Skip to main content

Atom: Hackable Text Editor for Ubuntu

It all started when I wanted to convert some text to Title Case. Ubuntu's default text editor, gedit, is quite capable, but does not include case conversion. A quick trip to Google and I found  (gedit is number 4). Since I write some code, too, I'm always interested in a good text editor.

After going through the list, I picked #2, Atom.

Atom looks appealing for a number of reasons.
  1. It's available through the Ubuntu Software app (almost -- see below for details)
  2. It's built on web technologies.
  3. It's cross-platform.
From the article:
Atom is a free and open source text editor that’s developed by GitHub. Based on Electron (CoffeeScript, JS, Less, HTML), it’s a desktop application that’s built using web technologies ... The major features of Atom are cross-platform editing, built-in package manager, file system browser, multiple pane support, find and replace function, and smart autocompletion. You can select from 1000s of open source packages and add new features to Atom. It’s also customizable to suit your needs and style.

I tried to install Atom using the Ubuntu Software app. It required an Ubuntu One account. Not a problem, easy to set up. I couldn't get the installation to work, however:
Detailed errors from the package manager follow:
snapd returned status code 400: Bad Request
The resolution is easy, though: download from the web site: Atom

Install like so:

Debian and Ubuntu (deb/apt)

To install Atom on Debian, Ubuntu, or related systems:

# Install Atom
sudo dpkg -i atom-amd64.deb

# Install Atom's dependencies if they are missing
sudo apt-get -f install

Did I get what I wanted? Not right away. Out of the box, Atom converts to UPPER and lower case, but not Title Case. Easy enough to install a package that does what I want.

I'm going to use Atom as my main text editor and see how it goes, and I'll update this post with my impressions. But so far, I think it's a fantastic way to make a great text editor: build a hackable platform to encourage developers to extend the features, and then you simply install what you want to use.


Anonymous said…
try: sudo snap install --classic atom
clod said…
Codelobster IDE works great on Ubuntu too.
Neil Johnson said…
Thanks for the command line goodness! Always appreciated. Also, I looked at CodeLobster IDE, and it looks like a great IDE for web developers such as myself. It seems like it's focused on PHP development, but also supports HTML, XML, CSS, and JavaScript (among others). It's very early in the development cycle (alpha 0.1) so I'd recommend that you try it out on some non-critical work to get a sense of whether it will work for you.

Thanks for the tremendous tips!

Popular posts from this blog

Virus scan Windows using a Linux live CD

[There's been quite a bit of interest in this post and I've expanded on it quite a bit. Please post any comments or questions to help me improve this guide. - Neil] Keith and I have both run into situations where we want to recover a Windows computer by cleaning it up with a Linux Live (bootable) CD distro. This offers several advantages to cleaning up an infected or compromised computer by booting into Windows: It prevents the malware, if it exists, from jumping from the infected computer or partition we are trying to fix to the repair partition or boot medium.If we boot from a CD, there's actually no way to alter the boot medium, since it's read-only. Naturally, we started with Knoppix -- download it here. Installing and scanning with F-Prot is covered in this discussion thread, Virus Scan from LiveCD, which describes how to install F-Prot from the command line using apt-get. Also, In Knoppix 5.1, you can boot from the Knoppix CD and install F-Prot wi…

Joomla 1.5 Directory Status: Writeable

[UPDATED] Joomla 1.5 is acting flaky on one of our installations because the directories are set to ‘unwriteable’. To see the their current state, log in as Super Administrator and go to Help > System Info > Directory Permissions. Elsewhere, it's been suggested that the specified directories must be set to “world-writeable” (777). This works, but it is a very bad idea, since it means anyone can change your files! Not cool. Fixing Security with User and Group Settings To perform these changes, you need shell (command line) access to your server. If you don't have it, you can beg your host to make these changes for you, or switch to a Joomla-friendly host. I'm going to assume that you are using a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server because if you're not, then ... well, these instructions should work in principle, but the specifics for your server may be quite different. Here's the issue: you, the FTP user, need full access to your files. So does Joomla, wh…