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Review of Two Editors: Sublime Text 2 and SlickEdit

Licensing and Pricing

SlickEdit is offered as a plugin for Eclipse or a standalone editor for Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX. The Eclipse plugin is licensed yearly for $99, while the standalone license is perpetual and ranges from $299 to $799 depending on the number of platforms (1, 2, or 3+), operating system, and named or concurrent user license. The single-user license for just Linux, Mac, or Windows is $299. SlickEdit offers a free 15-day trial with support.

I counted 36 different options (a large number, no doubt due to the variety of platforms that the software runs on), but the website does a good job of pointing you to the license you need. More complete purchasing and downloading details are available.

Sublime Text 2 costs $59 for a single license on Windows, Mac, or Linux, for commercial or home use. You can also purchase licenses in bulk with price breaks at 10, 25, and 50 licenses. Complete purchasing information is available, as is downloading information. The program can be evaluated for free, but a license is required for "continued use."


Overall, both editors are good products that are easily recommended. However, they're likely to appeal to different audiences. SlickEdit is the more complete offering and has excellent tech support. It relies on the traditional look-and-feel of editors and is closer to IDEs in its functionality than is Sublime Text 2. It's likely the preferred choice for enterprises sites, where its support for numerous platforms and greater feature set will play well — despite its higher price.

Sublime Text 2 has an innovative front end, with some eye candy and options that can greatly reduce the chrome and visual cruft of more complex editors. It also uses Python as its extension language, which will be appealing to many developers. It has a delightful hacker's feel to it and will likely appeal to programmers who want a lighter product that SlickEdit and who are comfortable designing their own solutions for add-on features or relying on the community of users to help them out.

In either case, I expect users will enjoy these editors, and given the free trial period offered by both vendors, they can make sure before committing.

Ben DuPont is a software engineer located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His article on hacking Bluetooth devices appeared in Dr. Dobb's earlier this year.

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