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31 January 2013, 10:33

Sublime Text 3 beta introduces symbol indexing

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Sublime Text 3 screenshot
Zoom Sublime Text 3 includes symbol indexing across all files in a project

Jon Skinner, developer of Sublime Text, has announced the first beta release of version 3 of the cross-platform C++ and Python based text editor. Sublime Text 3 introduces symbol indexing, easier management of multiple editor panes, and speed and API improvements.

Sublime Text is designed for full-screen operation and to present developers with a minimum of user interface chrome. It has supported multiple editor panes in a window from the first release, but in Sublime Text 3, there are new commands to create and remove new editor panes and to quickly move files between them. The new pane management functions are also available from the View menu.

Sublime Text 3 adds symbol indexing, which works by scanning all files in the project folder. The new GotoGoto Definition option shows the user the definition of the symbol under the cursor, while GotoGoto Symbol in Project does the same but prompts the user to enter a symbol instead. For this, it uses fuzzy matching to search through its index of all symbols in the current project.

Other improvements include performance enhancements, with startup time now described as "virtually immediate" – plugins are handled separately so that they cannot impact the startup performance. The search and replace function is also much quicker, according to Skinner. Plugins for the text editor are also isolated from the main process and are written using Python 3.3 rather than Python 2.x, although they can also load native C++ code. The plugin API is now thread-safe and runs tasks asynchronously. Plugins for Sublime Text 2 will have to be ported to the new version.

Sublime Text 3 is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and 32- and 64-bit Linux. Users who have purchased Sublime Text 2 can run beta versions of Sublime Text 3 until the final version is released. An evaluation version of the stable release is also available. A single user licence for the text editor (which can be used on an unlimited number of computers) costs $70, upgrades from version 2 to 3 will cost $30.


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