From Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code

Welp, I did it, I switched from Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code. Sublime Text was my primary editor for many years, but I’ve moved on!

VS Code toolbar These days, we have a slew of extensible, modern, cross-platform text editors with very similar look and feel: VS Code, Sublime Text, Atom, Brackets, et al.

Choosing between these isn’t on the level of Emacs vs. Vim. They all work very similarly. But ST was starting to feel a bit stagnant to me, both the core product and its package ecosystem.

(Side note: I also really like Emacs, and use its excellent Org Mode daily. But it’s never yet been my mainline, day-to-day, production code editing environment.)

Another factor was that many (most?) of my co-workers use VSC. Among other things it has excellent TypeScript support, which is becoming increasingly important.

My transition has been easy and pleasant. I eased into it by using it on my personal Linux machine for a week, then fired it up at work on MacOS. (Settings sync was a boon there.)

Miscellaneous observations:

  • I like not having to edit JSON to change my prefs, especially with the very nice filtering interface.
  • Easy-toggle of the “Panel” (which I most often am using for the integrated terminal) is very handy.
  • Like ST, it has very good parity between Linux and MacOS and Windows.

The extension management interface is good. I like Package Control for Sublime Text a lot, but it always felt a little odd that it wasn’t part of the core product.

My only real gripe so far has been that, on the Mac, Cmd-H doesn’t hide it. I was able to “fix” this by removing the shortcut from whatever command shipped with Cmd-H bound to it… but later it reverted to its default behavior. I’m left feeling mad that I have to spend energy fixing a basic HIG failure.

I’m not bothered that it’s from Microsoft. While I’m not much of an Electron fan, I’m glad they adapted that (and other bits) from Atom rather than going all NIH, especially because of the Linux support. If I get bent about MS telemetry (unlikely) there’s always the VSCodium lifeboat…

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