Personally, I don't mind to actually have ST2 discontinued and everyone has to pay (less if you are on ST2 already) for a ST3 upgrade when ST3 comes out as stable. It will be a lot less headache for plugin writers like wbond, so they only have to maintain one version. I am actually ok to pay something like $19 or $29 YEARLY fee to get the updates. It's not like I am rich, and obviously, it will be great if it can be free. But, hey, every one gotta live, although the recently price hike does seem a little too high... And I feel nervous about how much the paid upgrade will be. If I got pay another $79 for ST3 from ST2 (I just bought this in last December...) I'll probably have to ditch ST3 and go back to use different free editors for different languages.
I think "davejones"'s point is valid, but it's hard to do. Not every software can be maintained like you are supported by a company like Apple or Microsoft, and you are doing a software like the operating system where you constantly provide supports.
wbond wrote:This is an interesting issue that I run into myself with the packages that I sell. Once you get to the scale the Sublime Text has, there will always be edge cases and systems that things crash weirdly on. At a certain point, you just can't support everyone. I can even keep up with email support issues for my packages, and I know that a small fraction of ST users use SFTP or SVN. This is hugely magnified with Sublime Text.
There are over 1.3M unique IPs that have performed package install or upgrade operations with Package Control. The most popular package has over 300,000 install operations. Let's presume 10% of people reinstall. There are probably at least 250k unique Zen Coding users. Not everyone who uses Sublime Text installs Zen Coding. So there are probably at least 400k+ users using Sublime Text.
At this scale, it gets really hard to keep your head above water. Jon has clearly been working on the issue - he's hired at least two people recently. But hiring good people takes time, and everyone wants their pet issue addresses with the editor. Sometimes those issues are people bending the intended functionality. Sometimes it is because someone has a corrupted library on their machine, or they are running an unstable graphics driver. Or some graphics vendor released a buggy version that interacts with the usage of OpenGL in a weird way. Or people are running in on an operating system that is 12 years old (Windows XP).
So one of the loudest voices in the community is the package maintainers and the users push them for more features. Sublime Text needed a number of architectural changes to fix lots of the issues. ST3 fixed all sort of little things that aren't worth my time reporting, but were slightly broken. On Arch Linux resizing ST2 could result in small black pixel corruption during the resize operation in the sidebar. Similarly, the empty space on the right edge of the editor when resizing would have a mozaic of colors as it was being re-drawn. These are both fixed in ST3. The Python API was updated to a version that will be supported beyond October of this year. Oh, and he had to wait until Python 3.3 was released or otherwise it would have been much more difficult to get packages working on both ST2 and ST3. Lots of people use SublimeCodeIntel (130k), so people clearly want to be able to have better insight into their code and to jump around it better. To be able to accomplish that, it is likely he had to change some of the architecture of the editor.
So, there are tons of issues going on. As a software author, should he sacrifice what hundreds of thousands of users want and instead spend his time personally responding to every user who is pushing the limits of what Sublime Text can or would do? From a business standpoint, probably not. I know it can be frustrating as an end user. There have been times where it has taken me months to get an email response about questions.
Let's then take a step back and think about this $70 worth of software ($59 + $15 if you bought ST2 before a month or so ago). Does the software save you the time to be worth $74? Can you get a better editing experience elsewhere for less or more money? My guess is that if you are taking the time to post here, you like Sublime Text 2 and see benefits from it, but obviously it is lacking in a few areas. Are you really upset over paying another $15 (three coffees) for a years worth of updates? Do the economics of the exchange make sense? Have you spent more than $15 of your time posting on this issue about how you don't want to pay for updates that are clearly fixing bugs?
I am not saying you are wrong to expect support, and I have a strong feeling that Jon (like myself) wants to provide the best support he can. It may just be that Jon is working on trying to scale out his company to provide that, while keeping his head above water and not losing the commercial opportunity he has with Sublime Text. As someone providing support, I know it constantly weighs on me that I can't provide perfect support and fix the issues everyone has with my open source and commercial software. Unfortunately we are all human and can only accomplish so much.
So yeah, we should have this conversation, but we should also take a hard look at the details of the issues and see if our expectations are reasonable and if our response is reasonable. Does your decision to not use ST3 make sense for you? Probably? Does the decision for Jon to forge ahead with ST3 make sense? Seems like it does. Make this just isn't the right fit for now. Perhaps when ST3 is more stable and Jon has managed to scale his company out more, it will be a better time and you will feel comfortable with the financial exchange and committing your time and effort with the editor.
I also want to make it clear that I don't have any insight into Jon's business, and this is all conjecture on my part. The issue just spoke to me because I feel like I am headed down the same path due to a lack of resources and time. I don't want to reach the point where most users don't get email support, but I am still trying to figure out how to do it all. Right now my current course of sleeping 4 hours a night keeping up with my day job, community work and commercial packages is not sustainable. But I will figure it out one way or another.