Sublime Text 2

April 21, 2012 at 10:04 am
filed under Coding, Technology
Tagged , ,

Today I took a relatively big step in terms of my coding workflow. I purchased a license for Sublime Text 2 and immediately began using it as my full-time code editor.


It’s not that Vim can’t do most of this stuff (modulo the sensible configuration language). It’s that all of the above works out of the box. There’s a litany of things that I’ve just never quite gotten to work right. For instance, CommandT worked for a while and then broke. I don’t mean to pick on anybody. But this was not uncommon.

That was perhaps the single biggest reason that I switched.

At another point, I was trying to fix bugs in a dozen or so Python scripts, themselves scattered across three or more different subdirectories at various depths. In ST2, I added all three dirs to my project, and I bounced between them with Cmd-P quickly and easily. It just worked. And it’s fast. It breaks my heart to say it but Vim felt positively medieval in comparison.

I also look forward to learning how to write plugins. I’ve never been able to convince myself to learn Vim’s scripting language.

There are some disadvantages worth mentioning.


  1. Split-pane isn’t as good as Vim
  2. Inaccessible via the Terminal
  3. Not libre or gratis
  4. I may run into cognitive dissonance wrt Vim bindings

With ST2, you have to switch between a canned set of layouts rather than being able to ad-hoc split pane. With Vim, I have anywhere from 3 – 5 panes open, and with ^W and some handy \ew aliases (edit file in same working dir as this file), it’s mostly muscle memory.

I can’t use ST2 in the Terminal, which means I’ll have to fallback to Vim. That’s not the end of the world, but it is inconvenient.

I hesitated for weeks, having taken it for a test drive for some of the toying around I’ve done with Go. But it wasn’t about FOSS. It was about the price. Why pay for a text editor when there are N free ones available?

That said, I am willing to pay a little bit of money to get the job done. (Shit, if time is money, it’s already saved me a ton of time.) And I know that I’m supporting a small and independent developer. I want to live in a world where people can make money off of developing kick-ass software.

Vintage (the plugin for ST2 which adds Vim keybindings) does have some limitations. “, double grave, doesn’t work right. g; and g, don’t work. I’m sure I’ll run across more.


It’s been some weeks since I switched, and I haven’t really looked back. If you’ve got the dough and you’re looking for an editor that’ll help you step your game up, I recommend you check out Sublime Text 2. As I said, it’s a free trial.

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