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Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby bianjiang on Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:15 am

wbond, Your work is really appreciated. Your work actually make the use of sublimetext more pleasant.

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. :)
bianjiang
 
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby davejones on Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:13 am

bianjiang wrote:wbond, Your work is really appreciated. Your work actually make the use of sublimetext more pleasant.

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. :)


Updating your software to provide 2-5 fixes every 2-3 months isn't a big deal. There are bugs people have reported a few times, but NO UPDATES OF ANY KIND WERE PROVIDED.

Perhaps jps doesn't have the time to talk to people, but there's absolutely NO EXCUSE to not provide updated software. I don't care how busy he is, people have reported bugs on the forum and 0 updates and 0 fixes were given.

Also, being able to get ST3 beta now ISN'T A SOLUTION. As soon as jps says ST3 is out, all the people who are complaining about problems with ST2 will lose the right to use ST3 and they have to pony up money to get bug fixes.

I don't know about what anybody else thinks, but it's not so difficult to sue him right now.

This looks like an attempt to make more money after already getting quite some money from an extremely large number of customers. I wonder how many people bought ST2, are having problems with it and didn't drop by to try to get some support, either from the community or from the man himself?
davejones
 
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby facelessuser on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:18 pm

There are so many alternatives for you to use. If you don't like the company model or the product, just use one you do like.

There is a FAQ that explains every thing very clear http://www.sublimetext.com/sales_faq. We have all purchased things in the past and with certain expectations only to be let down. I have done it with plenty of software. Complained about certain features with other software and never seen them updated. I usually move to an alternative if I feel there is something better out. No one is forcing you to spend money here, if you want a refund, send Jon an email and see what he says.

I personally like sublime text. I read was I was getting before I purchased; and I wasn't blindsided. I have read how much an upgrade costs and I feel it is reasonable. I have evaluated whether I want to use an alternative at this time, and I have chosen to stick with Sublime Text because it is something I work very well with, and at this time, I like supporting this editor. If I was coming to Sublime Text for the first time, $70 bucks would probably give me some pause, maybe not. I greatly enjoy the plugin system for Sublime Text which gives me fantastic flexibility. To be honest, it is the simple plugin system (which has gotten even better) that has kept me here.

There are others who in some way are trying to emulate Sublime Text like TextAdapt. If you are unhappy with Sublime Text and want a free, open source, multi-platform editor that is trying to emulate Sublime Text, maybe you should try it: Here, http://foicica.com/textadept/01_Introduction.html.

There is nothing wrong with you expressing your opinion, but you seem very unhappy, why not just move on to something that makes you happy?
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby davejones on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:35 pm

facelessuser wrote:There are so many alternatives for you to use. If you don't like the company model or the product, just use one you do like.

There is a FAQ that explains every thing very clear http://www.sublimetext.com/sales_faq. We have all purchased things in the past and with certain expectations only to be let down. I have done it with plenty of software. Complained about certain features with other software and never seen them updated. I usually move to an alternative if I feel there is something better out. No one is forcing you to spend money here, if you want a refund, send Jon an email and see what he says.

I personally like sublime text. I read was I was getting before I purchased; and I wasn't blindsided. I have read how much an upgrade costs and I feel it is reasonable. I have evaluated whether I want to use an alternative at this time, and I have chosen to stick with Sublime Text because it is something I work very well with, and at this time, I like supporting this editor. If I was coming to Sublime Text for the first time, $70 bucks would probably give me some pause, maybe not. I greatly enjoy the plugin system for Sublime Text which gives me fantastic flexibility. To be honest, it is the simple plugin system (which has gotten even better) that has kept me here.

There are others who in some way are trying to emulate Sublime Text like TextAdapt. If you are unhappy with Sublime Text and want a free, open source, multi-platform editor that is trying to emulate Sublime Text, maybe you should try it: Here, http://foicica.com/textadept/01_Introduction.html.

There is nothing wrong with you expressing your opinion, but you seem very unhappy, why not just move on to something that makes you happy?


The plugin system is also what made me buy ST2 last year. Given that it was in beta at the time, I really had no idea I shouldn't expect to receive any update at all after the final release is out.
The lack of updates is becoming a serious problem for commercial software.

The amount of effort needed to get some bug fixes to the extremely large number of customers would really build trust and would make a very large number of clients happy - hey, look, this guy didn't forget about his customers.
Furthermore, given that fixing a bug would fix it for all customers at once, the return on that investment would be quite high.

Also, I can understand that he's just one individual, but I've received much better support from some folks who've sold me software for 10-15 USD. It only took one email and my problem was fixed.

TextAdept seems to be a nice editor. I'll look into it. Thank you for recommending it, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby quarnster on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:21 am

wbond wrote: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.


