I have recently started attending PyLadies Melbourne as it’s a welcoming community and I have been spending a bit more time with Python. The March meetup was a comparison of various editors and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) and I volunteered to demonstrate Atom. Although I haven’t spent a lot of time with Python yet, I have been using Atom for a few years and offered to talk about it as no one else had volunteered.

I still consider [g]vi[m] my primary text and code editor as I can call vi from any command line terminal on my Mac or on a remote server. However, Atom, like other big editors and IDEs, are useful for getting an overview of files in a large project. Atom, like Vim, is at the minimalistic end of the editor spectrum but can be configured and extended with many settings external plugins to suit the needs of all kinds of programmers and writers.

I was interested in seeing Visual Studio Code in action as it has taken off in popularity in the last couple of years and is built on top of the Electron framework, which GitHub built for Atom. When Atom first appeared a few years ago, many web developers including myself moved from Sublime Text to Atom, and there now seems to be a similar Atom-to-VS-Code migration in progress. My impression of VS Code is that it does come with more useful and user-friendly IDE functionality out of the box, but a lot of this can be replicated in Atom using packages. I might not feel the need to move from Atom to VS Code at this stage, but I would certainly recommend new developers consider VS Code.

Notes for the various editors are in the PyLadies Melbourne GitHub repository including my notes on Atom.