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Github Rolls Out New Text Editor Atom 82

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the like-emacs-but-...-no-basically-it's-emacs dept.
hypnosec writes "Github has introduced Atom, its new 'web native' code editor which has been in development for more than six years. Atom is available as a part of an invite-only beta program. GitHub describes Atom as an attempt to create an editor 'that will be welcoming to an elementary school student on their first day learning to code, but also a tool they won't outgrow as they develop into seasoned hackers.'" You can request an invite on atom.io. The source to supporting libraries has already been released, but it looks like Atom itself might not be released (although it is a "specialized variant of Chromium designed to be a text editor rather than a web browser."). The editor is extensible in Javascript instead of "special-purpose scripting languages" like Emacs and VIM (is Javascript really any less messy than Emacs-Lisp though?). A preliminary user guide and customization guide are available to all.
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Github Rolls Out New Text Editor Atom

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:56PM (#46363365)

    Who cares if it's "less messy" or not? The point is that it's a common, widely understood scripting language, not some obscure bullshit like emac-lisp.

    • by master5o1 (1068594) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:01PM (#46363415) Homepage

      More importantly, it's common to all those who are the target users of Atom: Web developers.

  • looks like ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danomatika (1977210) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:57PM (#46363377)

    Looks like Sublime Tex [sublimetext.com]t as a web browser. Now when you screw up, you're tab will show a frowny face.

    • Commenting to fix mis-mod - accidentally modded flamebait, but sublime was the first thing that came to my mind as well.

      Off-topic - this was actually the one thing I thought the beta made better, the left/right split of positive/negative mods as well as larger hit boxes, I think it will reduce this kind of error in the future (I mean.... #betasux).

  • Roll out? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hydrofix (1253498) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:06PM (#46363445)
    The editor can not be downloaded anywhere. They don't even tell you what platforms it supports – although someone on Reddit mentioned it only supports Macintosh. I am not signing up to their marketing e-mails before they actually tell me what I am even getting in return.
    • It is cross-platform (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is going to be supported on OS X, Linux, and Windows. It is in beta right now so only the OS X binaries are available.

      I'm always amazed that someone will take the time to type in a comment telling us they don't know something and how they didn't use the same amount of time to look for it instead...

    • by Threni (635302)

      Man you do NOT want to be rushing into signing up for emails. That shit's like having kids.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's OSX, Windows, and Linux. The editor will be available as proprietary but shared source. (i.e. in the sense of "you can hack on the core, but you can only legally use it if you buy a license, and we retain all rights to everything" kind of slavery license)

    • "The editor can not be downloaded anywhere. They don't even tell you what platforms it supports â" although someone on Reddit mentioned it only supports Macintosh. I am not signing up to their marketing e-mails before they actually tell me what I am even getting in return."

      I got an invite, which took me to a page saying "Download for Mac"... which is not too unusual. But then I didn't find any links to any other OS versions. So, thinking I could only get it for Windows if it auto-detected Windows, I fired up a copy of Windows and went back to the page... which still said Download for Mac.

      Maybe Windows version is in the works, I don't know.

      It's a pretty nice editor, if a bit rough around the edges. I've been giving it a spin. It reminds me a lot of TextMate. But unlike T

  • Atom Versus Brackets (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How does this compare to Brackets [brackets.io]?

    • by coolate (1173457)
      That was my thought when I saw it!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You get the privilege of paying GitHub for a proprietary mess whose source code will be just open enough for you to do work for them but not open enough for you to avoid paying for a license or fork the project if GitHub decides to do something evil.

    • "How does this compare to Brackets?"

      Brackets is designed for editing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. And its preview only works with Chrome.

      Atom is more of a general-purpose editor. Although the internals of Atom are done with Webkit, and things like syntax highlighting is configured in simple CSS (LESS) files.

  • Blah. (Score:4, Funny)

    by DeTech (2589785) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:11PM (#46363479)
    Nano is still a fav of mine.
    • by fisted (2295862)
      because it is entirely featureless?
      • by teh dave (1618221)

        Before I was introduced to the wonderful world of *nix, the fact that nano has essentially no features would probably have drawn my criticism in a similar manner.

        However, the first text editor I learned to use on Linux has changed my perspective somewhat. We all know which one it is most likely to be. There is one feature it had missing, that nano does have, and I consider it the most important feature of all - it's not completely batshit fucking insane.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nano? NANO?! Eat flaming death heathen, vim for life!

      • by DeTech (2589785)
        I hate that over design has become a feature.
      • Vim is an incredibly crappy text editor. Sure, it makes feel you like a badass UNIX hacker, but it's just silly to jump between the input and command mode, not to mention the various command keys you have to learn and memorize. Aargh!
  • ...that even the source code editor is invite only. This is the future of "cloud"-based design.

