The Neverending Text Edi-Tour

I hope you read that title and immediately started singing like I did. No? Oooookay…

Eh hem…I was unexpectedly persuaded into trying a new text editor, Sublime Text 2, despite having downloaded the newly-released and highly-anticipated Coda 2 this year. While Sublime was downloading, I began to recap the “text edi-tour” that I inadvertently traveled throughout my career and debated whether or not an ideal editor actually exists for me. Yes, there are so many out there that can fit any particular niche, but I can’t help but notice that many editors are extremely gimmicky or bloated. “Look! This one fills in your pages with lines from Nicolas Cage movies!”, “Awesome!! This one visually renders any move or change you make!”, “OMG this one plays the entire Rocky theme song every time your function fires without an error!”

I realize that some folks love the extra bells and whistles, but I see them as a distraction from actually, ya know, writing code. Perhaps I’m just a creature of habit; why stop using the tool that lets me get right to the point? Why give that up to endure the learning curve in a new software that potentially sucks? Well, today I found out why it pays off to keep an open mind with editors.

I was going “oooOooo” within fifteen minutes of using Sublime Text 2. Despite using the spanking new Coda 2, I was still doing happy dances due to the subtle features and streamlined feel of Sublime. You mean I can add any sort of open-sourced package to my editor by using a shortcut and a quick download?! I can find designed themes that soothe my screen-squinting headaches!? You mean it writes big chunks of code in place of a simple word trigger?! Okay, I’m even going to get granular here and mention how happy I was to see that it would simply open a file on a single click, but would tab the file for further use if double-clicked. SO good! No more ongoing tabs of files that I barely edited.

Before I get ahead of myself, I will stay fair and mention the excessive number of questionable [hilarious] packages available to us. One in particular caught my eye and perfectly fits in with the “super unproductive” scenarios I listed: Hipster Ipsum

Yup! You read that right. “Hipster w/ a shot of Latin.” Ah yes. Just what the dev world needs. But I have to say that sometimes a grueling project full of boring content and repetitive functions could take a shot of this kind of nonsense. Dare I say I might use Hipster Ipsum someday? Eh, doubtful.

So from a pen and paper to Notepad, Dreamweaver, jEdit, BBEdit, TextWrangler, Vim, vi, Eclipse, Coda, and now Sublime — have I found my ideal text editor? I’m thinking yes! Seriously, I encourage any developer to try it out. I was very skeptical, but Sublime is truly a simplified yet super powerful means of streamlining your workflow. We may never reach the end of the edi-tour, but at least keep an open mind and help yourself find a decent resting spot along the way :)

Happy coding!




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