Atom Editor

20 thoughts
last posted Nov. 22, 2014, 12:43 a.m.
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My first impression of Atom was it reminded me of Kod. I wonder if there is any connection?


To give some perspective on my thoughts about Atom here is my text editor background:

  • first editor I ever used was EditPlus on Windows
  • used jEdit after moving to OS X circa 2003
  • have used TextMate since February 2006
  • currently use TextMate 2

I've occasionally used vim, specifically on servers, and did attempt to use it full-time a few times, but was never successful.

I am a web developer so a text editor built on the same technology I build with everyday excites me.


This is exactly why Atom excites me.


I love having the ability to configure Atom with a configuration file. It is in a format called CSON. Looks like JSON, but more towards YAML.


I am not a huge fan of the default theme, but can get used to it. I might try looking for alternatives.


Ran apm from command line and it resulted in:

env: node: No such file or directory

After installing node.js from Homebrew everything worked.


Discovered that there are two themes. A UI theme and a syntax theme. The UI theme controls everything except the editor. The syntax theme controls the editor.

Looks like the Atom Light UI theme works nicely with the Atom Dark syntax theme.


The Base16 Tomorrow Dark theme is the promising for me personally.


cmd-shift-w is the first big workflow change I need to make.

I am used to cmd-w closing the current tab and when no tabs remain it closes the window.

Due to the distinction Atom makes between a window and buffer (within a tab) the close action was promoted to its own key mapping.

I like the distinction and can certainly get used to it, but will require changing that muscle memory.


Protip: export EDITOR="atom -nw"


For anyone questioning Atom being an odd tangent for GitHub, here's how I see it:


reposted to Atom Editor by jtauber

Did a bit of tweaking today. I am getting very comfortable with Atom.


I noticed that in the last couple versions of Atom, packages no longer showed if there was an update in the settings view.

It appears it has moved to apm upgrade or I missed it earlier. This works much better as you can upgrade all packages at once.


My current themes are:

  • UI: spacegray-dark-ui
  • Syntax: twilight-syntax-spacegray-ui

cmd-r has become my new best friend.


As of 0.71.0 the tree view can be shown on the right side. Win.


Here are a few packages I have found very useful recently:


There have been a few cases when I run apm upgrade and the latest plugin versions are not compatible with Atom. The version required hasn't been released by Github causing a broken editor temporarily.


I've been frustrated with the lack of per-window environment variables. It renders my Go workflow nearly impossible.

In my most recent attempt to fix it, I discovered the hook. This runs after each window is loaded. Perfect!

Take a look at my first stab at CoffeeScript to solve my problem:

This reads a file in the project directory and sets the environment. I added a quick hack for resolving relative paths inside the project.

Works like a charm!