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Atom demo

Here's a demo of some of the functionality that Atom has for Python development, by a long-time Atom and vi(m) user and Python newbie. This demo mostly uses Atom's core editor functionality (with some packages), not the full-blown Atom IDE which requires Python language server.

Atom was built by GitHub using the Electron framework which also powers VS Code and some other apps you may have heard of/used.

Atom ships with a few core packages (including git and GitHub integration) and there are thousands of contributed ones in the Atom package repository. Atom configuration (for the core editor and for packages) can be done from the settings screen or directly using .cson (CoffeeScript Object Notation) files.

Assuming stock Atom is already installed and XKCD codebase already checked out.

Running commands

Commands are run from the main or contextual menus, from the command palette (cmd+shift+p or ctrl+shift+p), or from other UI elements.

Install python packages

language-python is a default package. We may also want the following:

Open the codebase in the IDE (configure virtualenv if needed)

  1. New window
  2. Add project folder

Open a file (say, show syntax highlighting

Show code autocomplete

Refactoring - rename a variable

[python-tools] Show Usages.

Jump to function/method definition

[python-tools] Goto Definition.

Show git blame for a file

The git-blame package will show blame in the left column. Authors can be distinguished by colour of margin. Clicking in the blame column will open the commit in GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, or a custom remote, if available.

Search in codebase

Find/Replace in Project.

Run the code

[script-runner] Run.

Run the tests


  1. Run test under cursor
  2. Run all tests on page
  3. Run project tests
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