Saturday, September 07, 2013

An ode to Sublime Text

I use Sublime Text as my editor for about 80% of the work I do (sometimes on Windows I use Visual Studio because I use it for debugging and the integration with the debugger is convenient. Even so, I often use Sublime Text even then because it is so much nicer). Sublime Text is pretty much a perfect piece of software. It is not often I get that warm glow from using software that does exactly what I want it to, but Sublime is one time. Here are some good things about it:
  • It does one thing and it does it well (editing text for programmers).
  • It is super fast and super stable - I've never had it jank (actually when searching through an 80MB file, but that is understandable) and never had it crash.
  • It is beautiful - seriously, it looks really nice. That is important to me if I am going to spend most of my day looking at it.
  • It is multi-platform (but not, unfortunately, open source (so not quite perfect) so I can't use it on Linux/ARM).
  • It is extremely customisable. I have not found anything I want to change and can't.
  • It is easy to set up your customisations across platforms because they are stored in a plain text file.
  • It is smart (fuzzy search, etc.).
  • It has keyboard shortcuts for everything and they are all the ones you would expect (except maybe ctrl+t which I often hit trying to open a new tab, but hey, that is customisable too).
  • It's extensible with plugins.
Notice that none of the above are about editing text. Editing text is really nice too. But Sublime Text does all the 'meta' level things perfectly. That is necessary (but not sufficient) for a great piece of software. Of course you have to get the primary function right (and Sublime Text does), but so many pieces of software do their core function nicely but fail on the meta-level stuff.

Anyhow, if you haven't tried Sublime Text, you should. And if you are making software, you should strive to make it as nice as Sublime Text is.

No comments: