Atom vs VS Code

Atom vs VS Code

As a developer, there is always the need of finding the best tools for development purposes. It can be text editors, a library to manage tasks, a framework to build your next project, etc. The tools simplify the work environment and improve productivity at the same time. Among all the text editors, Atom and Visual Studio Code both are the favourite amongst designers and developers. Both code editors are based on Electron, which was created by GitHub. The electron is a desktop app that acts as a container for an essentially web-based application - JavaScript for the code and HTML/CSS for the UI. You should know the difference between these two editors so that you can choose the best one for your requirements. So, let’s see the differences -

What is Atom?

Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. Atom is an open-source text editor developed by GitHub that is licensed under the MIT License. It is written predominantly in CoffeeScript and JavaScript and uses Node.js as its runtime environment. It is extensively extensible via the use of over 5,000 available packages and 1,000 themes. It uses its own package manager for managing these packages and themes, apm.  Atom is based on Electron. It supports mac OS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows.

What is VS Code?

Visual Studio Code is a source code editor developed by Microsoft for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It includes support for debugging, embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is also customizable, so you can change the editor's theme, keyboard shortcuts, and preferences. It is free and open-source, although the official download is under a proprietary license. Visual Studio Code is also based on Electron.

Atom vs VS Code

  • TypeScript JSX in VS Code has been improved to include imports. For instance, typing a React component will trigger a suggestion to import a React component. This functionality has not yet been added to Atom’s ide-typescript, so copy-pasting paths is still necessary.

  • Atom provides diagnostics in the form of errors and warnings in a traditional linter pane. In order for an error to be recognized in a TypeScript file which then ran the linter. In contrast, VS Code underlines errors automatically, without requiring a file to save.

  • Atom could not open “1m lines” file and reported “crashed” after around 40 seconds.

  • Visual Studio Code did not allow me to open “10m lines” file saying “very large”.

  • Atom could not keep syntax highlighting when opening the “100k lines” file.

  • Visual Studio Code could not keep syntax highlighting when opening the “1m lines” file.

  • Visual Studio Code has advantages over Atom in opening files and RAM usage. It could handle larger files and handle it faster than Atom.

  • Visual Studio Code has integrated Git control, guaranteeing speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.

  • Atom has a great doc page on how to even override the styles.

  • VSCode has a nice plugin (extensions) ecosystem.

  • There is very solid TypeScript integration in Visual Studio Code.

  • Atom is a free, open source, and written in C++, LESS, and CoffeeScript.

  • Atom can run on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • VSC includes debugging tools for Node.js, TypeScript, and JavaScript.

  • Atom will highlight folders, files, and lines that have any uncommitted edits made. It also integrates really well with GitHub.

  • For a 'wrapped' web-based application, Visual Studio Code performs very well.

  • Atom has built-in HiDPI support with zero scaling issues.

  • VS-Code has the speed of Sublime and the power of WebStorm. Perhaps this is the best software that Microsoft has ever created.

  • Atom is very slow to startup, which is a big disadvantage if you are accustomed to using it to make quick changes on your files.

  • Atom has a relatively high memory usage, especially when compared to some other text editors not based on Electron.



In the end, it is quite difficult to make the choice since both editors offer a great experience. It depends upon you and your objectives. Choose the best one which suits you. You can share your comments in the comment section. Thank you!

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