What was Atom good for, when compared with something like Visual Studio Code?
I recall reading about typing latency and it seemed to come out as one of the slower options: https://pavelfatin.com/typing-with-pleasure/
I guess it would have occupied a similar place as Brackets, another vaguely similar project? https://brackets.io/
Then again, with how popular VSC has become and with how insanely many extensions there are for it, using any other editor feels a bit... counterproductive at times?
Personally, i'm using the following:
- CLI: nano (vim works too, I just like the simplicity more) - Simple text editing: Notepad++ or similar (usually whatever is on the system on *nix) - Some scripting, but nothing too serious: Visual Studio Code - Development in larger and more complex codebases: JetBrains products (e.g. IntelliJ IDEA, WebStorm and so on)
I loved and used atom for years, despite the performance.
It was just such a nice editing experience.
Also never got on the vscode train and opted for neovim instead (been using vim and bindings since 2012)Reply
This article bugs me. I would have liked them to be honest. Just say we prioritized VS Code or that handling two products of the same category is resource hungry and a waste. We all understand. But this article is making it look like it's Atom's fault. They just let it die slowly so people will be pissed but move on. It's a great tactic because "sunsetting" Atom after MS takeover would've pissed the community. This was great for PR for sure.
> Atom has not had significant feature development for the past several years, though we’ve conducted maintenance and security updates during this period to ensure we’re being good stewards of the project and product.
Because MS made sure it didn't get any?!
> As new cloud-based tools have emerged and evolved over the years,
Big player being VS Code and Codespaces?
> Atom community involvement has declined significantly.
Because MS made sure the community was NOT backed with actions?
> we are archiving Atom to prioritize technologies that enable the future of software development.
This should be the first sentence. Not last.Reply
Hi, thank you for your contributions to Atom @nathansobo. I really enjoy the git/github integration and the window for staging files and writing the commit message. It is clean and easy to read. I still prefer the Atom clean interface to VSCode/JetBrains PyCharm, mostly due to this git readability.Reply
I actually used atom for a while, it was a bit bulky but not terrible. I had forgot that it was an option.Reply
I tried "hacking" on Atom recently for a side project and found it was full of bugs and not performant at all. Next.Reply
LOL this is why you just use vim/emacs/bash and move on with your life.Reply
It's what kickstarted Electron which eventually gave us VSCode, Slack, and lots of HN comments about memory usage. It also had the sweetest default theme of any code editor. RIP.Reply
Translation: 'Extinguishing Atom Text Editor'.
Really expected and unsurprising.Reply
Called this ~4 years ago when they were acquired by M$.
But it's still really sad to see. I use it because it was trivial to CSS style it to match my Desktop. It's comfortable to me in a way that other editors thus far have not been.
Are there other editors with this level of customizability? I know VSCode and Sublime support theming but from what I can tell it involves installing pre-packaged themes.Reply
Every now and then I’m reminded of why I decided to stop chasing the shiny new and just go back to emacs.Reply
I personally found Atom + Hydrogen  to be the most productive interactive Python environment I've ever used. I really want to see VSCode adopt some way to run a Jupyter kernel for a Python file (with a notebook UI) and have rich results in line with the code (i.e. not a terminal output off to the right side of the screen).Reply
Even though Atom was much "lighter" than VS Code in terms of UI, VS Code had so much more development resources thrown at it that it was ultimately much speedier than Atom. IIRC, even Brackets was faster.
I see people complaining about the death of Atom, but in the past few years there just hasn't been a use case where Atom was the best choice.Reply
sad to see it go vscode? i've been trying to avoid itReply
Projects rewritten from the ground up in $POPULAR_LANGUAGE are notorious for being more bug-free, faster, and more stable than mature, well tested and widely used software written in $OTHER_LANGUAGE (which also already has an entire community and ecosystem).
It's legacy the minute we don't feel like adding any more features to it.
I'm being snarky for the sake of clowning on corporations who do this.
