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Is Sublime Text "free"?

Discussion about the documentation, main Rainmeter site and forums.
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Is Sublime Text "free"?

krzysiunet » February 29th, 2016, 3:06 am


Let me cite
It is not free, but can be run for an extended length of time in "unregistered" mode to try it out.
And (bold text by me)
Sublime Text may be downloaded and evaluated for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use. There is no enforced time limit for the evaluation.
That could be misleading. Of course you can try it out, but it means that you can't use it to edit Rainmeter files and then use Rainmeter. If you do, that just pirating the software. Main developer seems to be OK with it, but still there's a legal difference between "evaluating" and "using". He knows about that legality problem, yet does nothing to clarify it. I think that he just wants to have backup plan in the case if somebody will e.g. have a lot of cash and won't pay for it. That's fine with me, but it's kinda like abandon-ware. Nobody cares about legality, nobody wants to sue, yet it's not really legal - the grey zone.

I don't know much about USA law, except for copyrights, but encouraging users to do possibly illegal thing (do real tasks as "trying it out") might be illegal. You say about trying it out, but the context says otherwise.

Maybe we have some lawyer here (both for country of Sublime text + country from where website is created + country where website is located) to verify my opinion.

Edit: Don't take my post as "fix it" but as "consider it" or "let's talk about it" :) If you think that current version is OK, that's OK with me as well.
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Re: Is Sublime Text "free"?

jsmorley » February 29th, 2016, 3:13 am

His position is that you can "evaluate" it for as long as you need without buying it, but it will nag you from time to time and make it clear that it is "unregistered". So the price you pay for using it without paying is that you get nagged. Not my cup-of-tea, and I prefer Notepad++ anyway, but if that is how the author wants to work things, who am I, or you, to tell him otherwise.

While he makes it clear that you are expected to pay for it if you are going to use it after you have evaluated it, he also makes it clear that there is no time limit on your "evaluation", so if you want to use it that way forever, so be it, and there is certainly nothing "illegal" about it. He sets a very specific and binding limit of "none".

Certainly I don't think you can expect someone to "evaluate" software like a text editor without "using it" to do some real work. Creating a Rainmeter skin with it doesn't suddenly become illegal because you use the skin. That's just absolute legal crap, and it is why when the revolution comes, all the lawyers will be the very first ones against the wall.

You have to deal with your own karma about what "evaluation" means, and when using it stops being an evaluation. I would think that at some point, the nagging alone would get to you, if not some guilt about the "spirit" vs the "letter" of his intent. I don't know, I don't use the software. Notepad++ is at least just as good, and entirely free.

I think the text in our documentation is fine. I'm not encouraging anyone to just use it forever without paying for it, only what I said:
It is not free, but can be run for an extended length of time in "unregistered" mode to try it out.
If you have a problem with the term "extended", I'm sorry. Since the author does not specify a time-limit, neither do I. I do say " to try it out", not "to avoid paying for it". Nowhere on our site do I suggest that you should pirate anything. Nowhere on our site do I suggest that you should use any commercial software without paying for it. By all means, if you are going to use Sublime Text, you should pay for it. That is not only correct, but "right".

Any lawyers here (both for country of Sublime text + country from where website is created + country where website is located) are welcome to go chase ambulances somewhere else.
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Re: Is Sublime Text "free"?

dgrace » February 29th, 2016, 11:31 pm

The Atom editor from Github is a great free alternative, and is eating Sublime's market. YMMV.

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Re: Is Sublime Text "free"?

killall-q » March 4th, 2016, 2:19 am

I've been using Atom for a few days and really like it. I'm just happy to finally move away from Notepad++, I felt like I was stuck in Windows 95.

It's basically a better, free Sublime Text. Out of the box it doesn't highlight Lua and .ini, you need to install packages for that.

File > Settings > Install

Packages I recommend:

Disable core package:

Annoying that you can't set file associations to it in settings, you can only open files in Atom through the right click menu. There's a crude version agnostic way to bind associations to atom.cmd, but it flashes a cmd window and has no icon. A proper file association handler is coming in version 1.70.

I'm also giving Brackets a try, it promises to be a more polished, user friendly package.