Not a fan of the green icon.

Life is all about discovery, learning and not being afraid of making mistakes, with that being said, I say that I’m back to using Atom after a rocky relationship, of love and hate!

Why I am bothering to give Atom a second chance, the reasons are detailed below.

1. The only “free” editor of the bunch.

I’ve identified Sublime text as the best text editor for development purpose, let’s not forget that Sublime is not free, I know that they allowed using it for those who are under-privileged, but it’s still a Freemium that costs 70$ (free if you can handle the annoying pop up telling you to register every now and then), after changing the licensing plans in early 2018, I don’t know the current status of Sublime text and don’t care very much to be honest!
Atom editor is free and open source under the MIT license, and despite of Microsoft making a money grab for GitHub, Atom will remain free and open source for everyone to enjoy.

2. It’s down right beautiful!

Of all the text editors available on Linux (I use Linux on my everyday laptop), Atom the best looking of the bunch! Not just the color schemes and themes, everything in Atom is designed to look awesome, from user interface to the website, even the shirts and mugs look great (never got any but my birthday is coming up ;), and the user experience is great, even compared to Microsoft VS code (who is based on coffee script and javascript as well), despite my love for efficiency, I value a beautiful GUI. 

Atom Editor interface
Ain’t that a beauty?

3. Very customizable

Atom has a ton of themes and packages available for download, which makes it more expandable and versatile, and with some knowledge you can develop your own themes and packages, all what you need to know is in the Atom flight manual (released in 2015 but still very informative). You can even change the key-map of Atom to whatever editor you migrated from and customize it as you like to decrease the learning curve.

Package installer interface

4. Ease of use

User experience should be always considered when evaluating software, and VIM for example despite being the most efficient and the most praised text editor in all of the Linux ecosystem, however it’s not easy to use at all, the learning curve is steep, I read the book titled “A byte of VIM“, but I still don’t see why or how can it be better than Atom or anything, as I don’t do anything “professional” with VIM. As a matter of fact, I’m not too keen on the whole terminal as a one tool for all.

5. Consumes more resource, so what?

Yes, Atom is heavier than Sublime or VIM, but does it really matter at this point? In the year 2018 laptops are getting faster and RAM is getting bigger, a few hundred megabytes almost seem like nothing when considering all the reasons mentioned above, it might not be the most resource efficient, but it’s the most usable editor of the bunch.
A well tweaked laptop (both hardware and software) can handle Atom like a breeze, and it’s getting better as time goes by. Speed won’t be an issue if you use an SSD (although using an SSD in itself can be an issue at times!), you could say it’s the price of enjoying a beautiful interface and ease of use.
Besides, converting to a less consuming Linux distro has spared some memory to spend (I’ll blog about it later and link back).

6. The devil you know!

I’ve been using Atom (On and Off) for the past three years, I’ve read the Atom flight manual and even reviewed it on my blog in a few posts (this is the fifth), so for the most part I’ll stick to Atom being the familiar editor that I’ve known and loved (sort of) for the past three years. I’m not alone, as it’s one of the most popular text editors on Alternativeto.

Have you ever used Atom before? What are your impressions about it? What do you use to edit prose and code, and if you use VIM, please take your rants to /r/VIM, because they would be appreciated better by fellow VIM zealots than me.

And yes, this post was written in Atom 1.28, so that you know!