Atom seems to be lossing contributions and users due to third-party Electron-based IDEs


I think that the existence of third-party IDEs based on Electron is killing Atom, because they are improving some things that later don’t get implemented into Atom. Wouldn’t be great to have a only IDE with all the improvements?

I think that doing rebrandings of Atom to add some functionality is not as great as some development teams (cough, MS) can think. Maybe would be better to join all the efforts on Atom?

I’ve created this thread for feedback/brainstorming to know what the developers/users think about this topic and to collect ideas of how to fix this “issue”.

I don’t know if this post is necessary. If not, feel free to notify it me.


Can you please tell us what makes you think this? Links to any info would be appreciated.


Small note:

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is based on their Monaco online editor project. Microsoft released Monaco in 2013. GitHub released Atom in 2014.

Visual Studio Code and Atom are both based on Electron - which lets you create desktop apps out of HTML, CSS, JS - but other than that they are independent.


This is correct.

To my understanding, there are a couple other things that VS Code uses from Atom currently, like some language-* packages including the language-csharp package. And that is only at the current time, Atom and VS Code may diverge further over time.

I think it is a good discussion to have :grinning:

One thing that really excites me about open source development is that there are so many people with such great ideas. Open source development is the fiery crucible in which true solutions are forged :wink: Seriously, I feel that if all efforts are concentrated in one place that alternative implementations and ideas won’t have room enough to breathe, grow, flourish and then compete with their progenitors. I haven’t thought it out enough to present it as a solid theory … but in my mind’s eye it’s like “idea capitalism” where only a truly free market of ideas can find the best ones.

Yes, there will be some wasted efforts and perhaps we could go further faster if everyone all pooled their efforts … but I feel that’s also assuming that we all want to go to the same place. If we all have different ideas and different directions we ultimately want to go … then trying to get us all to agree would be the wasted effort, right?


I only can provide links to 3 Atom rebrands that, if merged with Atom, could improve it largely:

The time that two big enterprises and a small one invested in custom rebrands, could be used to improve Atom with these new features. Obviously, this won’t have the same propagandistic advantages.


Fully independent?

Being that true or false, I think that is another reason more to think that these efforts could be invested in improving Atom instead of doing custom rebrands with a fine propagandistic sense.


This already runs in atom. Search for nuclide in packages.

"[quote=“crushedice2000, post:5, topic:24901”]


This also runs in atom. The first line on web page is “A professional IDE for Particle based on Github’s Atom project”

This will attract many windows developers but not very much overlap with Atom otherwise.


Good point! However I think that when the ideas are not opposite, is not a excessive effort to try to make all the parts go to the same place, based on the common viewpoints.


I didn’t want to mean “they are not Atom”. I meant that they are simple rebrands (more or less complex) that seems me a nonsense (however these two big enterprises must have advertising goals: Look, I, the bad of the movie opensourced an awesome editor).

Woudn’t be great to invest this time on improving Atom, even if it won’t help to disguise that enterprise? <-- bad pun


You are quite wrong. Facebook put man-years of effort into its atom packages. It adds amazing capabilities to Atom and doesn’t try to hide the fact that it is based on Atom… Have you actually looked at it?

There is no rebranding of Atom anywhere as far as I know. It would be stupid because everyone would know it was really Atom.


A reason more to bundle that in Atom, instead of doing a rebrand IDE to place the features.

I don’t mean that they only changed the logo, what I mean is that the (logo-changing+custom builds) time could be invested in developing, unifying all the improvements into Atom. Why to create a rebrand with these packages?

I’ve not claimed that they hide the rebrand. What I think that is weird is that they do a rebrand. Let’s say that I pick a Wheel ™, I add a central screw to fix it, and then I distribute it as safeWheel™ advertising that is based on Wheel™. Wouldn’t be better to add screws to the original Wheel? This seems to me Reinventing the wheel (registered slogan).

Sorry if the last example doesn’t seems humorous.


[quote=“crushedice2000, post:6, topic:24901”]
Fully independent?[/quote]

@leedohm is correct: VS Code uses a few Atom packages: language-php, brightray, language-go and language-csharp.

VS Code and Atom share the core platform for building apps using front-end web tech (Electron) and 4 packages.


Atom is expanded by packages, not by embedding more features. This keeps the core less bloated and faster. This is a fundamental feature of Atom and is not going to change. Nuclide adds packages exactly as all good Atom contributors do. Also, I can’t think of any advantage of embedding. I really don’t understand why you or anyone should care about this.

I apologize if I seem to be attaacking you, but your OP is based on a misunderstanding of Atom and packages like Nuclide and I wanted to point this out.


Please, don’t worry by that. I’ve created this thread as a sane discussion, we can have different viewpoints, but we shouldn’t never see an attack on any comment.

I’ve seen the Nuclide contributions as Atom Packages. What I don’t understood well is why to create Nuclide instead of simply improve Atom with all these packages.


Nuclide is an atom plugin !


I think that you’re wrong. Nuclide seems to be a set of packages for Atom, not a plugin.

TL;DR: Rediscovering the wheel.

A unified developer experience for web and mobile development, built as a
suite of packages on top of Atom to provide hackability and the support
of an active community.

That seems to have the same aim as Atom.


Nuclide is a (think it’s just one now) package for Atom, just like any other atom package. They are however built by facebook for them to get a unified developer experience for web and mobile development.

So Nuclide is pretty much an Atom package with a fancy website, not another editor that you seem to think? Just check the package page


Some call Atom packages “plugins”. There is not really anything called a plugin.


Packages are not just improvements. They are often also alternatives. For example, the nuclide source control of choice is mercurial which I assume is what facebook uses. 99% of Atom users want git. I, for one, would never load their mercurial support. I wouldn’t use it and it would just add bloat to Atom.


Here you’re right. Maybe the best thing is having these separate packages. However would be better more “generic” packages like mercurial-integration. I won’t search for Nuclide to get Mercurial on Atom.