New Editor

Today I decided to try out a new text editor… New to me. I am writing this in sublime-text and I am very uncomfortable. I have been using vim for a long time professionally and personally. I really love vim, mainly because I feel like I know how to traverse it really well. I also like the feeling of being able to walk up to any unix derivitive and know, with certainty, that I will be able to manipulate files.

But some times, I feel like I am missing something that everyone else in the world around me has found. I have co-workers who absolutely LOVE sublime-text and feel so dirty having to use “antiquated” tools such as tmux and vim, and bash. I can now understand where they are coming from after having TRIED to work for a day in this editor.

Learning New Things Is Hard

I thought to myself, hey, this is going to be a cake walk… a graphical editor, tons of plugins for download, looks pretty extendable, learning this will be easy. Well, turns out, just like vim has a “steep barrier to entry” I think now that Sublime has an insanely steep barrier to entry for those coming from the cursor based editor world.

First impressions:

  1. How does anyone do anything in this editor. I am used to being one keystroke away from a terminal. Ctrl-Z and I am in my shell. I feel almost a little useless without my shell close by.

  2. These key sequences make no sense to me, and I am frustrated. I am sure after time passes, and I learn more and more as my needs change I will get used to the keybindings, and maybe even get a sense of enlightenment from the visionaries who designed the key bindings (as I currently feel about vim key bindings) but right now I can’t make heads or tails of WHY the bindings are laid out the way they are.

Why Ctrl-P to do “Anything” Why Ctrl-T to open “Anything” Why Ctrl-W to close a file

Atleast with vim, the bindings make sense to me:

to do anything :e to open anything :q to close a file

  1. It is nice to have a little minimap on the side bar, showing you what your code would look like if it was printed out on an insanely long sheet of paper. I kinda assume that is to shame developers into being concise… Then again, I don’t see any value in it. Why on earth would I care what the file looks like? Moreover, can’t you tell based on the line numbers and length of the file what your code looks like? I guess some people get benefit from it by being able to scroll quickly to where they feel the code is they want to edit.

  2. I don’t really like the side bar of files in the directory or project you are working in. It seems to take up space for no real benefit I can see, besides knowing what files are in the directory. I don’t really get any benefit from that personally, as I usually tab completion, and have a general idea of what the cwd structure is when I am working.

  3. Not very homerow centric. Vim bindings were precisely calculated to keep you on the home row. I find myself reaching for my mouse SO much with this editor. granted, once I learn the bindings, this urge might go away, but for now I am suffering.