Mikael Hultgren  —   I'm a coder, baker and climber, by day I code for a living and by night I develop apps for the  landscape of devices. You can find me as “blomma” on Twitter and Github.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF SUBLIME TEXT 3

As I am want to do, I occasionally take a walk thru the Sublime Text forums to see what is going on, part to see if should try it, part to just read up the latest development news. So skimming thru i found yet another thread lamenting the slow (some would call it dead) development progress on Sublime Text 3 and in that thread i find this gem from an ardent defender that holds the belief that nothing is wrong.

So iamntz on the Sublime Text forums writes

Just a quick note: most commercial software have a very relaxed schedule, with one or less release/year.

Just take a look at… dunno, windows, osx, photoshop, phpstorm, etc and you will see you have (almost) no update between major releases and almost no communication either (go to adobe forum and try to get an official response!).

Not to say that exactly nobody is releasing their plans for the future!

No EULA will grant you that the software author/company will release any new version.

So the facts are, the latest public build which did not require a license key was Build 3059 which was released on 17 December 2013. The latest developer build which requires a valid licence was Build 3061 which was release on 21 December 2013. The latest tweet was “Sublime Text 3 Build 3059 is out now” on 17 December 2013. The latest blog post was 18 December 2013.

The authors activity on the forums has been practically dead since, not that it was that much to begin with. At this point anyone in their right mind would call a software beta which hasn’t been updated in 5+ months and with zero updates on the progress dead in the water.

Which brings me back to our friend iamntz on the forums, he is of course right, most commercial software have a relaxed update schedule, they often release a major x.0 version and then we see small bug fixes as we go along. But here is the rub, they release a version and then you pay for it. Sublime Text acts more like kickstarter, fund me while I develop this version (3 in this case) and in the end you will get a final version. Except looking over the FAQ there is never a mention of actually getting a final release, only that the license you get is valid for Sublime Text 3.

So in this case I would say that iamntz is showing an almost fanatical faith in that all is well in Sublime Text country.

So from a legal standpoint I guess the author of Sublime Text 3 is covered, but from where I sit it stinks. If you as an author think that the beta you release is good enough for a final version, then release it. If not, then let your customers know what the deal is. In this case neither has happened.