How are you supposed to execute packages you're working on while developing them (i.e. to test them)?


So I’m working on a package, and I’d like to execute and test my code while working on it, without having to publish it. How should i best go about that?

Also, I’ve never been a coffeescript guy–if my process relies a lot on pasting snippets into the Atom console to test them, how are you supposed to do that with Coffeescript? Do you literally need to be thinking in both javascript and coffeescript, pasting js to the console, and then coding coffeescript to the files?? I’m sure there are some repl conversion tools, but to me it’s just like “damn, r you kidding me–there’s this much barrier to entry to just get something working.” I’ve never understood the trouble people go to in order to use coffeescript, using source maps, etc. Without source maps it makes zero sense. And with source maps even, it must be problematic eventually. When I code I get my most productive work done in the Chrome console (until now, where I hope to use the Atom console). Please explain to me how you can get that sort of instant testing results in Atom, particularly when developing a package??? What’s the typical process for working on a Package and executing it 1000 times a day to manually test parts of it?


That’s a lot of topics to answer at once.

I won’t answer on coffeescript or on how to interact with transpiled languages, I guess that it’s not what you are looking for.

On how you can test manually 1000 times a day a part of your program in coffeescript, actually, there is not. I can’t even think to a situation where I should have to write 1000 times an expression without having the capacity to automate it.

If you need to experiment with the atom API from the console, you’ll have a better time with pure javascript.
If you need to experiment with coffeescript, you should try directly the coffee repl or the try coffeescript section on the coffeescript site.
If you need to test changes on your code 1000 times a days, you’ll probably feel better by writing unit tests for your code than trying to test it manually.
To run tests of an atom package in atom you just have to press ctrl-alt-cmd-P in atom when working in your package project.

As for productivity, I don’t know what you are working on and what is your daily work and workflow, but working daily in a field involving doing my work in a browser 80% of the time, I can’t say the console will ever be the first place where I test code. When I develop a package for atom, I generally switch between sessions where I write tests for my packages (using ctrl-alt-cmd-P) and playing some scenarii that can’t be automated easily directly in atom by reloading the page with ctrl-alt-cmd-L.

If your package doesn’t rely on interacting heavily with the user, the tdd approach is definitively the quickest route to efficiency. If it’s a matter of interactions, you’ll have to learn how to switch from js2coffee and coffee2js like you breath.

Finally, if you don’t want to use CoffeeScript, you can. CoffeeScript is just Javascript in the end. You can write an atom package in pure javascript.


You should probably check out the Writing Specs document in the Atom repository. If you’re unfamiliar with Test Driven Development, there are plenty of tutorials and such on the web that can help you learn that workflow.

The issues you’re mentioning have nothing to do with CoffeeScript really. You need to take some time to read the documentation (especially the documentation on how to write a package, how to write Jasmine specs, the Atom API documentation, etc) and learn the basics of how packages work before you’ll be able to effectively write an Atom package.


I think I misrepresented myself. I’m not talking about real “tests.” Basically my workflow involves the console evaluating code in the console a lot, i.e. the same console that has the DOM of the running website. So I’d like to evaluate my coffeescript code in that context. I honestly think coffeescript the language is great, but for someone that often uses chrome plugins to write code in the sources tab and have it saved to my file system, like while “testing” animation code, it doesn’t make sense to go back to the land of refreshes. Evaluating in the context of my applications from the console is not even close to as good, but it’s the next best thing.

How can I take my coffeescript code package, and eval it all immediately essentially in the Atom console? How can I do that in pure JS?


If you’re looking for a REPL for Atom package code, I’m afraid there isn’t one.


cool (well, not so cool but whatever), so I’m working on a package, and i just want to execute my code, what’s the quickest way to do that? All i can see is apm publish. What’s the quickest way to get it running without publishing it?


Use the apm command from your terminal. Assuming you have a package project already, you can do the following to link it in dev mode

$ apm link --dev /path/to/your/package

Then start Atom via atom --dev which will load all the packages from ~/.atom/dev/packages and allow you to test your package without fear of “breaking” your normal mode Atom. Edit your package code in a normal Atom instance, then reload the dev instance to test your changes.

If you didn’t have a proper package structure, you can use apm init to create one.


sick, thats exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!