Soft Wrap paragraph tab types


#1

I use Atom for a mix of code and natural language writing, I like using the nice simple .txt format for everything. However, different kinds of tabbing are required if you’re going to use soft-wrapping, which I consider necessary, especially when writing in natural language. Now, there’s 3 different kinds of tabbing as far as I’m concerned, I’ll try to reproduce the formats as well as I can using 4 dots to indicate tab whitespace

  1. First line indented only. The first line gets a tab, the rest of the lines in the soft-wrap paragraph align to the leftmost of the document. This is the format used for natural language human writing for the most part

…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World

  1. Block indent. All lines of the paragraph are at the same level. This is typical for code.

…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World

  1. Hanging indent. The first line gets a tab, subsequent lines get an augmented tab, they get tabbed a bit further even. One may want this for code just to make things more visible.

…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World
…Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World Hello World

As of right now, november of 2016, #2 is default, makes sense given Atom is mostly for code. In the Atom Settings, it’s possible to configure a hanging indent. However unless I’m mistaken there doesn’t seem to be a setting for #1, ie for a first line only indent. Sublime Text has this option, there’s an option called “indent_subsequent_lines” that you can set to false if you want, I don’t see why Atom shouldn’t have this option as well.

Is there a way for me to get #1 in Atom as it exists now? If not, is this perhaps a forthcoming feature?


#2

There isn’t a feature for what you’re asking and it isn’t something that we’re going to be implementing any time soon.


#3

Thank you for the response. May I ask why you don’t plan to implement it? I don’t really know anything but it seems like a simple option to add, doesn’t have any drawbacks but would help a good number of users, other text editors have it already.


#4
  1. Everything seems simple to add until you try to add it :wink:
  2. Additional features always have a non-zero maintenance cost, which is a drawback in and of itself
  3. It’s really hard to estimate the number of users that a feature will get and even harder to estimate if that number of users will offset the aforementioned maintenance cost
  4. If items 2 and 3 balance out positively for other editors, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will do so for Atom. Additionally, it doesn’t mean that the maintainers of other editors did their math right :wink:

My personal opinion is that this feature would potentially be reasonable to implement but that it will get very, very little use and will come nowhere near the level of use to justify the maintenance cost. This places it very low on the list of relative priorities.