Atom vs Brackets: Best Opensource Code editor

This blog posts compares Atom vs. Brackets text editor.

I have used so many editors throughout my programming career. And if I’m being honest here, I didn’t find any major differences among many of them.

Apart from few things that I consider while comparing two editors, sizes, performance, support for languages, and the nature of being open-source or closed also play an important role since open-source editors offer more extendability.

Atom and Brackets, both are open source and put themselves on the list of lightweight editors. You might want to read about this also, Atom vs Netbeans.

Lightweight than many high-end editors/ IDEs, for example, Visual code studio; Which requires 800MBs to be installed. These editors fit themselves under 200MB, which is a good choice if, for you, size really matters.

Moreover, Brackets editor is speficailly a good choice for front-end developers, as it is intentionally built up for this purpose.

Whereas Atom editor does not seem to have any limitation at all, it’s good for the back-end as well as the front-end developers.

which is better?

Starting with this fact that Atom editor is more likely to depend upon the plugins (packages). And its interface (UI) is seemingly similar to sublime.

In contrast, the brackets editor does have plugins too, but not primarily depend on them. However, according to some developers, bracket’s performance is faster than Atom.

you will get support for features like type hints, cross-platform, multiple cursors, syntax highlights, and the back support is also trustworthy as well-known companies maintain them both.

That’s why, for picking a long-term companion, both equally stand out.

Atom vs Brackets: Differences

ParametersAtomBrackets
GenreA text editor that can be used for multiple coding projects by using plugins.A text editor that is focused on front-end development as developed by adobe,
Beginner-friendlya little bit hard to set up, a beginner might feel hard to set up.It’s easy to set up, and the interface is simple to understand; even for a beginner.
Open-sourceIt’s open-source available for Windows, Linux, Mac.It’s also open-source and can be run on several OS(s).
Plugins or packagesAtom has a couple of open-source plugins out of the box, mostly made by programmers at Github.Brackets does have a wide array of plugins, but significantly the list is not as extensive as Atoms.
CustomizableThe only thing you can’t change is its layout.It’s almost entirely customizable, even the layout too.
Front end or back endRegardless of the front or back-end developer. It is suitable for both.Brackets is good for front-end developers as it’s designed by adobe, so a lot of things replicate it out.
PopularAccording to a survey held by Github, around 50k developers use atoms.According to stock share, it’s the top 14th editor.

About Brackets Editor

The brackets is a project from adobe, a well-deserved software house that has developed so many software, and most are popular—for instance, Adobe after effects, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

Generally, most of the projects they’ve made till now are related to designs, so it makes it legit if we say they slightly have a better grip on designing.

And that’s the reason the brackets perform better when working with the client-side, and shaping a good web structure. Have good support for frameworks such as Bootstrap and React.

This means that brackets can integrate PSD format from Photoshop, including fonts, color, structure. Further, the coding part CSS, HTML is a big plus over here.

Because by using this brackets editor, you can see the real-time output of your codes, as it features live-preview from which you can code and see what’s happening by this.

Further, regardless of opening a new window to see a preview, it has built-in support for live-preview that’s useful to check out instantly what you’ve done so far. Also, it lets you know the CSS ID when hovering over a particular part of the page.

However, the live preview only works on the google chrome browser, so if you use anything other than this. Sadly, you will get no support for this at that moment.

Brackets has one more important feature that I can’t resist talking about. Personally, I liked it the most while coding in it.

That’s when writing codes.

You can break your screen into two portions. And can handle both of them simultaneously. It’s useful in conditions. Let’s say you’re writing HTML and CSS codes. So what happens with this feature?

You don’t have to open two tabs over and over, and rather you can see both of the codes on one screen; this will increase your productivity as well.

Pros

  • Brackets is entirely free to use and hopefully will remain for free for years to come.
  • Brackets automatically refreshes the web page to show the results of the codes you’re written. It increases productivity and cuts off the chances of mistakes and errors in a code.
  • Brackets has an extension manager used for extending the features of this code editor, even you can change themes as well.
  • Brackets is actively maintained by a well-known company, and skilled developers are taking care of its functions and release updates regularly. That’s why you can go a long way with this editor.
  • Brackets is known to be memory efficient, proven that it works faster on low-end systems.

Cons

  • To be honest, there is not much to complain about this editor as long as you use it for developing the front-end of a website. It works like a champ for this purpose.

About Atom Editor

Atom is developed by GitHub, one of the top communities of skilled programmers that you can rely upon for their software. However, since Microsoft now owns Github, this technique implies that Atom has now become a product of Microsoft.

Atom inherently seems to copy the sublime text editor, and particularly the user interface replicates the most. That’s said, if you ever use the sublime, then handing over this will be easier for you.

There is not much to scratch your head. Like other text editors, all the handy features, including smart autocomplete, integrated spell-check, and find-and-replace, are out there.

With that being about Atom, most of its functions are dependent on the packages.

Almost every single feature you might want to have, there will be a package for this already—for example, the live-preview mode. By default, this feature is not available, but you can add this through a package.

Thus, it’s open-source, so it shouldn’t be surprising for you that it follows a wide range of free packages that are created by developers.

By the way, not just are there packages for adding functions but thousands of themes are also available. Choose whichever touch your taste or create your own.

Why so hype about Atom is because of its versatility, that’s said about this “it smartly followed the path that was already there.” which speaks to that it does not have anything super special itself, but they are packages which make it stand out.

You can shape it in whatever form you like. Being open-source lets a user explore it and break through the limits.

But one thing to mind, it’s small in size and specifically made up for small tasks, thus when tackling larger files.

You may experience poor performance. That’s said it lags even working with three tabs at a time.

Atom can be configured for all modern languages like Python, Java, C++ etc.

Pros

  • The top reason why Aom is popular is obvious; the package manager can support thousands of plugins and themes as well. Besides, there is good documentation on plugins that is easy to get through.
  • Atom is free and open-source, and hackable to shape it in whatever way.
  • Atom is for everyone, both expert and beginner programmers. Things like, adding keyboard shortcuts, changing themes, installing additional plugins, and changing core settings by clicking through a GUI are easily do-able.
  • Atom has a command fuzzy search (Use CTRL+T) to search for any files quickly.

Cons

The biggest drawback of this editor is, it consumes higher resources compared to its alternatives on the market. It works painfully slow on low-end machines and feels laggy when working with larger files.

A few developers reported that Atom does not recognize some keyboards.

Atom vs. Brackets- words of mouth

There is something more to know about each. That will perhaps declare a clear winner here.

Think of as Atom, a shell that can be shaped by adding external functionalities. Possibly, you will find anything no matter the intentions you have.

That’s the reason why it’s on the top, the developers who use Atom know that they can shape it in whatever way they like, even though it can be customized as same as the sublime or closer to vs code.

Thus, it’s free so be ready to face some disappointments regarding speed-performance, not always but most likely when you use too many packages.

Brackets are something geared towards designing, the PSD format is the reason for which is why a person can integrate photoshop designing into the editors. And needless to say, Atom editors do not have support for this format.

Moreover, in brackets, you can extend its use cases as well, but the limits of its extensions are fewer than Atom’s packages because bracket’s extensions come from only Adobe developers.

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