The overview display is nice, but a full code navigator would seal the deal.

There's a hotkey that brings up a search with all of the methods in a particular file (apple-r on a mac) that does the trick for me. Be nice if it did a bit more, but it does enough for now.

Selecting text shows invisible characters, awesome (it's the little things).

I really like the feel of sublime text, however there's one feature keeping me on Notepad++ which is double click to highlight text also highlights all instances of that word in the document.

from textmate, to vim and now sublimetext2. I'm not that proficient on editors, but sublimetext is being great. fast and simple very configurable. my editor of choice for a couple of months.

How's the keys customization? Is there a vi-mode key binding?!

This is the only downside I've found to using vi/vim full time. Wanting and expecting the keybindings everywhere, even in things like html text areas.

If you happen to still use Firefox, there's an extension It's All Text that allows you to use an external editor like vim for textarea input. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/its-all-text/

There are somewhat similar extensions for Chrome to get the same effect, but requires a more elaborate setup to get around the sandboxing used by Chrome. http://superuser.com/questions/261689/its-all-text-for-chrom...

Yeah I've got Vimium, so that is pretty nice, but I still get confused a little bit when it doesn't work as I expect. Vim has ruined my mind.

That was the dealbreaker for me with vim too. Otherwise a very nice editor, but none of the many other text-entry devices I have deal with are modal and I'm not interested in trying to shoehorn a plugin into everything.

Because it's so freaking awesome!

When I last tried Sublime Text back in 1.X, there were no Vi bindings out of the box, but it's powerful enough to allow you to make your own. Some guys on the Sublime Text forum already have.

I like this as a code editor, but the lack of even a rudimentary project/directory view (other than the file list overlay which I don't like at all) kills it for me.

The "Add Folder to Project" isn't to your liking?

It's actually got very good support for projects — take a look at the Project menu.

Once you have an editor window open, just drag stuff into the sidebar. Then save the project to make it persistent.

This seems pretty cool, but is there a way to filter out certain file/folder patterns (or globs) on a per-project basis rather than globally?

Where is the Peepcode Screencast or something similar for this that teaches me the basics in about an hour?

With a discoverable, well-designed GUI, you shouldn't need one. Emacs and VIM are very powerful, but not very discoverable.

TextMate had a peepcode screencast. In fact, what launched textmate was probably DHH using TextMate in his "blog in 15 minutes" screencast.

I can't stand the black tabs.

I think maybe the name of the software might be a more trivial thing to worry about in a text editor.

Happy to say that I've already been using it for a while. Big fan.

How does this compare with Coderoom?

Poor support for PHP 5.3

Wow, this looks great! I really dig the no-distraction mode, I did something similar with my terminal program and I love it.

clicks Download

...oh. 10.6 required.

Shucks. At least I got to see pictures of it, I guess.

A good reason for a Linux guest on VBox, I spose.

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