IMO that is not the issue. The issue I have is the lack of communication with regards to any sort of a roadmap and thus I have no idea what to expect. If there was a proper bug tracker where bugs/features are prioritized (by SublimeHQ, not the users), put into milestones and closed as "will not fix" I'd have a much better idea of how my money is invested and my expectations would be managed.

As others have said in other threads the feature delta between ST2 and ST3 is much smaller than it was between ST1 and ST2. Some users chimed in to say that ST2 was in beta a long time with many, many features added after the initial announcement and that the same thing would probably happen with ST3 too. That is just pure speculation.

I'd like to know what exactly can be expected of ST2 and when, what exactly can be expected of ST3 and when, what will not make it for ST3 but absolutely in a future version, what will never be fixed and what is under consideration.
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby bizoo on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:26 am

Don't understand the total silence from Sublime Text staff on this topic...

Well I suppose that ST2 will not receive any update anymore, but, from a commercially viewpoint, it's not good to report that officially.
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby davejones on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:07 pm

bizoo wrote:Don't understand the total silence from Sublime Text staff on this topic...

Well I suppose that ST2 will not receive any update anymore, but, from a commercially viewpoint, it's not good to report that officially.


There is no such thing as the ST staff. There's just one guy.

Also, I don't understand either why they're not offering support. After all, he sold a lot of copies for this editor, so it should make sense to support it.

I don't know what other people do, but I usually want to keep in touch with my clients to make sure they're happy and that they keep working with me. So it would make sense for jps to be more responsive and listen to his customers...
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby twosev on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:14 pm

bizoo wrote:Don't understand the total silence from Sublime Text staff on this topic...


I presume they just don't care. :)

As for the situation itself, davejones is absolutely right. It's a nonsense that there were no updates for the "stable" branch while it definitely has bugs. When I pay for some software I expect it to be supported. ST2 is not supported at all. The author does not even respond here.
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby gregor.hoch on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:30 pm

I think what a people just don't understand is that (a) sublime is developed by one person who I think now hired two more people and (b) support is incredible time consuming. 90% of bug reports are based on user errors. The original poster, for example, reported a bug about a parsing error as an example and it was pretty clear that the "bug" was either a user error or a bug in a package. Now, you can argue that support means to solve the problems people have. But ST is not able to do that and I really hope will try. Instead, I hope the developers focus on making ST a better text editor, which they are clearly doing!
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Re: Updates for the stable Sublime Text

Postby davejones on Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:51 pm

gregor.hoch wrote:I think what a people just don't understand is that (a) sublime is developed by one person who I think now hired two more people and (b) support is incredible time consuming. 90% of bug reports are based on user errors. The original poster, for example, reported a bug about a parsing error as an example and it was pretty clear that the "bug" was either a user error or a bug in a package. Now, you can argue that support means to solve the problems people have. But ST is not able to do that and I really hope will try. Instead, I hope the developers focus on making ST a better text editor, which they are clearly doing!


The error I've posted was meant to be the start of a list of weird and dumb errors ST2 likes to spit out for no reason sometimes.... It's always another file and another thing.

The guy is doing nothing to offer support to the customers, no offense. There are REAL DEFECTS AND REAL BUGS which he's not fixing and they're all over these forums. I've bought ST2, NOT ST3. I expect to GET SUPPORT FOR ST2, not be told to wait for ST3, nor be told by people on the forum "hey, dude, it's REALLY cheap, just pay a few bucks when ST3 is out to get the new ST and get rid of the bugs". I really expect to receive actual SUPPORT from the actual legal entity (firm, company, whatever) which is providing that software.

The fact that he was just a single person isn't our problem. We've paid money for that software and we really deserve support. We don't have the source code - we can't fix it ourselves. So we're left at the mercy of this guy who seems to have vanished or to be ignoring everyone...and I really don't care what his problem is as long as he all but completely evaporated and then suddenly released ST3 beta.
If he's just one single person, it's his problem. I believe he's sold over 100000 copies of ST2. That means we're talking about 5900000 USD. I don't know about you, but with that kind of money I could hire enough people to build a corporation around a product.

Given how much money he's been paid for the licenses he's sold, I really don't think it's a financial problem. People live off of far smaller amounts of money in this world and he has certainly received a lot of it since he released the ST2 beta. If he's really earned at least 5 million USD, you could say he may have had 200k-400k USD of debts to pay, 1-2 millions to pay in taxes and so on. He'd still have more than enough to afford himself to hire a team to: a) run a community, b) maintain an issue tracker and get feedback from customers, c) handle some project management tasks and d) answer emails from customers.

So him being just him and 2 guys in his organization is entirely his problem and it's his concern.

If that's too difficult for people to understand, please let me know so I can just forget about it.
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