Add and improve core.*OnStart setting descriptions #13152

merged 3 commits into from Dec 6, 2016


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lee-dohm commented Nov 6, 2016 edited

Description of the Change

The current description of the core.openEmptyEditorOnStart is misleading which has caused a lot of confusion around what this option is supposed to do or not do. Many people change this setting expecting some behavior difference when they start Atom the next time only to find out that it doesn't do anything from what they can tell. This is because Atom's default behavior in the absence of other instructions is to restore the state from the last time Atom was open, completely ignoring this setting.

There is a way to configure Atom to not restore the last state. The configuration setting was never exposed in the config schema though so people had to dig through the code or search through Issues and PRs to discover that it was an option. This change adds the core.restorePreviousWindowsOnStart setting to the schema so that is no longer necessary.

Alternate Designs

A more comprehensive overhaul of Atom's launch story whether in one large change or multiple small ones is something that is being looked at but won't realistically solve this confusion in the near term.

Why Should This Be In Core?

This isn't new functionality.


A more clear understanding of what these settings do and do not.

Possible Drawbacks

If not adding the core.restorePreviousWindowsOnStart setting to the config schema was intentional, this has the obvious drawback that it is now showing up in the Settings View.

Applicable Issues

lee-dohm added some commits Nov 6, 2016
@lee-dohm lee-dohm Improve core.openEmptyEditorOnStart description
@lee-dohm lee-dohm Add config schema for core.restorePreviousWindowsOnStart
Additionally updates the description for core.openEmptyEditorOnStart to
@lee-dohm lee-dohm Consistently use 'editor' in description
@lee-dohm lee-dohm changed the title from Improve core.openEmptyEditorOnStart description to Add and improve core.*OnStart setting descriptions Nov 6, 2016
lee-dohm commented Nov 6, 2016

/cc @as-cii for context on whether leaving out core.restorePreviousWindowsOnStart from the config schema was intentional

Ben3eeE commented Nov 6, 2016

From the blog post

This option will be on by default, but you can easily turn it off by changing your config.cson file (please note that this setting won’t appear in the Settings UI).


lee-dohm commented Nov 6, 2016

Thanks for finding that @Ben3eeE 😀

as-cii commented Nov 10, 2016

This looks good to me, @lee-dohm. I recall people were against the overhead of an extra checkbox in the settings-view, but honestly I agree with you it's just easier to make this setting explicit and, as a result, more discoverable.

🚢 at will! 👍

@lee-dohm lee-dohm merged commit ae359a7 into master Dec 6, 2016

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@lee-dohm lee-dohm deleted the open-empty-editor-description branch Dec 6, 2016
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