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Why Sublime Text Is The Best Part Of My Day

July 16, 2012 2 comments

Aside from the sad fact that the above statement is absolutely true, Sublime Text really is quite (I humbly apologize) *sublime*. I was introduced to sublime by a co-worker at a point in time when the team at CDOT was looking for a good Javascript text editor. Now at first glance, sublime already looks a little different from other text editors.

For one, it has a minimap! If you’ve ever played a real time strategy game, you will be familiar with the concept of a minimap. If you haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about, a minimap is basically a small overview in which the game is typically rendered from bird’s eye view. In sublime, the same concept is applied to the text file being edited; a long overview of the file is placed to the right of the screen beside the vertical scroll bar. It’s such a slick concept! Keep in mind that the preview is fully syntax high-lighted, why don’t more editors do this! This is the biggest visual difference that sublime has from other editors.

What really makes sublime shine is its autocomplete engine, or there lack of. You see, sublime does NOT parse your files and build a tree in memory like intellisense; it simply looks over the current file, finds words that resemble the one that you are typing and suggests those words to you. For Javascript and other scripting languages, this is far better than what most other IDEs can offer. Even better, the list is clever enough to get out of your way when you don’t want a suggestion.

At the end of the day, it is this… niceness that I appreciate about sublime. It is a very concise, very small and very effective editor that gets the job done quickly and painlessly. Its settings files are all simple python. In fact, the whole thing is written in python. It has keyboard shortcuts for controlling how many tab groups you want in the current window. It has awesome regex support and a great search/replace tool (search results are shown in a file buffer in a file tab, like any other file). It has a slick project view/file tree and it also comes with a host of colour schemes; my favourite being a beautiful light text against dark background theme called Monokai that is on by default. Honestly, that scheme was almost enough to get me to switch to sublime immediately.

I’ve said enough about this wonderful text editor, TRY IT! http://www.sublimetext.com/

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