I'm sure the choice of Rust was made on the shoulders of many existing issues in atom. However, it bothers me incredibly when a product advertises itself as being built with a specific language. If that's your main selling point (it's in the headline for zed.dev), maybe you're about to build something utterly irrelevant.Reply
Who didn't see this coming after Microsoft bought GitHub?Reply
Is Julia's Juno IDE going to be affected by this?Reply
Why would I want to learn a new editor, if it is going to be sunset -- there are many great options out there that are unlikely to disappear or be unsupported? Meaning Github's new editor has to offer something unique and great.Reply
> It’s worth reflecting that Atom has served as the foundation for the Electron framework, which paved the way for the creation of thousands of apps, including Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Slack, and our very own GitHub Desktop.
This is so true! Atom spearheaded a new generation of exciting apps and set them up for success. That is a huge achievement on its own - so thanks Atom team for everything you have done!Reply
Good memories with Atom. I had a silly "super mode" extension on it that gave me streaks when typing uninterrupted. It has lots of action graphics and screen shakes, I loved it.Reply
I still prefer Atom's UX design over VSCode and I can't explain why. Amazing job on that front! I hope it gets traction with community support.Reply
Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. I won't touch VSCode with a 10 foot pole. Pick an editor that will last 40 years and isn't run by a mega-corporation that wants to eat FOSS so they can get us to buy into their subscription ecosystem.Reply
What recommendations do you all have for alternatives?Reply
Another editor bites the dust - another reason to stick with EmacsReply
Nooooooo. I so much prefer Atom over VSCode. I've read the spin, but this smells like Microsoft finally doing what we all predicted - killing off the competing product.Reply
I loved Atom when it fisrt came out, was a little heavy on my machine at the time, but it was worth it. Had much easy plugin system than sublime and editplus that I was using. It was a go to for my windows machines where i didn't want to play with my VIM config etc.
But when VSCode came along it was over for my time with Atom. Wish the best for the new spiritual successor though zed.dev.Reply
Just a noob here, but I love the way Atom displays and handles merge conflicts; still my editor of choice when I rebase / merge.Reply
VSCode ate everyone's lunch. It is SO GOODReply
I held out for a year or so after VSCode was released. It felt scummy how MS had swooped in and tried to hijack this new category of editor that GitHub had invented (this was before they'd been acquired, I believe)
But once I tried VSCode... man, there was no going back. It was infinitely more performant and cohesive. Atom (with IDE-like features installed) felt so sluggish by comparison. I think the main improvement was how opinionated VSCode and its extension APIs were; Atom extensions could have dependencies on each other. I remember you had to install an extension for generic IDE hover-overs and such, before installing the actual language plugin, and then there were competing standards for which generic hover-over framework each language wanted to use. It didn't just complicate the user-experience, I'm convinced this was the reason the editor would get so slow; the APIs were too low-level and all the plugins were fighting with each other instead of going through standard channels.
But, Atom will always have a special place in my heart. It blazed new trails in editor customizability (even if the degree ended up being its downfall, quite a bit of that legacy can still be found in VSCode). It invented the entire concept of web apps as desktop apps, which despite what some here would tell you, I think is a very good and important thing. And it always had such a fun, community feel to it that's been mostly lost with VSCode.
It was time, but I will miss it. I'll close off with the very cute and fun Atom 1.0 announcement video: https://youtu.be/Y7aEiVwBAdkReply
If i had a dollar every time a developer said "we're going to get it right this time"...Reply
I use Atom for static Markdown blogging only. The reason is I customized Atom for this specific task and nothing more. Atom is mostly an advanced text editor than an IDE. I have Hunspell in both English and french, it detect word similarity and provide auto completion for this, it has some typewriter extension, etc.
I'm reluctant to use VSCode because of M$ pushing for its tooling, but it looks like I will have no choice on the long run.
Is there anyone in the same boat? Which highly configurable text editor can be use for this?Reply
Founder of Atom here. We're building the spiritual successor to Atom over at https://zed.dev.
We learned a lot with Atom and had a great time, but it always fell short of our vision. With Zed we're going to get it right. Written in Rust, custom native UI framework, engineered to be collaborative. Just starting our private alpha this week, so the timing of this announcement feels quite fitting.
