The editor is nice, dark, and fast. It is similar to using Sublime Text which was my editor of choice. I figure you will either love it or hate it.
Taking the web native
Atom is a desktop application based on web technologies. Like other desktop apps, it has its own icon in the dock, native menus and dialogs, and full access to the file system.
Node.js support makes it trivial to access the file system, spawn subprocesses, and even start servers directly from within your editor. Need a library? Choose from over 50 thousand in Node’s package repository. Need to call into C or C++? That’s possible, too.
Atom is composed of over 50 open-source packages that integrate around a minimal core. Our goal is a deeply extensible system that blurs the distinction between “user” and “developer”.
Don’t like some part of Atom? Replace it with your own package, then upload it to the central repository on
atom.io so everyone else can use it too.
Full-featured, right out of the box
No one wants to waste time configuring their editor before they can start using it. Atom comes loaded with the features you’ve come to expect from a modern text editor. Here are a few of them:
- File system browser
- Fuzzy finder for quickly opening files
- Fast project-wide search and replace
- Multiple cursors and selections
- Multiple panes
- Code folding
- A clean preferences UI
- Import TextMate grammars and themes
The more exciting news is that today the editor was open sourced. It was a coin toss to see if the editor was going to be open source or commercial software. The fact that it is open source makes total sense when you take into consideration it was developed by GitHub.
We are open sourcing all of Atom under the MIT license. You can read more about these components on the Atom blog. Our dedicated team within GitHub will continue to develop Atom, but we welcome the creativity, support, and enthusiasm of the open source community to help us make it even better. After ten weeks in public beta, the community has already published 800 packages that extend its capabilities. We look forward to many more to come.
Atom is currently pre-1.0 with a number of areas we would like to improve in the next few months. Our focus will be on improving performance, releasing Atom on Linux and Windows, and stabilizing the APIs before we hit version 1.0.
I think the fact that this editor has been open sourced, it is written in popular languages and easy to write extensions for will prove to be popular for Atom. It is likely that it will give Sublime a run for it’s money but for now I still prefer it. You can give this editor a try for yourself, report back with what you think.