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Sublime Text vs Xcode: What are the differences?

Introduction

Sublime Text and Xcode are both popular text editors used by developers for coding and programming tasks. While they share some similarities, there are key differences between the two that set them apart. In this markdown, we will outline the main differences between Sublime Text and Xcode.

  1. Primary Purpose: Sublime Text is primarily focused on being a text editor with extensive customization options and a lightweight design. It is known for its speed and efficiency in handling large codebases. In contrast, Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) specifically designed for macOS and iOS app development. It provides a wide range of tools and features for building, testing, and debugging applications.

  2. Language Support: Sublime Text offers support for multiple programming languages out of the box, with syntax highlighting and autocomplete features. It provides a wide range of plugins and packages that can be installed to extend its functionality further. Xcode, on the other hand, is specifically tailored for Objective-C, Swift, and Apple's frameworks, offering comprehensive support and integration for these languages.

  3. Interface: Sublime Text features a clean and minimalist interface, with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. It allows for extensive customization of layouts, themes, and keyboard shortcuts. Xcode, being an IDE, has a more complex interface that includes various panels, navigators, and inspectors to facilitate app development. It provides a graphical interface builder for designing user interfaces and offers advanced debugging and profiling tools.

  4. Version Control: Sublime Text has built-in preferences for using version control systems like Git, allowing developers to manage their code repositories efficiently. However, it lacks native integration with specific version control systems. In contrast, Xcode provides robust integration with Git and other popular version control systems like Subversion. It offers features such as visual diff tools, blame annotations, and seamless collaboration with team members.

  5. Build and Compilation: Sublime Text relies on external build systems and task runners for compiling and running code. It can be configured to work with a variety of build tools, making it flexible but requiring manual setup. On the other hand, Xcode has a built-in build system that automates the process of building, running, and testing projects. It provides a seamless development experience with automatic code signing, provisioning profiles, and app distribution options.

  6. Project Management: Sublime Text is primarily a file-centric editor, where developers work on individual files or projects without an extensive project management system. It does not provide built-in features for organizing and navigating large codebases. In contrast, Xcode organizes projects into workspaces that can contain multiple projects and dependencies. It provides features like code refactoring, integrated documentation, and project-wide search capabilities, making it suitable for larger development efforts.

In Summary, Sublime Text is a straightforward and highly customizable text editor, ideal for general-purpose coding across multiple languages. Xcode, on the other hand, is a feature-rich IDE specifically tailored for macOS and iOS development, with comprehensive language support, project management tools, and seamless integration with Apple's ecosystem.

Decisions about Sublime Text and Xcode
Kamaleshwar BN
Senior Software Engineer at Pulley · | 12 upvotes · 1.3M views

Visual Studio Code became famous over the past 3+ years I believe. The clean UI, easy to use UX and the plethora of integrations made it a very easy decision for us. Our gripe with Sublime was probably only the UX side. VSCode has not failed us till now, and still is able to support our development env without any significant effort.

Goland being paid, as well as built only for Go seemed like a significant limitation to not consider it.

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Andrey Ginger
Managing Partner at WhiteLabelDevelopers · | 3 upvotes · 501.5K views

Since communication with Github is not necessary, the Atom is less convenient in working with text and code. Sublim's support and understanding of projects is best for us. Notepad for us is a completely outdated solution with an unacceptable interface. We use a good theme for Sublim ayu-dark

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Simon Ibssa
Student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo · | 2 upvotes · 1.2M views

I decided to choose VSCode over Sublime text for my Systems Programming class in C. What I love about VSCode is its awesome ability to add extensions. Intellisense is a beautiful debugger, and Remote SSH allows me to login and make real-time changes in VSCode to files on my university server. This is an awesome alternative to going back and forth on pushing/pulling code and logging into servers in the terminal. Great choice for anyone interested in C programming!

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Pros of Sublime Text
Pros of Xcode
  • 720
    Lightweight
  • 652
    Plugins
  • 641
    Super fast
  • 468
    Great code editor
  • 442
    Cross platform
  • 280
    Nice UI
  • 260
    Unlimited trial
  • 153
    Cmd + d is the best command ever
  • 92
    Great community
  • 46
    Package control, modules
  • 26
    Mac OS X support
  • 23
    Easy to get started with
  • 22
    Monokai
  • 21
    Everything you need without the bloat
  • 21
    Built in Python
  • 18
    Easy
  • 14
    Speed
  • 12
    Session & edit resuming
  • 10
    Package Control
  • 9
    Well Designed
  • 8
    Multiple selections
  • 7
    ALT + CMD + DOWN is the best command ever
  • 7
    Nice
  • 7
    Fast, simple and lightweight
  • 5
    It's easy to use, beautiful, simple, and plugins rule
  • 5
    So futuristic and convenient
  • 5
    ALT + F3 the best command ever
  • 5
    Great
  • 4
    Find anything fast within entire project
  • 4
    Easy to use
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Simple and clean design
  • 3
    Hackable
  • 3
    Pretty
  • 3
    UI + plugins
  • 3
    Sublime Merge (Git Integration)
  • 2
    Totally customizable
  • 2
    Color schemes and cmd+d
  • 2
    Material theme best theme forever
  • 0
    Const
  • 130
    IOS Development
  • 33
    Personal assistant on steroids
  • 29
    Easy setup
  • 17
    Excellent integration with Clang
  • 3
    Beautiful
  • 1
    Built-in everything

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Cons of Sublime Text
Cons of Xcode
  • 8
    Steep learning curve
  • 6
    Everything
  • 4
    Flexibility to move file
  • 4
    Number of plugins doing the same thing
  • 4
    Doesn't act like a Mac app
  • 3
    Not open sourced
  • 2
    Don't have flutter integration
  • 2
    Forces you to buy license
  • 6
    Massively bloated and complicated for smaller projects
  • 3
    Horrible auto completiting and text editing
  • 1
    Slow startup
  • 1
    Very slow emulator

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What are some alternatives to Sublime Text and Xcode?
Atom
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
Visual Studio Code
Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.
WebStorm
WebStorm is a lightweight and intelligent IDE for front-end development and server-side JavaScript.
Notepad++
Notepad++ is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.
Brackets
With focused visual tools and preprocessor support, it is a modern text editor that makes it easy to design in the browser.
See all alternatives