Atom is a text-editor created and maintained by GitHub. It's open source and free and has just recently hit open beta

Rather late, than not at all

It took me quite some time to check out Atom. I knew it was there and a few people already had recommended it to me, but I somehow always found an excuse to avoid looking at it.

First steps

This changed as I started to work with node.js. For lightweight development I prefer lightweight tools, so I finally hit the download button and fired up Atom. I have been a fan of Sublime ever since I stumbled upon it, and like many many others I therefor find the interface and general behavior and design quite pleasant. It only took me a few minutes to adjust to the small differences the two had.


In general I like the UI and Design, lot's of thoughts put into it and copies some great features from Sublime. Furthermore I love that Atom is free and open source. Furthermore the solid baseline for package development allows for tons of customization as well as community-driven development. I am quite certain that Atom will replace Note++ from my standard setup, though probably not just yet.

While Atom already implements lots of features and looks sleek and future-oriented, it still suffers from some childhood illnesses. One of the biggest drawbacks is that you can't open files larger than a few mb. Furthermore the overall feeling isn't as fast as Sublime, so opening huge folders, dragging menus around and generally firing up the editor feels still slowish compared to Sublime.

  • Just like Sublime, but with additional features and actively developed
  • Open-Source, community driven, expendable
  • Offers virtually any feature and is still lightweight and tidy
  • Minor drawbacks and issues, probably gone as soon as 1.0 is finished

Closing words

Atom is powerful and supported by a nice community. It is actively developed and it's only a matter of time for it to replace most of the currently used editors. They did a lot of things right, and I am really looking forward to the 1.0 Version. Right now though Atom is for those who want to either be with Atom from the beginning, or those who don't rely on either the stability (while this varies a lot) of Sublime, or the several plugins/hacks/experiences with editors like Notepad++ which have been around for a long time.

I will keep Atom installed and use it for now. The main reason is the sloppy and slow development on Sublime. Though I will certainly hit some of Atoms current issues (like filesize) for which I'll just have to use another editor. Beside that - as soon as 1.0 comes out, I will be all over it.

In my opinion Atom already passed a lot of editors and only needs to fix some minor issues and convert the user-base now. So prepare for being annexed!