Nova App thoughts as a Sublime user

I tried editor (v10.2) starting 11/11/22 for 3 days. I will keep giving it a shot, but I don’t think I’m ready to use it for reasons described in What I disliked”.

What I liked

  • Native and fast - the biggest points for me
  • Vim mode - works well for my needs
  • Split panes are well-done the way they’re draggable
  • Terminal inherits all my zsh settings, works with 1password integration

What I disliked

  • Extension issue: The Ruby on Rails extension’s bin/dev task shuts itself down after start (for some reason tailwind css shuts down and this brings down the whole foreman). This doesn’t happen in a terminal (including Nova’s own terminal). I looked at how the task was configured, and didn’t find anything wrong. I tried uninstalling a separate tailwind extension, but that didn’t help.
  • Adoption issue: Due to age/adoption, there are almost no answers or solutions for Nova on the web.
  • Convenience issue: I couldn’t find a way to make it so that my font can switch together with my color scheme. In Sublime there’s a Profiles plugin that lets you switch the entire config.
  • Editing issue: Selecting a line, then pressing shift + up, or shift + down doesn’t select next/prev lines. Simply loses selection.
  • UX issue: When using quick file open, Sublime will show you the whole file, while with Nova you must squint at the filename to see if you selected the right one.
  • UX issue: There are too few color schemes out there. Notable is the lack of schemes with fewer colors. (i.e. something like Chelevra or Alabaster).
  • UX issue: Themes seem to have no control over the cursor block color. The block is strictly black for light themes, and strictly white for dark ones. This creates a jarring/stark contrast that feels uncomfortable on the eyes.
  • UX issue: Language server integration shows tiny, narrow documentation popups with a tiny font, where a single word barely fits across the popup.
  • Bug?: The built-in terminal will eat / truncate binary output. I want to see binary output sometimes. Neither iTerm, nor Sublime terminal (Terminus) has this issue.


November 12, 2022