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ATOM by GitHub

Have you been looking for a new text editor to add to your already expanding pile of them? Perhaps you’re looking for something that’s incredibly clean and nicely intuitive? What about a text editor that instantly supports some of your favourite languages, such as C, C++, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and more? If that’s the case, you needn’t look any more, because today we’re going to show you the ATOM by GitHub; a very clean interface and a very nice text editor in general. It’s the one I use on a day to day basis in order to get through the day!

I used to be a massive fan of NetBeans – Then I moved on to a much cleaner IDE: Eclipse. But then, as time’s gone on, I’ve realised that I wanted an even cleaner, even simpler IDE to look at. To anyone who doesn’t know what an IDE is, it’s an Integrated Development Environment. With an IDE, you get a compiler built into the software, allowing you to edit code, then compile the code to become a functional program. For me to then go from an IDE, which does everything in one go, to dropping back to a text editor, seems like a bit of a strange move. But in this day and age with so many interpreted languages (and the fact I do so much more web related work), this text editor has everything I need.

A Snippet of BuddyPress, a useful plugin for WordPress.org.

A Snippet of BuddyPress, a useful plugin for WordPress.org.

ATOM is built with one thing in mind: It wants you to be able to edit quickly and cleanly. It wants you to be able to download a file, open up the source code and know exactly what’s where as and when you need it. It doesn’t want to confuse you with tons of functions, instead it just wants to help you get the job done. If you do a bit of work with JavaScript or php, this might be the text editor for you, especially if you find big IDEs to be a little bit too cumbersome. I had some trouble with getting Eclipse to get working on Windows 10, but ATOM seems to work straight away without any issues.

JavaScript in an example on ATOM.

An example of what JavaScript looks like on ATOM

Because it’s developed by GitHub, as you can imagine it’s an open source, highly customisable editor. It doesn’t try to steer you towards any correct coding conventions, sadly, but it does try to help you with auto-complete features and more. It manages it’s tab system pretty well, allowing a clear indentation on code and as is expected with good IDEs, the colour coding scheme is logical and sensible. You can see above what is in a comment, as it’s greyed out. You can see what is a word that’s not necessarily recognised by php, as it’s in white (This might be a function created by someone else, for instance). All in all, ATOM is definitely my favourite text editor right now.

Add plugins ('packages') with ease via the settings menu.

Add plugins (‘packages’) with ease via the settings menu.

There are some shoutouts still – Notepad ++ is still great, but I find it’s looking old and stale. I love the cleanliness of ATOM and I hope to be using it for many more years. Plus, being able to assist with the development of ATOM via a GitHub page is indeed a nice feature. They’re not lying when they say this is a highly customisable and highly hackable text editor, allowing you to make it meet whatever requirements you have. But what do you all think? Is this the text editor for you, or do you know of any better ones out there? More to the point: What free ones do you still go to? As always, leave us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

6 responses

  1. I should probably give this a shot. Like you, I started with Netbeans and then Eclipse. Maybe I’ll like Atom more.

    Liked by 3 people

    February 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    • It depends what you’re looking for in an editor. What languages are you using? :)

      Liked by 3 people

      February 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      • Mostly Java at the moment. Probably C languages at some point.

        Liked by 3 people

        February 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      • It supports those – one point though: You will need gpp-compiler for c. As for Java, you will need the java development kit, which means that ATOM is best for editing the code, but an external app for compiling :)

        Let me know how you get on? :D

        Liked by 3 people

        February 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

  2. Probably C languages at some point. As for Java, you will need the java development kit, which means that ATOM is best for editing the code, but an external app for compiling 🙂
    Let me know how you get on?

    Liked by 1 person

    May 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

    • That’s a fair point – I am actually writing a non-programmers introduction to Java this Sunday, followed by C next week :)

      Like

      May 18, 2017 at 9:32 am

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