November 15, 2011

New Editor

Over the years, the progression of editors I've used as my primary tool has gone something like:
  • 1984 - vi
  • 1993 - TextPad
  • 1998 - BBEdit
  • 2008 - TextMate
The other day I tried Sublime Text 2 and it only took a few minutes to decide I had found my New Very Best Friend.

Among other great features:
  • Great UI out of the gate. I like the 10,000 ft view.
  • Multi-select. This is so cool:
    • Splat-click on as many things as you want and they're all selected and change together as you type.
    • Select a block of lines (splat-shift-l) and they're edited together.
    • With the cursor on a word, hitting splat-d selects additional occurrences of that word. Or, just hit ctrl-splat-g to select all occurrences of that word.
  • Predictive text (both inline using <tab> or in a command palette accessed by hitting shift-splat-p
  • Lightning-fast file switching/opening. Hit splat-p and start typing the name of a file. As you type, the list narrows, but all those files are actually *open*. It's hard to describe how well this works.
  • vi(m) command mode! Hit escape when editing and all those vi commands you have memorized will work.
  • Smart indenting with alignment marks. The thing that pissed me off most about TextMate was the braindead way it did indenting--if a line was half-selected it wouldn't follow any other lines you were indenting/outdenting. Sublime Text fixes this, and with the addition of the "Alignment" plugin makes it easy to align things like equal signs on multiple lines.
Sublime Edit has an active development community and a ton of plugins for all the things you'd expect, like zen coding, GitHub integration, etc. One really cool thing about the plugin package management (which works kind of like apt-get) is that the packages are actually checked out using Git, and they're automatically updated every time you start the app.

I really like this editor.

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