Blog of Raivo Laanemets

Stories about web development, consulting and personal computers.

Switching to Sublime Text 3

On 2016-05-07

Last two weeks I have been using Sublime Text 3 as my main text editor. It has taken some customization to get it running the way I want it. However, so far I am quite impressed with it.

My motivation to switch text editor came from a recent project that required the use of ES6 (I will write about that later in a separate post). Kate, the text editor I have been using so far, did not support the new language features yet.

I actually tried out Atom at first. Atom is also a quite impressive text editor but it did not ran well on my laptop. While it starts instantly and runs without issues on my main desktop, a machine with i5-6600k clocked to 4.2Ghz, it is unusable on a 10-year-old single-core Celeron machine. Even scrolling small files was heavily lagging.


My current Sublime Text setup includes the following plugins and customizations:

  • Soda light UI theme (matches very well with KDE Oxygen).
  • Prolog language support (not built-in).
  • Custom syntax highlighting color scheme based on standard Kate colors.
  • Custom EJS syntax highlighter.
  • Editor font set to "DejaVu Sans Mono" (I use a non-retina monitor with strong subpixel hinting and this seems to give the best results).
  • Line padding top/bottom: 5/5.

These settings produce the perfect setup for me.

Compared to Kate, Sublime provides these benefits:

  • Much better technical documentation.
  • Is not tied to KDE, a huge and hard to manage dependency.
  • Supports line spacing through line padding, something that is not even possible to implement on KDE.
  • Built-in package system to extend it.
  • Lots of existing packages.

On the downside, it requires packages for some things and some of those packages do not seem to be of high-quality. For example, the EJS package is just broken.