Sublime Text is… sublime. Since most software is so bad, one doesn’t even notice it until something comes really good along. Running Sublime Text 2 for the first time felt like the first time I tried Google Chrome 1.0 and admired how a fully featured web browser was faster than Windows Explorer (Chrome did put on some weight in the last few years, though), or my warming up to Enso and finding the whole concept of a ‘Start Menu’ laughable and hardly to be missed when Windows 8 comes along. In fact, I gave Sublime Text’s developers their money after just minutes of minor tinkering which is probably a speed record in my opening-wallet-for-bits department. ST2 feels like an extremely good piece of palpable engineering, carrying the same transcendent Quality of intelligence and solidity one finds in a 1970s Bang&Olufsen stereo or a Voigtlander Bessa camera. One just feels respected by the makers of these things, and are given reliability and an ease-of-use of the intelligent and demanding kind (for instance, Sublime Text doesn’t have a UI for preferences and presents you with an auto-updateable configuration text file instead — but if you are a programmer who feels an UI is needed to set his editor’s preferences, perhaps you should take a good hard look at your choice of career or hobby).

Sure there are plenty of other programmer-oriented text editors. Notepad++ is okay and it was perhaps the piece of software I used the most until now, but always with a suspicion it wasn’t good. Vim on the other hand felt like it once was a good piece of software but is now locked in its community esoterica, while Acme looks like it might actually be good but at the same time like too little too late. How did I survive before multi-selection and without a command palette? Indeed.

Fifty years into interactive computing history a text editor attains greatness. How many centuries does this mean we’ll have to wait for good video editing software?