We all have known people who were coding since blink was the popular item, when website under construction was the rage and when every site declared with images even if there was a war on which browser it landed on, Netscape or Internet Explorer. There weren’t many tools available at that time, and WYSIWYG editors were messy with their code examples. The what you see is what you get editors made clunky code which isn’t useful when building advanced websites. So the only option available was to use a less clunky, clean code program such as Notepad which is what most of us used.
Fast forward a decade, and now most of us use the next generation of Notepad, which is NotePad++. This program is language independent and creates clean code for development purposes. In my lower-level classes and programming courses, instructors emphasise on choosing a development environment which is low on distractions: the only features most novice check is the content-awareness highlighting, which makes it easier to find if reserved words have been used correctly and code blocking, which makes it easier to find if there is a } which is missing.
However, there’s a new editor in town which is known as ATOM. This is a creation of GitHub and is free, and highly customizable text editor, so it’s both well-optimized for working for projects with version control and inherently easy to expand with packages built by users. It comes with different built-in themes, has separate color combinations for the users, and runs across different operating systems reliably.
Some of the favorite packages include:
- Zentabs: closes tabs which are over five, which is especially useful for people who keep their tabs open even if it makes it clutter and creates distractions.
- Atom-beautify: improves readability of code with automatic spacing, saves a lot of time and work for students and programmers who open files which aren’t formatted.
- Hey-pane: adds fast resizing for easily focusing in on your active editing pane, which is great both when using Atom to demo development to students
A favorite part of every programmer towards Atom is its project-driven organizational mode, which makes it easy to work on complex projects and see all the files, opens multiple files in a lot of different views depending on your goals. There are also packages to support development easily in a huge range of languages, so it’s great for people working across many projects.