Editors are among the stickiest of software tools for a developer. Want to get me to change editors – good luck! I’ve been using TextMate since 2006 now and only switched off the long obsolete TextMate 1 to TextMate 2 about a year ago. Editors are just that sticky. Here are some of the things I’ve tried and rejected since the point I realized that I’m stuck in legacy land:

  • Sublime (didn’t feel right)
  • Atom (too slow)
  • VIM (been there; done that; got the t-shirt; ;wore the t-shirt until it was threadbare; wrote several hundred k lines of code in it from 2002 to 2005; no thanks; only server side from now on and even then there’s swearing; love it conceptually; hate to configure it)
  • MacVIM (didn’t feel right)

Again and again I walk away from TextMate but I keep coming back. However, recently, Nick has convinced me to try Visual Studio Code and I’m intrigued. As someone who literally came of computing age with Microsoft IDEs and then fled into *nix ecosystems screaming, I never expected myself to once again be in a Microsoft produced editor and I would have bet money that that editor would NOT run on Linux – I would be wrong, 1000% wrong. Visual Studio Code:

  • Feels Great
  • Runs on Linux
  • Performs Pretty Well
  • Has An Enormous Plugin Library

Installation on OSX and Linux

Start with the installation instructions here. Here are the Mac and Linux downloads:

Installation on Linux

I had some post install issues here so I’m going to cover this in a later post.


Visual Studio Code really, really feels good. I am still falling back to TextMate but that’s mostly from convenience and muscle memory. I think I have to keep trying Visual Studio Code. The fact that its available on OSX and Linux is a huge, huge win in its favor. And since my Linux box has more memory than any OSX box I own, well, perhaps the memory overhead of Electron won’t matter so much.