A few weeks ago GitHub shipped version 1.0 of their open source text editor, Atom. I’ve checked out pre-1.0 versions of Atom before but each time, I just kept coming back to Sublime Text. It was no exception with 1.0 either.
Atom definitely matured a lot and has a lot of great features straight out of the box, but it won’t replace Sublime Text as my main text editor…yet. For me the real test to see if a new text editor will replace my current one, is to force myself to use it all day for both personal and work related stuff for a few days.
At the end of the day if I’m able to find that the editor in question has given me some sort of workflow boost, then I’ll keep using it. Obviously editors shouldn’t be a carbon copy of each other, but I should be able to take my current workflow and adapt it to the new editor without too much trouble.
Here is a list of my pros and cons for Atom.
- It is really well integrated with git/GitHub
- Handles white space characters better
- Customizable right out of the box with a ton of plugins, with Sublime Text you have to install a package manager
- CLI works out of the box, with Sublime Text, you have to do some stuff in the command line to get it working
- Slick default theme
- Has an impressive amount of support for languages out of the box
- Performance was crawling on my machine. I’ve got projects with hundreds sometimes thousands of files, I need to be able to search through them quickly
- Plugins aren’t very mature yet
- Lazy search (command + t) seems a little off. Sometimes words that only start at the beginning of a filename will be matched, sometimes it’ll match files with the search term in the middle of a filename
Atom has a lot of potential and this is just the beginning. I’ll be keeping a eye out from time to time to see if it’ll truly replace Sublime Text for me. But as of right now, using Atom is slowing down my productivity so I’m keeping it on the back burners.