[FoRK] Atom vs. JSON? Re: Microsoft gets a new religion: Visual Studio Code, aka Atom

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun May 3 02:05:38 PDT 2015

On 5/3/15 1:29 AM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> On May 2, 2015, at 5:02 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> It's not too surprising that the core of something like this is Node, since Javascript has won the browser and a lot of the server war while letting everyone save face more or less.  But it is surprising that they would be able to make that decision on an engine based on Chromium.  That must have been a lot to swallow.
> Microsoft doesn’t have nearly the ego invested in this as you have invested in them having an ego invested.

Microsoft has demonstrated an ego about these things for pretty much its whole existence until recently, albeit mainly a top 
executive thing as far as I can tell.

> Atom is targeted at web devs, it isn’t a replacement for Visual Studio and is not meant to be in any meaningful way. What other open source editor/IDE were they going to use?

It is targeted at Node and ASP.NET web devs right now.  Is that all they are planning or is this a cross-platform developer play 
that is only just starting?  Can't tell for sure from the outside.

> Atom is a marginal knock-off of the popular Sublime editor in look and feel, but with JavaScript as the extension language instead of Python and a poor UI performance. Atom suffers from the same kind of glitchy user interface experience that makes Eclipse unpleasant for many people. For some quick hacks or web dev, it can be good enough. Microsoft selecting Atom makes sense if you are targeting web devs that use cloud services, and honestly there are not a lot of alternatives even though Atom isn’t great.

For exploratory use, it seems fast on a new MacBook Pro, but I haven't stressed it much yet.  They are still optimizing it:

> nathansoboAtom
> Feb 4
> Hey guys. Atom is slow because we haven't finished optimizing it yet. It's going to gradually get faster in a number of ways, but 
> it takes attention, profiling, redesign of certain components, etc. I was worried early on that using web technology meant that 
> Atom could never be fast, but experience has shown me that there's no fundamental constraints imposed by web tech that we can't 
> overcome. It's just a matter of time and effort.

> Developers that do not build websites, and that is most of them, will continue to use Visual Studio, Xcode, Sublime, Vim, Emacs, etc.
Emacs forever!  But it is a pain to get many of the IDE features to work.


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