Here's a talk I gave last month: https://youtu.be/wXT73bBr83sReply
Wow! End of an era!Reply
Man this is sad... As a markdown/HTMl writer, I used Atom every day... It had great extensions. So It looks like Sublime then.. Any other Editors for a non-coder that has good (Community) extension support like Atom besides Sublime?Reply
Over the past year I've tried a few times to switch from Atom to VS Code, but there's always a little thing that brings me back. With effort most of the functionality could be reproduced in VSC, but the stupid MS typography can't be themed away.Reply
So this would be slightly different than embrace, extend and extinguish (EEE). This is acquire, substitute and then sunset (ASS)Reply
I know a lot of people love vscode but are there any people who have tried something like IDEA/WebStorm/PHPStorm/etc that then went back to vscode?
I had to help a developer setup deploys to a dev server from vscode the other day and I wanted to pull my hair out. I'll admit it's at least in part due to not using vscode myself but I was a heavy Sublime Text user which is very similar to vscode when it comes to how you find/configure plugins.
I understand that vscode is very powerful and infinitely extendable but I feel like I shouldn't have needed to try 4-5 different vscode plugins (all configured via json) before I found one that worked and did what I needed.
At least 2 of the top downloaded plugins when searching for "SFTP" were read-only/archived on GitHub, the top one had a "reloaded" version which was also discontinued from what I could tell.
I'm comparing this experience to IDEA which has this built in (including support for deploying to multiple servers at the same time) and all configurable in the GUI.
Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky but vscode seems to get unwieldy very quickly (plugin conflicts, not being able to tell what's doing what, writing almost all config in json). The plugin ecosystem seems to be much lower quality that I what I see in the Intellij product line. I guess I'm just not interested in "building my own IDE" and forever tweaking it, I'd much rather buy a product that does almost everything I need in a sane way.Reply
Super sad, atom's column editing still rocks. are there alternatives for vsCode?Reply
I hope that a new editor gets first-class Agda support so that Emacs won't be your only choice for it once Atom is gone.Reply
I think the writing was on the wall for a long time.
Since it is only happening in 6 months, I wonder if the community will try to transition/fork it.
Do you know if there is still enough interest?Reply
I was a big fan of Atom for years. And one thing I wish VS Code could have is the Git UI. It always just clicked better for me.Reply
Nothing make me more happy than programmer nerds bitching on HNReply
I will admit that I'm biased, I hate to use Microsoft products. I hate Bill Gates and I hate Microsoft.
I will not be switching to VsCode just on principal. Yes, I'm still using Github, so I guess I'm a walking contradiction.
I also understand the economics of this situation why keep Vscode and atom IDE can't co exist, i'm surprised it took so long.
This is the second software application that Microsoft has ruined, remember the incredibly awesome wunderlist?Reply
“Sunsetting” an open source project seems… unfitting? Hand it off to the community, look for new maintainers, donate it to the Apache Retirement Home for Veteran Projects, sure.
But saying that you’ve decided to “sunset” or “archive” it, telling users to plan for their migration, seems counter to the notion that open source software forms part of a commons - something that Github, of all companies, should understand.Reply
Great, they couldn’t monetize a fucking IDE. I will say without shame, I fucking hate Microsoft.Reply
I see a lot of people remarking that VS Code's killer feature is its extension system but I am not sure I fully agree.
Sure VS Code has a lot of extensions, but many of them offer only basic features or are poor quality. The extensions which deliver the most value are actually the ones supported by large corporations (like the Go extension from Google or the Python extension from Microsoft).
If another editor could port these powerful extensions I would care very little about the lack of icon themes and snippet extensions.Reply
I think the most essential feature that vscode had over atom was good default features, once I see my coworker struggle for an hour to setup a dev env and I decided it is not going to be the tool of my professionReply
Ban me or whatever but Bill Gates is coming after your sperm, retards.Reply
RIP. Hydrogen [https://atom.io/packages/hydrogen] running on Atom is the cleanest multi-lingual data science IDE in existence and has been my go-to for years. Haven't found a drop-in replacement elsewhere [vscode's language support is scattered: native python integration, different for R, Julia etc].
