Is Atom a Text Editor?


#1

###What about Non Geeks?
This post is sure to launch cries of: Non-Geeks go away! Use Word Pad or Notebook++! How come you cannot figure this out?

Atom looks great but, IMO, starts out way too complicated for me. Maybe I should use something else. Trouble is I want to use Atom.

  • Is this a text editor or not? Text editor means different things to different folks but is this a text editor in the most basic definition of a text editor? IMO, No.

  • Why is there no basic text editor tool bar toolbar?

  • Why do I have to install a blank tool bar then another package to add basic text editor functions? A text editor needs, IMO, to start out as a text editor not a blank screen that can be hacked. Those who do not want a text editor can remove/close text editor and start hacking.

  • Hackable is nice if you want to hack but what about the rest of us who want to start out simple (with a text editor) and grow into hackability? Eventually I will probably hack away but only when I figure out how and what I need to do.

  • IMO even basic Atom functionality is way too hard to find. There are things that everybody does. These “everybody does” functions should be easier to find. Like these:

    • How do I close a pane? I’ve got a pane with a file folder icon.atom I would like to close. There is no “X” on the pane tab to close.
    • How do I launch the terminal? Did it t actually install? I’m assuming there would be a key binding. I searched, but could not find; probably did not know the correct name to search for.
    • How do I launch a package after installed? How do I know it actually installed? Installed some packages then tried to uninstall but got an error that package could not be found. Listed in the .apm but apparently not installed. Probably operator error again.
  • At one point I had sort of a toolbar with basic headings: File and Exit and a few others. It has disappeared; once again probably operator error. How do I get that menu back?

I think the intent of Atom was to be a text editor for “everyone”. IMO, the definition of “everyone” should be expanded so that I could start out with a basic text editor and grow from there.

Thanks for “listening”.
John


#2

I’m not an expert on this matter, but in my opinion Atom is a fully fledged text editor. Of course, it is oriented for people that work with code I guess, thus it is kind of general purpose (same as Emacs, or Vi, and if you say Atom is overly complicated, good luck with those).

I’m not really sure I got this. What do you mean with text editor tool bar toolbar?

What are these core functions missing in Atom? As long as I’m concerned, with a vanilla instance of Atom the user is well able to:

  • create new files, open existing files, modify all of them
  • work on projects
  • highlight code
  • run searches on files and projects (even with regex!)

Are there more basic features for a text editor?

I think the X will appear when your mouse pointer is over the panel.

Well, this does not really look like a “everybody does” feature. Plus, a terminal does not get anything to do with a text editor.

Packages are developed within the community, so the Atom team itself is not responsible for their quality. Each package has a README file that should contain some description on how to use them, and in the Settings -> Packages tab you can find the package configurations.
Regarding the uninstall thing, that’s an issue I sometimes get too. If you just restart Atom after uninstalling some package, it will be gone for good.

Hope this helps. Of course, that’s just my point of view about it :wink:


#3

No need to be alarmist. Different programs are designed for different audiences. Notepad++ is a drop-in replacement for Notepad for people who want more functionality. Atom is designed so that it can have radically different suites of functions based on the user’s needs. It’s designed for a specific market segment, and you are complaining because this product doesn’t suit your needs. The Atom development team is under no obligation to satisfy you, personally. They built Atom for themselves and for people like me who find value in the same design principles. If you don’t believe that it suits your needs, go find another text editor. There are many of them.

It is indeed a text editor. You can type text into it, it doesn’t presume to know which line endings or encoding you want, and you can perform all normal file actions.

Why does a text editor require a graphical toolbar? Why isn’t the menu bar sufficient?

Hackable is nice if you want to hack but what about the rest of us who want to start out simple (with a text editor) and grow into hackability?

You really don’t need to hack anything until you want to. All of the really essential functions (autocomplete, search, bracket matching, a few languages) are included by default. Except, it seems, the graphical toolbar that you believe to be a dealbreaker.

How do I close a pane? I’ve got a pane with a file folder icon.atom I would like to close. There is no “X” on the pane tab to close.

Have you tried right-click?

How do I launch the terminal? Did it t actually install?

Do you mean the terminal-plus package? If so, you should say so (use the exact package name, because there are multiple packages that add terminals to Atom). The easy way to check if a package installed is to pull down the Packages menu and see if it’s there. Unfortunately, sometimes the Settings display doesn’t update promptly. If there’s unexplained behavior or you have some reason to be really uncertain about a package’s status, a ctrl-alt-r will reload the Atom window and all packages.

I’m assuming there would be a key binding. I searched, but could not find; probably did not know the correct name to search for.

In addition to @b3by’s advice, keybindings can often be found under the Packages menu.

Installed some packages then tried to uninstall but got an error that package could not be found.

This is a bug that happens sometimes.

Listed in the .apm but apparently not installed.

.atom/.apm is a listing of packages maintained for reference. Your installed packages are in .atom/packages and .atom/dev/packages.

At one point I had sort of a toolbar with basic headings: File and Exit and a few others. It has disappeared; once again probably operator error. How do I get that menu back?

I would be interested to discover how you made the menu bar go away. Regardless, you should be able to get it back by closing all Atom windows (save all your work first) and starting it from the command line with atom --clear-window-state.

Thanks for “listening”.

Good thing I answered all your questions before I got to the snide ending where you assume that nobody will actually pay attention to your concerns or try to render assistance. Do you always treat people this way when you’re asking for help? It’s highly inappropriate.


#4

No, Atom wasn’t intended to be a text editor for everyone. Atom is a text editor that was and is designed specifically for software developers. We made it extensible and hackable so that it could be used for other purposes, surely. But it was built for people who write code first and foremost.

I would be interested in hearing what your definition of “text editor” is.

Because we included things that we felt only the majority of our target audience would want. (Once again, our target audience being software developers.) We didn’t and don’t feel that the majority of our target group wants a tool bar. But we made Atom extensible so that the people who wanted a tool bar could build or install it, like you.

I would be interested in hearing what basic text editor functions you feel Atom is missing.

Have you seen the Atom Flight Manual?

I also recategorized your post. You didn’t propose a single feature and it seemed that, underneath the passive-aggressive flourishes, you were asking for support.


#6

maybe the entire discussion, @JohnCPayne was trying to start, was about ‘a hint’ for the creators to prepare some sort of “Tutorial or A noob guide” for the first-timers (how to set up your atom app in order to use it purely as a text editor for professional writers, researchers and journalists, etc. (not for programmers at all). This type of tutorial would be highly appreciated in the above mentioned community.

Here’s just a glimpse how other companies are doing it: https://www.ultraedit.com/products/ultraedit/features.html


#7

If so, that was a very roundabout and misleading way of doing it. And there are tutorials out there. Here’s one I found with a quick google search, and it was published before this question was asked


#8

there are absolutely no good videos or clean guides anywhere on the web for atom in 2018

i can confirm this is the case, and im 1000% positive this is the case

aside from this basic fact, i wonder if it’ll be good for taking info/notes tho,

doesnt seem likely, and for coding one day, ill likely go ide, as it’s well known ide > code editors especially going into the future, tho future is still unpredictable

if a code-specific editor is ever needed, ill look into sublime & atom, tho status may change in future


ps. would like to see a changelog of the last 6 months (from any point in the time from now till forever) of what atom has done specifically for good resources to make atom friendlier to everyone new, and that knows nothing about this