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InfoQ Homepage News Atom Text Editor 1.7 Released, with MRU Tab Switching

Atom Text Editor 1.7 Released, with MRU Tab Switching

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Atom has released version 1.7 of its text editor, with improvements including MRU tab switching and several updates for Windows users.

In the blog post Atom 1.7 and 1.8 beta, software engineer Michelle Tilley describes how in v1.7 ctrl-tab now switches "between the most recently used (MRU) tabs in an Atom window, instead of switching to the tab to the right of the current tab."

MRU tab switching Tilley describes the feature as "heavily-requested," linking to the pull request #5344 "Tab switching (ctrl-tab) should be in MRU order."

However, while many people were in favour of the idea, a vocal minority weren't -- and were equally unhappy at its introduction.

In the quoted pull request, Atom member 50Wliu commented:

This is an interesting suggestion that'll probably be a bit controversial because:
  • Chrome uses left-to-right order when switching tabs, but...
  • Alt+Tab is organized by most recently used
I for one would prefer left-to-right order for switching tabs, since tabs can be re-ordered, unlike windows.

The discussion continued, with user Jesse McCarthy later commenting "The solution is simple: if it gets implemented make it an option (on or off by default, doesn't particularly matter), then no one has to worry about anticipating or trampling anyone else's use case."

Shortly after Atom's 1.7 release, the discussion Atom 1.7.0 New Ctrl-Tab Behavior was started on Reddit, with the original poster TonySesek556 commenting on the update "I don't personally like it. Is there a way to make it back to normal? Where I press CTRL-Tab and it goes forward a tab, and CTRL-Shift-Tab makes it goes back a tab?"

An edit followed, with a link to Tilley's blog post, where users could find instructions for overwriting the associated keybinds in a Keymap file.

Less controversial in the 1.7 major release are the improvements for Windows users. Among these are several git fixes, detailed in pull request 1102. Including is an issue that, when saving a file after the first time, Atom would throw the UNKNOWN error:

Unable to save file 'C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub\markdown-preview\lib\'
UNKNOWN: unknown error, open 'C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub\markdown-preview\lib\markdown-prev

Other Windows improvements include an update that allows users to easily associate file types with Atom, and an update to installation conditions where "pinned shortcuts are updated when Atom updates," as well as clarified build documentation for topics including how to build in VS 2015.

Atom is released via an MIT licence, with the source freely available from the atom/atom repository. InfoQ readers can contribute to Atom by creating a package, and should read the contributing guide before starting.

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