I used to be a massive fan of NetBeans – Then I moved on to a much cleaner IDE: Eclipse. But then, as time’s gone on, I’ve realised that I wanted an even cleaner, even simpler IDE to look at. To anyone who doesn’t know what an IDE is, it’s an Integrated Development Environment. With an IDE, you get a compiler built into the software, allowing you to edit code, then compile the code to become a functional program. For me to then go from an IDE, which does everything in one go, to dropping back to a text editor, seems like a bit of a strange move. But in this day and age with so many interpreted languages (and the fact I do so much more web related work), this text editor has everything I need.
Because it’s developed by GitHub, as you can imagine it’s an open source, highly customisable editor. It doesn’t try to steer you towards any correct coding conventions, sadly, but it does try to help you with auto-complete features and more. It manages it’s tab system pretty well, allowing a clear indentation on code and as is expected with good IDEs, the colour coding scheme is logical and sensible. You can see above what is in a comment, as it’s greyed out. You can see what is a word that’s not necessarily recognised by php, as it’s in white (This might be a function created by someone else, for instance). All in all, ATOM is definitely my favourite text editor right now.
There are some shoutouts still – Notepad ++ is still great, but I find it’s looking old and stale. I love the cleanliness of ATOM and I hope to be using it for many more years. Plus, being able to assist with the development of ATOM via a GitHub page is indeed a nice feature. They’re not lying when they say this is a highly customisable and highly hackable text editor, allowing you to make it meet whatever requirements you have. But what do you all think? Is this the text editor for you, or do you know of any better ones out there? More to the point: What free ones do you still go to? As always, leave us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.