Pros and cons of the Atom editor?

I use Sublime Text today. Is Atom “better”? I see the benefit of autocomplete.

  1. Why would you prefer Atom before Sublime text?
  2. Is it a big step to move to Atom?
  3. Can I have projects kind of like Sublime text?
  4. Any pitfalls with Atom?

Why would you prefer Atom before Sublime text?

It’s free

Is it a big step to move to Atom?

It takes a bit of time getting your plugins and configuration sorted

Can I have projects kind of like Sublime text?

Yes, with plugins

Any pitfalls with Atom?

Takes about 6 to 7 seconds to launch when I turn on my computer. Sublime takes less than half a second. My computer has a beasty i7 processor with 32gb of ram. Go figure what takes Atom so long… But they’re fixing it.

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It’s always a big step to switch the editor. I tried to switch three times from Espresso to Atom. Now, after the third time I feel at home. :slight_smile:

The last point @Thiousi mentioned was fixed. It now takes less than 2 seconds to start, at least if you don’t install 500 packages. I only installed emmet, pigments and kirby-snippets. I think feature-wise Sublime and Atom don’t really have something the other doesn’t. But I like the “hackable” approach of Atom.

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  1. Nice design, active package (extension) community.
  2. It’s a medium step. Many concepts are similar. Atom by default doesn’t do a lot so you have to find and install a few packages that work for your workflow.
  3. I think by default there’s no project managers but several packages offer that.
  4. It’s slow compared to Sublime Text. It’s a browser-based app (runs on Electron), and is a bit slow to load and sometimes to respond. Visual Studio Code, which is based on the same tech stack, is faster in my experience.
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Thanks! I did not get a brilliant start. :confused:

After restarting a few times it seems to have stabilized. :slight_smile:

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Alright, I’ve got some trust issues now with Atom but there are things I like right away. So for others that are using Sublime this info can be useful:

  • It’s free.
  • I like the Notepad++ syntax and there are more than one theme for it:
  • I also like the theme “One light” so maybe I don’t even need an additional theme.
  • Best of all. The Kirby Snippets works really great!

The main reason for a switch would be the Kirby snippets. :slight_smile:

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For me atom had too many performance issues back when I tried it. I didn’t had that many packages installed (like 15+) but that slowed atom really down. Also there where lots of freezes.

I’m going with visual studio code for now. It is really fast and I like some of its features (integrated terminal, git, git diff right in editor, the ability to ignore folders (like the dist/ folder) when searching for files, with xdebug you have the ability to debug php right inside VSC and then you got all the other features that you have in atom or sublime text too.

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But to be honest, I am not maintaining it anymore, because is - tadaaa -switched to atom. I especially like the autocomplete that Atom comes with, works imho way better than in sublime.

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In Atom is it very easier to install packages like themes or plugins, maybe you can find here some helpfull things :slight_smile:

I use Atom too, and its a Brilliant Editor, but of course its your decision what is better for you :slight_smile:

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ATOM need way too much resources IMHO.
On my old 2.2Ghz MPB it was unusable: fans spinning up to max… annoying.
On my new 1.2Ghz MB it drains the battery as fast as google chrome… no fans in there so no noise :wink: but
it eats alot of my spare cpu power.

But on a fast desktop it should be a good altenative to sublime text.


i am using atom (portable) on a daily basis. to run and code all sorts of stuff.
while performance has been bad before with newer releases it has gotten better. it’s still hungry for some ram, but to be honest when i check out my task manager and see firefox eating up everything per tab, i can’t complain too much about atom.

so why and what is a good reason to use atom…

  • atom is free, sublime costs 70$ so for users coming from atom going to sublime, at least i’m not interested spending the transition, the other way around is easier obviously
  • atom development is quite active, so even if there is a drawback now it might getting better on the longrun
  • kirby snippets @medienbaecker is superb. always happy getting some syntax help without looking into the cheatsheet especially on those functions u are not using daily.
  • having a localserver (portable as well) getting some php linter into atom is quite handy. coding + error reporting on the fly is really neat in my eyes
  • all portable => before shutting down my workstation i can just sync my localserver+atom folder to external, and sync them towards my notebook and continue where i left (also good for backup purposes)
  • atom has more languages available than i can use, having addons and support for my uses: mjml, css, php, html, compsoer, json, js, and so many more extending with plugins is your friend too. working with bootstrap? there’s an auto completion plugin as well (as an example)
  • Plugin FTP, right when saving a file my change will upload live (if i want it to)
  • shortcuts, on other editors, i haven’t been using them as much but with atom many plugins come with their own shortcuts and it’s very adjustable overall
  • plugin updater

a list of drawbacks i have seen:

  • performance eater (mainly ram but it has gotten better)
  • “tabs” are a bit iffy
  • plugins can break each other (hasn’t really happened too much)
  • atom browser features like thousands of small files so syncing takes a good couple minutes.
  • booting this programm takes like 1-3 seconds

Xeon E5 1231v3 (3,4ghz)
8GB Ram (:rage:)

i7 6700hq (3,5ghz)
16 GB


It has been working fine on lower specced systems too, just to complete the informations because @svnt 's post before.

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i’ve to admit atom’s perfomance got much better since my last test.

For me, Atom is almost i perfect… i just wish it could handle large files. Open a SQL dump or even a concatenated javascript file and you will probably find yourself force quitting it.

i can agree. javascripts sometimes are a pain…

Atom may still be a resource hog compared to Sublime, but I’m sticking to it because I’m more of a designer/visual guy so I’d rather have an interface for settings and everything, than have to memorize commands. That’s just how my brain works I guess :smile:
VSCode is very good, it just comes with interface “opinions” I don’t like.
Said another way, I like Atom and VSCode, I don’t love any of them.

Atom is almost perfect for me.

I tried VS Code due to the integrated terminal but when I discovered PlatformIO IDE Terminal I went back to Atom.

If you work on a lot sites, this Project Viewer plugins for Atom is worth its weight in gold.

Not to mention Markdown and .htacess language support