Release 1.1 of GitHub’s Atom Editor fixes a problem I had with using it for polytonic Greek.
I was an early adoptor of Atom Editor despite some initial rough edges. I now use it for all my development, including Greek-related stuff talked about on this blog—not just code but data files as well.
Most of the rough edges got sorted out early on and certainly before the 1.0 release but there was one problem, highly relevant to this blog, that persisted.
Basically, Atom was miscalculating the width of characters formed from Unicode combining characters which made it quite difficult to work with text files containing polytonic Greek.
You can see the problem in this screenshot:
Notice that the existence of diacritics on the alpha at the end of some of the lines actually changes the width of preceding characters, even though a fixed-width font is being used. As well as just looking weird, it made files difficult to use as the cursor position didn’t correspond visually to where typing would occur.
I filed a bug report back in March and was disappointed a fix didn’t make the Atom 1.0 release. But once I found out what was involved in fixing it (it didn’t just affect polytonic Greek but a lot of non-ASCII use cases) I was impressed. If you want the raw details, see here and here.
A couple of weeks ago Atom 1.1 came out and it includes all that work that (amongst other things) fixes the bug I filed.
Now it works perfectly: