Some folks from GitHub sprung the Atom text editor on the internet yesterday. Releasing a product into a market defined by saturation, settling for brokenness, and zero-cost alternatives is a bold move. I applaud them for jumping into it. I’m eager to see where they end up, both product-wise and technically.
If you’re wondering whether Atom is the right thing for you, it might help you to know I went through a sort of quest several years ago to decide what was vital to me when editing text:
- Those Who Think With Their Fingers
- A Brief Survey of the History of Editing Programs
- The Cadence and Flow of Editing Programs
- A Personal Journey in Editing Programs
- Breaking My Habits For Editing Programs
Writing these, thinking deeply about the kinds of problems I did and did not want to solve with my text editor and what that meant for my workflow, was exciting. I learned a lot about finding my own principles.
I ended up, to my great surprise, choosing Vim. Most importantly, that decision stuck. I haven’t gazed upon the possibly greener grasses of other text editors since I committed to my principles and workflow. Whether it turns out Atom is your thing or not, thinking about the principles of how you want to work with computer programs is a thing you might benefit from.