Anyone on HN have recs [besides vim slime or send-to-terminal options in other editors, which work but are clunky] ?Reply
Glad that sunsetting of emacs is not going to happen any time soon :)Reply
I still use Atom purely for its simple easy git UI (while coding in VSCode). VSCodes git UI, and all others I've seen, are a disaster in comparison. I want a simple, easy UI - in atom its exactly that. If I need more I'll just type it in the CLI. I wish there was something else I could use that's like this.Reply
Oh this is sad. As a teacher I loved introducing Atom as a first text editor as out of the box it did nothing but look nice. Then I could gradually add plugins everytime a student said something was annoying. Great for teaching principles before tools/shortcuts. Something which I think IDEs do far too often imo.Reply
It's a shame. Atom was my first love, taking me away from the pain of using GEdit to write code for my college courses. I loved finding new packages and tuning and tweaking it all just right. I'll miss it.Reply
Well, they managed to drive it much longer than I expected after GitHub's acquisition.Reply
In other news, the Atom One Dark color theme is alive and well in the VS Code marketplace. I've used it for 5 straight years. https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=zhuangto...Reply
who was using it anyway ?Reply
I guess this idea of "Sunsetting" a project highlights one of the main differences between Open source and Free Software. A successful Free Software project rarely gets "Sunset".Reply
Embrace, extend, extinguish. It's in their DNA.Reply
Totally understandable, but the justification in the first paragraph of "Why are we doing this now?" seems a bit self-inflicted:
• Atom has not had significant feature development for the past several years
• (thus) Atom community involvement has declined significantly
• (thus) we’ve decided to sunset Atom
Feels a bit weird in that sequence to blame the community. Just say that YOU have abandoned the project since Microsoft acquired Github and get done with it, no need to sugarcoat it or others in the way.Reply
Atom was great, but I'll admit that I'd forgotten about it entirely.Reply
Can someone explain the hype around VSCode to me? I looked into it about a year ago and was immediately turned-off by the overwhelming amount of features that they throw at you right in the 'beginner's tour'.
What I appreciate about Atom is that it is very simple right out of the box and does not get in your way. You cold always beef it up with packages later, but that progression is much more pleasant to me than the VSCode approach.
The biggest selling point of Atom to me as a Python dev was the Hydrogen package. That tight integration of notebook features within the editor is something I have never seen before and a total game changer. Especially if you are working with data that you might need to visualize a lot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand there is no Hydrogen equivalent in VSCode? Sure, there are plug-ins that let you run your code through a jupyter kernel and display the output in a second terminal pane, but that is not the same as the ability to simply highlight a bit of code, run that and have the results displayed immediately on the next line below. Having pyplot figures displayed in such a way is also not possible from what I saw, or did I miss something?Reply
Sad day! But VSCode ate it up. Whatever one might say this had a huge hand in making Electron mainstream.Reply
Sounds like a good decision. I used Atom until everyone was talking about VScode... then I hopped over.
I think Electron is an amazing legacy to leave. Like many I would like it to use less resources, but it is still a grest idea.Reply
I've moved to VS Code for good partly because I often need to load big log files and Atom simply couldn't do that....Reply
And here we are with vim and emacs still being updated and improved. Good job Bram and John.Reply
Atom has been dead for years, this is just the state funeral.
The situation now is:
* Sublime for the Williamsburg corpo-hipsters
* emacs and vim for the wizards and furries
* VSCode for all the normies who just want to get on with doing their job and don't feel a need to express their identity or politics through choice of editor
* WebStorm for the chads with the monster rigs to run itReply
Atom was my first go to editor years ago when its git integration felt miles ahead. Then I saw gitglass(?) in VS Code and was moved to switch for shared workspace files at my job. I remember it as lightweight and fun.Reply
I hope the main thing you leaned is that people want a text editor to start up in less than a secondReply
I used Atom for a long time after it was cool. I just loved the idea of an editor I could extend using the standard web tools and frameworks. Overall love this project, and still am a little miffed that VSCode ate their lunch. Best of luck on everything Nathan and the team do.Reply
I really liked Atom for non-code editing as it is usually much faster than VS Code, so this is quite unfortunate newsReply
Even after they promised they'll keep developing it despite of the acquisition:
Not surprising. When this stuff happens is always lies because you plan for people to forget about stuff as times goes by, which usually happens.Reply
Microsoft kills another great open source project. This is sad. Don't rely on Microsoft.Reply
Atom will live on in the form of Electron, one of the highest impact and most controversial technologies of the recent decade.
