- Pre-2004: BBEdit, Emacs, and Vim are all great text editors in their own right, but all have idiosyncrasies that, while beloved by people like me, prevent them from ever being the most popular text editor.
- 2004: TextMate is released, with its focus on packages to extend the editor and add support for different programming languages, but its API is still too limited to truly be a platform.
- 2008: Sublime Text is released, with a more sophisticated API, facilitating more powerful packages, but package management is still an afterthought.
- 2014: Atom is released, bringing package management to the forefront, but Atom has performance problems.
- 2015: Visual Studio Code is released, keeping packages front and center while also solving Atom’s performance issues. As far as I can tell, this essentially represents the final form for (mainstream) text editors.
I don’t see how VSCode can ever being contested again, unless its team makes a grave strategic error. We’ve seen over and over again, that once a platform takes off, its momentum creates a moat that’s almost impossible for challengers to overcome.
This post was adapted from a Twitter thread I posted.