The main reason why Atom development is fading little by little is because indeed Atom is too similar to Visual Studio Code:
- Both have the same minimalistic Sublime-like interface with lateral collapsible configurable panels, no buttons’ bars and Settings opening in a new tab.
- Both have good built-in git support in the form of an attachable panel.
- Both use the same underlining multi-OS application platform: Electron.
- Both are open source one-company-driven yet community backed projects hosted on GitHub with big emphasis on third-party extensions and themes with corresponding online marketplaces.
- Both are now owned by the same company.
In general the philosophy and technical approaches behind these two projects are identical.
I’ve followed the same path that many people here. I used Atom for around 3 years. Until last year 2019 when I moved to VSCode. And it’s a no-return change.
However the reasons for the change weren’t technical. I see tiny differences between the two, having VSCode in my opinion a small lead on things here and there. But this is so simply because Atom development has almost halted (https://github.com/atom/atom/graphs/contributors) and instead VSCode development is on fire (https://github.com/microsoft/vscode/graphs/contributors).
The main reason I switched to VSCode was because everyone around me was using that IDE, the development of it was skyrocketing yet the development for my IDE was slowing down every day. No one wants to use an IDE that, even when it does a great job, feels like is something from the past and will soon have problems derived from this fact.
In a nutshell, there is not much point on developing two projects that are so tightly equal. I think it’s a much better approach to deprecate one of them, Atom, and devote freed resources to carry on the development of one single great product, this time, Visual Studio Code.