VSCode thoughts as a Sublime user

I left a HN comment about it here.

Just an anecdote for those curious about a specific experience.

This time I used VSCode for nearly 2 months. Thought it’s the end of an era, I’m not coming back to Sublime Text. I decided to push through and customize the configs just right for me, it was really becoming comfortable. Main reason why I wanted to switch is more active dev, more active extension community, and well integrated modern (some ML-backed) code writing and navigation tools.

I was wrong. After all the painstaking customization to bring it close to my ideal experience, while also getting used to things I didn’t want to fight, I still had a bad time.

For one, the tab/cursor focus keeps going into weird places. I press a button, like ESC to switch to normal vim mode, and instead it does nothing, or something different, because turns out I’m not in the editor anymore. Keeps happening, maybe my own fault. The nifty AI tools integration is more of a nuisance — they jump in at bad times (with a delay), and their tab/enter functionality is weird, can never get it right. Most of my autocompletes have been unintentional. Maybe my own fault again, but felt super awkward. There is still no good vertical align plugin, despite such an active community (Sublime doesn’t have one either, although they have one that gets me a bit closer). The language server stuff that worked badly in Sublime for my language also works badly in VSCode. The extensions, while numerous, are of questionable quality. I tried to stick to just a few well known ones.

After all the effort, I slowly came to realization that I’m back to not really using anything unique to VSCode, sacrificing more than I gained, being surrounded by lots of small moving details everywhere in the UI that make my experience more awkward than helpful, and occasionally getting my cursor stuck in weird parts of UI. I went back to Sublime.


June 23, 2023