Atom’s awesome!

Yann

Yann


Jul 7th 2015 in explication

A code editor is like a woman. Your relationship with it is based on love and passion. And thank goodness, because you’re going to have to spend a whole lot of time together. Our frontend developers had a passionate love affair with Sublime Text 2 then 3. But then tragedy struck. Sublime Text, looking to spice things up, got a little carried away and ruined everything (Build 3090). So our developers went out looking for a new girl with a bigger chest. And that’s how they met Atom!

One year later: v1

When tested a year earlier, Atom proved to be less stable and, above all, performed less well than its rival. Since there were also fewer packages, none of us saw any point in switching editors. But in the last few months, Atom has matured and its community has grown. After Sublime Text failed us repeatedly, our frontend developers decided to make the switch, albeit a little apprehensive. As though to reassure them, the first stable version of Atom was released one month later!

Advantages

While Atom still does not perform as well as Sublime (especially when multi-line editing 500 lines XD), it soon proved to have great qualities. Its configuration, for instance. When it comes to installing packages, configuring shortcuts and managing snippets, everything goes into the ~/.atoms folder, with easy version control with Git.

Not to mention that Atom is beautiful. Don’t get us wrong. Sublime wasn’t ugly. Certain themes were even rather nice to look at. But plastic surgery is never the solution. Anyway, Atom, with it’s One Dark theme is simply beautiful. Which is, of course, a totally objective observation.

Atom’s also pretty intelligent. Our frontend developers are delighted that Atom retains variables (SASS) and autocompletes them in our stylesheets. That makes it easier to manage snippets. Unlike its predecessor, all snippets are added to a single file that can easily be edited in CSON or JSON.

Above all, Atom is Open Source! And for me, that alone is a good enough reason to take the leap.

What packages do we use?

Like Sublime Text, Atom’s become really cool, thanks to all its community packages. In fact, everything in Atom is a package. Its core is composed of treeview, notification, status-bar and tab packages, just to name a few. Here’s a list of our favorite packages:

Autocomplete Path: Very practical when including dependencies. This package allows you to autocomplete paths relative to the current file.

Color Picker: High-powered color picker for including colors in your files.

Editorconfig: Maintains consistent coding styles across all projects. Thanks to the .editorconfig file, the configuration is committed and can be used by all.

Emmet: What can I say about Emmet? To put it simply, I don’t write HTML anymore. I write Emmetml.

Git Diff: While this may be a core package, we wanted to draw your attention to its appeal. It allows git “add” and “diff” to be highlighted in your treeview and editor gutter. But that’s to be expected from an editor created by Github.

Linter: A powerful package that allows you to have better control over the quality of your code.

In the long run

Atom’s an editor with a long future ahead of it (unlike Sublime Text). With Github behind it and its Open Source status, it’s got a significant advantage that is sure to draw more and more developers over the next few months.  If you’re also a big fan of this editor (or not), leave a comment on this article and we’ll enter you in a draw to win an Atom t-shirt and Octocat stickers.

* This article was in no way sponsored by Github. We’re just who write articles full of praise and never forget to pay our monthly dues.