Just earlier this week GitHub released a rather interesting piece of software called Atom, yet another text editor. Because everything is a remix, you could say Atom is a cross between Sublime Text (ST) and Adobe's Brackets.

Wow, this is just like sublime.

One of the major criticisms leveled against Atom has been that it just rips-off both the style and substance of Sublime Text, but since good design is universal…

Oh. I see. It can't all be the same as Sublime, right?

Oh, well there's that. Aesthetically, Atom is absolutely a derivitave design pulled straight from Sublime. When you think about it, it's entirely logical that the team behind Atom would clone UI of a wonderfully and well-used existing application. Shikata ga nai.

Not to rain on your parade or anything, but you can already do this with Emacs, not to mention that Emacs is free, open source software. Atom is not only not open source but their readme says it won't even be free after the beta.

Emacs has been around for almost 40 years, and because it's FOSS it will be around for at least another 40. Editors like Atom come and go.


Much hay has been made about the fact that GitHub has released Atom as quasi-open source. The core editor itself is closed but everything else is open (MIT) and developers outside the team are encouraged to submit pull requests. To some this is outrageous behavior: a beloved company that's made its mark by encouraging and utilitizing open source software development has the temerity, the guile, the balls to keep part of itself hidden.

What's the problem with that anyway? Sure, it's not very encouraging and kinda smells but if users get a great editor it doesn't matter does it?

Atom is composed of over 50 open-source packages that integrate around a minimal core. Our goal is a deeply extensible system that blurs the distinction between "user" and "developer".

Don't like some part of Atom? Replace it with your own package, then upload it to the central repository on so everyone else can use it too.

This statement right here is why Atom is going to be a big deal in the future. It's absolutely true that Sublime has had Package Control for years. The reason why Atom will be big is that spergs with just a modicum of programming ability in JavaScript will be able to share their crappy editor modules with other users. Hell, just days after release out popped a pair programming package.

If you have a friend with an invite code, give it a try (unless you need a performant editor) and you'll probably like it. If you've used any text editor you've used Atom.

And yes, it has vim mode.