GitHub abandons open-source text editor Atom • The Register


On December 15, Microsoft’s GitHub plans to shut down Atom, its open-source text editor that inspired and influenced widely used commercial applications, such as Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Slack, and GitHub Desktop.

The social code business said it was doing this to focus on cloud-based software.

“While this goal of growing the community of software creators remains, we have decided to withdraw Atom to continue our commitment to bringing fast and reliable software development to the cloud through Microsoft Visual Studio Code and GitHub Codespaces,” GitHub Explain Wednesday.

GitHub Codespaces is a cloud-hosted development environment that integrates Visual Studio Code.

In June 2018, when Microsoft acquired Github, then-CEO Nat Friedman reassured the GitHub community that Atom was alive and well.

“Atom is a fantastic publisher with a healthy community, adoring fans, great design, and a promising foray into real-time collaboration,” Friedman said in a Reddit discussion ask me anything. “At Microsoft, we already use every editor, from Atom to VS Code, from Sublime to Vim, and we want developers to use the editor they prefer with GitHub.

“So we will continue to develop and support Atom and VS Code in the future.”

After four years of moving forward, Atom has stalled. According to GitHub, the project has not seen significant feature development for several years, except for maintenance and security updates. During this period, community involvement has waned and the locally installed software business now looks less attractive than the potential recurring revenue, vendor lock-in, and information gathering enabled by cloud-based applications. .

Atom dates back to 2011 on GitHub and 2015 when the Atom shell – a separate component for integration with Chromium, Node.js and native APIs – was renamed Electron (a web-based cross-platform application framework), Microsoft began working with GitHub on Atom and Electron and what would become Visual Studio Code.

This relationship has now followed a paradigm made famous by Microsoft: embrace, extend, extinguishthough Atom’s Sunset feels more like pushing dead weight out of a cloud-bound balloon rather than a strategically advantageous shot.

“We want to invest in our core bets over the next few years, and that means focusing on improving the developer experience in the cloud,” a GitHub spokesperson said. The register in an email. “There are also many solid alternatives to Atom that meet various needs, and VS Code has gained a huge market share, so we are confident in this change.

“This should have little impact on GitHub’s developer ecosystem. GitHub’s APIs continue to be supported and allow developers to integrate with GitHub on thousands of other products. We are also maintaining our own suite of applications, including GitHub Desktop, GitHub Mobile, and GitHub CLI.”

Atom’s influence should continue to be felt through the Electron framework. Electron.js still serves as the foundation for Discord, Skype, Slack, Trello, and Visual Studio Code, among other apps. But technology is changing. Microsoft has previously announced its intention get away from Electron in Teams. And other cross-platform frameworks like Flutter, Tauri, or Microsoft’s recently announced .NET Cross-Platform Application UI (.NET MAUI) could gain traction.

Still, Atom seems likely to linger past its decommissioning date of December 15, 2022. Although GitHub intends to archive the Atom repository, the code is open source and remains available to anyone who wishes to defend the project. ®

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