back to article Github's 'Atom' text editor hits version 1.0

Github's Atom text editor, which it announced back in February 2014, has reached version 1.0. Atom's inspiration was venerable text editor Emacs, but its backers hoped a new start would result in a tool suited to modern web programming. The result is a tool designed from the ground up for coding and customisable in all manner …

  1. jake Silver badge


    I've looked at it. I think I'll stick with vi.


    1. asdf

      Re: Interesting-ish.

      vi + geany + POSIX = world domination (unless your a millennial web "developer"). Flame on.

  2. Thecowking

    It's like Sublime Text

    But a little slower. And I already have Sublime Text so... (that said it's already a faster release than ST3!)

    1. mafoo

      Re: It's like Sublime Text

      I use it at work on my ubuntu box, but i still prefer textmate on my Laptops.

      The main reason is that atom is such a massive resource hog. It will happily consume 50% cpu time doing nothing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still no print capability?

    I've tried it out a few times and it seems like a reasonable editor, but it doesn't have a print function.

    Now I know it's the 21st century, and we are all supposed to be hacking our Next Big Idea together in a trendy Shoreditch coffee bar, but I would have thought that a user might occasionally want to put something on paper.

    Call me old fashioned (because I am), but this seems like a strange omission for a text editor.

    1. cmannett85

      Re: Still no print capability?

      You print code out?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still no print capability?

        "You print code out?"

        - Of course not. But I want to be able to.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Still no print capability?

        You print code out?

        Of course, in much the same way that over a foot of space on my bookshelf is given over to hand-written notes on one of my pet hobby projects.

        What are the most important development tools? Pencil, eraser, notebook and source listing. Fancy software tools can help massively for specific issues but ultimately nothing can replace time and effort spent understanding and thinking about the task in hand. Physically moving away from your computer instantly eliminates one of the principal distractions to doing that properly.

        1. Chicken Marengo

          Re: Still no print capability?

          >>What are the most important development tools?

          Can I bring my whiteboard along?

      3. HackAndSlash

        Re: Still no print capability?

        Not unless there is a module to make it print on that fanfold paper with alternate green and while lines. Oh those where the days!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Still no print capability?

      I don't understand this. Surely "printing from the editor" means "pipe selected lines into lpr", no? Atom can't do that?

      OK, so sometimes you want a longer pipeline with more goodies. Same principle should apply, though.

  4. PassiveSmoking

    All well and good

    But does it run on an Acorn Atom?

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  6. DrXym Silver badge

    Like Sublime

    The general look & feel and bindings are so similar that you'd be mistaken for thinking it is the Sublime 4. The main difference is under the hood - it uses JS for packages instead of python.

    Personally I still find these editors still fall short compared to an IDE like IntelliJ or Eclipse for actual development but they're fine when used in conjunction with the command line.

    1. K

      Re: Like Sublime

      Agreed, Sublime to me is the next-gen Notepad... For IDE, I either use Netbeans, or more recently moving online with ...

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Like Sublime

      Personally I still find these editors still fall short compared to an IDE like IntelliJ or Eclipse for actual development but they're fine when used in conjunction with the command line.

      Personally, I find IDEs still fall short compared to a decent editor, a real build system (that isn't a bunch of black boxes), a competent standalone debugger, and the vast wealth of tools available on the command line.

      I won't say I've never liked an IDE. Turbo Pascal 3 was pretty good, compared to what else was available under MS-DOS. ISPF is OK, if you're working under zOS.

      But tastes differ.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's next

    Emacs -> Atom -> Quark (Express?)

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: What's next

      After A_to_M I guess we have N_to_Z.

      Then perhaps !to)

      Or not, if you prefer EBCDIC sequencing.

  8. breakfast

    "This is no child of mine" - Emacs

    Goes to install Atom.

    Downloads Windows installer package.

    Runs it.

    Waits for an installation path to be queried.

    No installation path is forthcoming.

    Editor is installed to some god-forsaken corner of the user profile folder, with no option for it to go anywhere else. Apparently this is by design.

    Uninstalls Atom.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: "This is no child of mine" - Emacs

      It's a bit like that with a Markup processor called pandoc.

      Except I did not uninstall.

  9. Notas Badoff

    Obvious Blurbish is obvious

    I really hate this quote:

    "The result is a tool designed from the ground up for coding and customisable in all manner of ways."

    Straight outta their glowing self-descriptions and ridiculous. What 'new' editor written by coders is *not* going to claim "designed ... for coding". And what editor is written now without being customisable?

    Should I now go whiffling off and install 1.0 to see if it can _now_ manipulate columns of text across multiple lines? You know, like when you are trying to make code readable as a self-imposed requirement? Or more of the other features I use daily that are a fraction of what e.g. Vim provide?

    Not all bad, though, unlike Adobe's Brackets, which can't 'bounce' between brackets. Another editor that "... is a tool designed from the ground up for coding and customisable in all manner of ways."

  10. HackAndSlash

    Not impressed

    After reading that this was inspired by Emacs I thought I would give it a go.

    Sadly my enthusiasm lasted perhaps a couple of minutes as I got a dialog saying "The editor is not responding. Would you like to force close it or just keep waiting?" when I tried to open a file. Assuming user error I persisted, loading a different file finally. Not impressed with the text highlighting colours I thought I would change the theme. Took me ages to finally figure out how to select one of the preloaded themes from the list. A short while later when trying something else I again get the "The editor is not responding" message.

    Think I'll stick to Emacs for now.

    1. MichaelGordon

      Re: Not impressed

      Not managed to lock it up on file loading yet, but any attempt to bring up the help starts firefox and locks the entire UI until firefox exits or you kill it from the "not responding" dialog.

      It appears that their 1.0 release hasn't had even the most basic testing.

  11. MichaelGordon

    I wouldn't bother

    I looked at this a couple of days ago at the request of one of our users and gave up in disgust. What claims to be "build from source" isn't - it downloads shared objects that seem to have been compiled on a reasonably recent Ubuntu and won't work on our SL6 boxes; the binary distributions have the same shared objects in and are therefore just as useless to us. It's also impossible to run the build as any user other than root; if you try it fails because it can't chown files it's created in a .atom directory in the home directory of the user that's running the build. No idea why it thinks it needs to chown files it's just created. The build process is some insanely complicate javascript nightmare that I wouldn't know where to start with fixing the problems.

    Update: I've managed to build it on an SL7 test box. Maybe it's because I'm running it on a remote machine with the display on my local X server, but it's very slow. XEmacs does similar syntax highlighting/indentation/etc. and it isn't anywhere near as slow with a remote display though.

    1. breakfast

      Re: I wouldn't bother

      My experience has been that when you take JavaScript out of it's natural, browser, home it is a little hard to make it perform well. Background Node stuff is more than willing to swallow most of my computer's resources if I have it running. Also it has an irritating tendency of locking up and getting itself detached but not stopping, and just sitting around hogging memory.

  12. beep54

    I've no opinion one way or another about Atom, but boy, that video at the end of the article is a hoot!

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