December 14, 2020

Today on macstories.net they released their list of Best Apps of the Year and they awarded Best Mac App to the new code editor Nova from Panic. In his notes Alex Guyot calls out the preferences window in Nova and how nice it is compared to Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code. He notes how nice it is to have a graphical settings window compared to Sublime Text and VSC which require you to edit JSON settings files by hand:

On that note, just having a Preferences window is a minor victory — most other popular code editors these days don’t even bother to support such a simple macOS affordance as this. Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code, the two popular editors I’ve most recently coded with before Nova, both store settings as a series of JSON files which you can edit to change settings. I wish I was joking.

I can’t speak about Sublime Text (though I hear that one does require editing JSON files) but in Visual Studio Code that is not required. There is a settings tab that looks like this (here I’m searching for any settings that have the word keys”):

Huh. This doesn’t look like JSON to me. Does it look like a Mac app? No, I have to admit it doesn’t but that isn’t something that really bothers me as I use Visual Studio Code because it’s cross-platform and that’s more important to me than a native preferences window. Just makes me curious the last time Alex actually used Visual Studio Code. I can’t recall a time literally in years where I’ve had to edit JSON settings by hand.


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