Best free editor on the interwebs!
December 17, 2018

Best free editor on the interwebs!

Ian Nate | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Atom

I needed a free or freemium code editor. I had previously used Coda for Mac, and really liked it, but needed something quickly and really wanted something to use across both Mac and Windows. Plus, they had some plugins that I really liked, the code formatting was solid, and keyboard shortcuts were fantastic. I've used Atom primarily for PHP, Javascript, HTML and CSS for a few years now. Since we haven't had a standard editor anywhere I've worked, I've always just pieced together what I'm using. I like it much better than Notepad ++, VIM, and got pretty frustrated with Komodo on Mac. Atom was a great solution and I can use it on both platforms.
  • Code formatting for different languages. Does a solid job, I know this is basic for a code editor, but had to be mentioned. Also can reduce indented code.
  • Extensible via packages. I really like the Minimap plugin, the File Icons plugin, Beautify, etc.
  • Along with being extensible, it's also "hackable" -- you can write your own plugins or extensions. I like how customizable it is out of the box -- helps to fit your workflow, rather than forcing your process into whatever code editor you're using.
  • Performance can be a little slow when editing a bunch of files, executing code or switching between tabs.
  • I wish they had more guidance on HOW to customize Atom out of the box -- it's kind of a pain to go through all the packages and settings and figure out what works best for you.
  • Still relatively new, so can be buggy here and there, although releases seem to be very consistent.
  • Quicker development time, and the ability to release and review code much more easily. Because of the shortcuts and extensibility, I'm able to get things done more quickly.
  • Integration with GIT!! Makes committing code much easier. I think it's developed in GitHub, and the integration is solid and seamless.
  • Quicker debugging -- I like the packages they have here, and beautifying the code and adding the Minimap makes it much easier to read and navigate.
  • Komodo Edit, Sublime Text and Notepad++
For a free editor, I really like Atom. I think there's some IDE's that perform much better, but with Atom being so extensible, it makes other code editors seem like dinosaurs. Dropped both Notepad ++ and Komodo / Sublime and went solely with Atom. I think Sublime may have performed a little quicker, but Atom's functionality and extensibility made it superior. For both Windows and Mac, I've really enjoyed Atom, and it's nice when switching between the two to have the same interface and functionality!
I'd say for frontend development and web development, it shines. PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript are all pretty seamless. Not sure how it would hold up with backend heavy development -- Python, Ruby, C++, Java, etc... Seems like occasionally slow performance might keep it from really shining in that environment. For me, it's a no-brainer for web development though, and that's my primary usage. A lot of backend users still seem to use Sublime.