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If little bugs aren't fixed in Atom, does this editor have a future?

pauljacobson profile image Paul Jacobson ・2 min read

I've been using Atom as my primary editor for a few months, and I enjoy using it for the most part. Before that I used VS Code for almost a year.

I decided to go back to Atom because I want to support a truly open source editor (as far as I know, it's open source through and through). Also, I have a more powerful laptop so I don't notice the additional demands on resources, compared to VS Code.

I noticed a silly bug where the cursor doesn't move to the correct position when inserting a comment using CMD + /. I opened an issue on GitHub (#17199) after noticing that a previous, similar, issue (#4784) was marked as stale in September 2017, and closed.

My issue was closed because it was marked as a duplicate of #4784 and I was given the following feedback:

Because we treat our issues list as the Atom team's backlog, we close duplicates to focus our work and not have to touch the same chunk of code for the same reason multiple times. This is also why we may mark something as duplicate that isn't an exact duplicate but is closely related.

This feedback, in itself, is good feedback. It explains why duplicate issues are closed. It's a reasonable approach to take.

My concern is more that the "original" issue went stale in September 2017 after being reported in December 2014. This issue just isn't being dealt with.

Granted, this bug isn't exactly mission critical, and I manage to do what I need to do with it manifesting. At the same time, it leaves me wondering if ignoring these little bugs bodes ill for Atom going forward?

As wary as I am about Microsoft, maybe VS Code is the way to go. They seem to be pretty responsive to bug reports (or so I hear), and little things like cursor positioning when creating comments work there.

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Paul Jacobson

@pauljacobson

Enthusiast, writer, strategist, and web developer. Passionate about my wife and #proudDad. Also at https://pauljacobson.me

Discussion

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Actually issues like this are why I went BACK to Atom. VS Code devs will simply say that they aren't going to fix things that they don't think are mission critical, but that users interact with every time they use VS Code. For example, the separation of syntax colors from UI Themes. It was requested, by quite a few users in fact, and shot down. We can do this in Atom and if I'm going to spend the majority of my day using an editor, I'm going to choose the one I can actually tailor to suit my needs/preferences.

 

And this was the point when I lost trust in Atom and switched to VS Code. Apparently there's no easy way to control the cursor in a plugin. But in Atom everything is a plugin! I'm afraid they've made some poor design decisions.