Why I think Atom is flawed


Hello peeps,

Atom is great in many ways, no doubt i have been using Notepad ++ for a few years now and tweaked it to my liking amidst all its options with a sublime text monokai theme. I was not really on the lookout for a new IDE however stumbling across the Atom site i had to give it a go and see if i can switch to a more robust IDE compared to Notepad ++. There is no doubt Atom is graphically beautiful compared to Notepad ++ and the live install of packages is fantastic, theming is spot on also. But there is some bad points i need to address.

I have done some benchmarks between what i was used to and also with the latest build of Atom (im a windows user btw) and i must say Atom on first load is abysmal compared to the later.

It literally takes about x3 or more of the load time in general to open a file and start editing.

Thats my first gripe… although i can live with it.

The second and this probably related more to Windows users is the way atom is installed and managed by Windows. It is unlike most programs installed i know of… here are some questions i would like answered.

  1. Why does it install into a hidden directory of AppData 4 directories deep before you get to the .exe file ?
  2. Why does it not install to the traditional Program Files directory ?
  3. Why with every new release does it create a new directory with a version number instead of installing to a common directory ?

Atom is literally impossible for me to use efficiently for my workflow… and here is why.

Firstly i generally load up a ftp program when i have to tweak some files using FlashFXP (my preferred ftp program) within FlashFXP i can choose a program to associate file for editing with eg. . with atom.exe

This now means i can use a shortcut key to EDIT the file from ftp, it downloads it local in temp i edit the file in Atom then i SAVE in Atom and FlashFXP auto uploads the file for me.

This is how i work and ive been working like this for years.

Now here is where the problems start…

Because of the way Atom is installed within a version numbered directory when its updated it creates a new directory version number with a new set of files. But guess what, FlashFXP doesnt know about this as the preferrence settings are pointing to the OLD version number directory!!! see the problem ? This means with every new release i need to manually update the path of the new Atom.exe file every time. Sorry thats not happening on my watch… :expressionless:

Because of this brickwall i have hit which im sure others have also, id like to know a workaround if possible if not, then something needs to change to resolve this issue with Atom.

I never had this issue with Notepad ++ and that purely because when there is an update it just updates itself and core files, nothing else changes.

My final rant is why isn’t there a portable version of Atom yet ? we live in a world where portable apps is the norm, i used to create my own portable apps a number of years ago, infact i would consider myself a very very early adopter of portable apps even before portableapps.com was born.

I think every program should be self contained within its own directory, no dependencies on OS related files. Atom should be able ot be downloaded like a zip file, extracted to anywhere you want, run and updated easily into its own container and not new containers every time a new update is done.

Thanks for your time.


So that it can auto-update without requiring administrator privileges.

From what I understand, there is supposed to be a bin folder where a batch file resolves the latest version for you:


If there isn’t, then I would consider that a bug.

There is a portable version:

From what I understand, setting the ATOM_HOME environment variable allows you to point to anywhere for the Atom home storage directory. There is also an atom-windows.zip available for every release of Atom on the Releases page which you can unzip to install wherever you want.


I think you are suffering from a rush to judgement. Everything you mention is solvable with a little work. And trust me, it’s worth it.