Sometimes the best thing to do is steal somebody else’s good idea. I’ve been using Atom as my primary text editor for a year and a half now, but I still occasionally play with other editors and keep up with their updates. There are a crazy number of good cross platform editors these days, and they all have a bunch of good ideas that get shared and remixed across each other. This week Sublime Text came out with a new release Dev Build 3132 that included 3 new color schemes. One of them was Mariana, which I believe is a variation on the also great Oceanic Next, with possibly some influences from my previous favorite dark theme Tommorrow Night Eighties 1. It stood out to me right away.

Since I’m no longer using Sublime Text, I decided to port the theme to Atom. I built on the work of the great atom-material-syntax package to build out a new theme. It turns out to be surprisingly easy to build a color scheme in Atom. Fork an existing theme, change some colors and the details in package.json, delete a bunch of git tags 2, and then run apm deploy minor, and you’re in business.

You can now download mariana-syntax in Atom. This was a quick port. I’ll be working to optimize it for the languages I use (JS, Python, CSS/Less, HTML and Markdown) over the next few weeks. I would love to see pull requests for other languages or for anything that I’ve missed so far. I look forward to this just getting better and better. Update: Version 0.2.0 has shipped with optimized syntax for JavaScript, Python, CSS, JSON and Markdown.

screenshot of mariana-syntax


  1. To be clear, I’m not sure how great of an influence this was. The scheme definitely bears a strong resemblance to both of those color schemes, and the release notes credit both authors as inspiration for the 3 new syntax-themes without naming specific schemes.

  2. This Stack Overflow article was helpful https://stackoverflow.com/a/15755041/1424361