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

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Sun May 3 11:21:33 PDT 2015

> On May 3, 2015, at 2:05 AM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
> For exploratory use, it seems fast on a new MacBook Pro, but I haven't stressed it much yet.  They are still optimizing it:
> https://discuss.atom.io/t/why-is-atom-so-slow/11376/80

Does anyone else find it absurd that a *text editor* in 2015, optimized or not, has noticeable user interface slowness?  You should be able to brute force a text editor on today’s hardware.

Atom’s problem is that by unapologetically cloning Sublime, they invited comparisons of the user experience even though they are targeted at somewhat different markets. Sublime is lightning fast, responsive, and bulletproof even when using its advanced text wrangling features on huge code bases, and that holds true across different operating systems and environments. It is understandable why Atom chose to copy Sublime, given its popularity and reputation as a modern text editor, but it might have helped if they put their own spin and look on it so that the comparison is less obvious. 

I use a few different text editors regularly. Atom feels like a limited, slow, low-quality version of Sublime, and the architecture is suspect which will make that difficult to change. I expect it will be hugely popular with some devs as long as it is “good enough” in the short-term, a bit like MongoDB, and viewed with disdain by another large fraction of devs that can’t figure out why it exists.

It makes me wonder why Github did not buy Sublime. Sublime is an impressively full-featured and robust product given that it is a couple programmers working part-time. The apparent quality of the engineering alone would be worth the price of acquisition.

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