I still remember the day VSCode was announced, and the binary on macOS (inside ./Contents/MacOS in the app bundle) was literally named Atom.Reply
I’m old enough to remember when microsoft said that atom developmennt would continue alongside Visual Studio Code after the company bought github…Reply
I wonder how much of this is about not wanting to have to deal with and be ultimately responsible for the security implications of a plugin system built on top of npm packages and tooling ... It's a great editor but seriously vulnerable.Reply
I subscribed to WL, free me from my laggy VSCode plsReply
Really begs the question what Visual Studio Code did right and what Atom did wrong.Reply
This is terrible. While I like VSCode, I exclusively use Atom for programming in Python because of Hydrogen , an extension which makes .py scripts feel and behave as though they were Jupyter Notebooks. I hope the nteract/Hydrogen devs are able to save their work and move it over to Zed/VSCode.Reply
Atom might be retiring, but One Dark lives on in every other editor.Reply
Call me old, but I cannot look beyond vi/vim for an editor. A few years ago I had to edit a text file that was 9GB in size. It took a while to open it in vim, but once it was open, it was no different than any 2kb file. No other editor was able to even open the 9GB text file.Reply
To the founders and contributors of Atom: thank you.
Your work made more impact than you can possibly know. Atom became my absolute #1 editor. For code, and notes of every possible kind. As an entrepreneur, it carried me through so many adventures. The death of a cofounder, great losses and victories, the madness of 2020, a close friend's betrayal, a subsequent rebirth of sorts, and on and on. And always, this trusty piece of software sat there. Ready whenever calamity struck.
Thank you, folks. You created a wondrous piece of art and greatly impacted this entrepreneur's way of thinking and organization. Many have gained as a result.
Will follow Zed closely!Reply
I expected this with the Microsoft takeover. Most "extraneous" non-profitable activities and projects will be killed off. Also MS produces VS which is a successor in a sense to Atom.Reply
RIP Atom. I wrote a lot of code in Atom back in the day.Reply
I had high hopes for atom. At first I thought about it as a FLOSS competitor to sublime. Its slowness (mostly because of electron) was entirely tolerable for me even on 10-year old hardware. I was afraid at how fast VSCode ate it. It is a good thing we have VSCodium.Reply
So I wonder a bit, VSCode has clearly won over Atom.
But technically, as far as I know, they are both pretty similar.
So where is the difference? Are these just small details which VSCode got better? Or are there bigger things?
Or why else did VSCode actually won?
I have used both in the past. VSCode seemed a bit snappier, which is an important aspect for an editor. But I'm not sure if this was really the case actually. Or also, why there would be such a difference. Both used Electron, and I assumed both would use similar techniques for the editor.Reply
DANGER: since everybody and their mom seems to be switching to VS-Code, we are going putting MS into a position where it does Microsoft things and that's dangerous.Reply
I like Atom and use it occasionally. But I use VS Code day-in and day-out. The decision makes sense.
If VS Code were not exceptionally good, Atom might have had more of an opportunity. But "yet another good option" is not enough to drive investment, sustain a community, and spin an ecosystem.Reply
Do not want a "cloud based text editor". Being reliant on an external service is a huge point of failure. It can go down. It can join the huge list of discontinued Google products. It can have security problems. You can be arbitrarily banned by the service operator. Most cloud-based services only live for a few years.Reply
I remember this being released and this was a concern at the time that the project would be abandoned. If I remember this it was mostly a concern as Github as a company should focus on their main product which is not an editor and that there are many existing editor that do it better.
I suspect that what actually killed this is the acquisition of Github by Microsoft and the fact that Microsoft are pushing VSCode very hard. Dev tooling is something Microsoft had a lot of experience (and failures) in and it was always an uphill battle.Reply
This makes me sad as I very much prefer the atom approach to the git and github panels than the vscode approach. vscode is much faster for typescript development though.Reply