    No, this is not how I want a new generation to learn to code.

    Javascript is the special-purpose scripting language du jour - for active web pages - whereas LISP has many applications.

    And it still stands that every new language becomes a re-implementation of LISP.

    Stick to what you do well, Github.

    • And it still stands that every new language becomes a re-implementation of LISP.

      Try saying that to a Haskell programmer: you'll get a well deserved kick in the monads.

  • A grave site has been reserved for yet another text editor right next to yet another compiler compiler
  • by Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:05PM (#46364337)

    On the other end of the spectrum, Emacs and Vim offer extreme flexibility, but they [...] can only be customized with special-purpose scripting languages.

    So, what, Python is a special-purpose scripting language now? What special purpose might that be? Pissing off whitespace fanatics? Confounding Javscript programmers with sensible behaviour?

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by agm (467017) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:08PM (#46364355)

    If using web technologies to build a native application is the answer, then we've asked the wrong question.

    Javascript, DOM, CSS etc are a bastardised mish-mash of technologies that lack elegance and coherence; they've come about from the legacy need to display static pages in a browser. To gain functionality more and more features have been added like throwing crap against a wall in the hope something will stick. Using this spaghetti system to drive a text editor makes little sense from a technology point of view.

    • by Tom (822)

      If using web technologies to build a native application is the answer, then we've asked the wrong question.

      I agree on that, but...

      if you're trying out a new concept, then for the prototype phase, re-using existing technology is a good idea. So using a rendering engine that can display text and colour it and format it instead of writing all that from scratch sounds like a good idea.

      If it takes off, I'm fairly sure someone who thinks alike will re-write the lower-level parts.

    • Javascript, DOM, CSS etc are a bastardised mish-mash of technologies that lack elegance and coherence; they've come about from the legacy need to display static pages in a browser. To gain functionality more and more features have been added like throwing crap against a wall in the hope something will stick. Using this spaghetti system to drive a text editor makes little sense from a technology point of view.

      Web technologies today are a toy. Very true. PHP is a silly mess (Sidenote: ATM I develop PHP/HTML/C

    • While I agree with you, the end result of all this mess can be quite good. There are many great web applications that have very good UI, even with the limitations of the DOM and CSS.

      In the end this mess produces what the users want. Hopefully soon the specs will add support something else besides the DOM on the browsers so the devs can also get what they want.

      Also of note is that Javascript is not such an abysmal language. It has many little annoying things, but it has support for some very cool stuff. The

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:03PM (#46364957)

    ...instead of "special-purpose scripting languages" like Emacs ...

    One of the least informed statements I've ever read on /.

    Ignoring the fact that Emacs is an editor, not a scripting language, one can do just about anything in LISP (and Emacs LISP), and LISP itself has been around since 1958. I even got paid as a research assistant in college in 1985 to work in LISP on a Xerox 1108 graphical workstation using InterLISP-D (still have the manual). The whole OS was written in LISP and the system had ethernet, mouse and 19" gray-scale monitor. It was fucking awesome.

    • It's not quite that misinformed. Emacs lisp is a special purpose language. It's implemented in the Emacs core and is not implemented any where else. It's in the same family as the 1958 lisp, but is none-the-less as different language from all the others.

      It's actually quite a nice language; it has some nice data types good for editors. And being a lisp, you can layer anything you want on top of it.

      • It's not quite that misinformed. Emacs lisp is a special purpose language. ...

        Well... It's a version of LISP customized for text-editor use. At its core it's still LISP. [And you're talking to someone who has used Emacs and written Emacs LISP, as well as Common LISP, Franz LISP (and ported the interpreter from BSD to SunOS and Ultrix), and InterLISP-D, since the mid 1980s... So, while certainly not an expert, I have some Emacs and LISP exposure. :-) ]

    • So I'm stuck here in Visual Studio 2012, a nice env for C# (apparently crappy for C++, but whatever..) and the fuckers no longer support emacs key bindings. I could give a shit about Emacs LISP, but give my my key bindings or give me death, or maybe retirement would be nice. Oh yeah, get off my lawn you script kiddies!
      • by q4Fry (1322209)

        If you tried it, you would notice that Atom doesn't have a language definition for C#.

        So, for the moment, at least, Atom is just a "Oh, someone did that. That's nice." I understand I could write or port a language definition, but I am not going to do so just to try out a new pet text editor.

        • If you tried it, you would notice that Atom doesn't have a language definition for C#.

          So, for the moment, at least, Atom is just a "Oh, someone did that. That's nice." I understand I could write or port a language definition, but I am not going to do so just to try out a new pet text editor.

          No plans to try it. If I'm going outside my IDE, why not just use emacs? .. which I've been using for 30+ years. Cygwin does most of what I need. Yay FOSS.

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