Zed Editor Is Open Source
Written by Alex Denham   
Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Zed, the code editor developed by the creators of Atom and Tree-sitter, has been made open source. Zed is a high-performance, multiplayer code editor.

Zed describes itself as:

A lightning-fast, collaborative code editor written in Rust.

The original five-man team of developers included Nathan Sobo who joined GitHub in 2011 to build Atom and led the Atom Team until 2018 and two other members of the Atom team, Max Brunsfeld and Antonio Scandurra.


The developers set out to engineer Z for performance, ensuring it efficiently uses every CPU core and your GPU to start instantly, load files fast, and respond to your keystrokes on the next display refresh. The team says:

"Unrelenting performance keeps you in flow and makes other tools feel slow"

and developers using Zed do say it is impressively fast compared to other editors.

Zed supports GitHub Copilot, and lets developers use GPT-4 to generate or refactor code by pressing ctrl-enter and typing a natural language prompt.

zed is language aware

It is language-aware, and maintains a full syntax tree for every buffer as you type. This enables code highlighting, auto-indent, a searchable outline view, and structural selection. Zed also uses the Language Server Protocol to provide autocompletion, code navigation, diagnostics, and refactorings.

The developers have now taken Zed to an open source model. The code for Zed itself is available under a copyleft license which the team says ensures any improvements will benefit the entire community (GPL for the editor, AGPL for server-side components). GPUI, the UI framework that powers Zed, is distributed under the Apache 2 license, so developers can use it to build applications and distribute them under any license they choose. 

The Zed team is also launching a new Zed feature called Zed Channels, which aims to make it easy for developers anywhere in the world to write code together in real time just by sharing a link. The Zed team is using Channels to run a new program called Fireside Hacks, in which they work on Zed live in a public channel, together with whoever shows up.

Zed is available now.


More Information

Zed Website

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 January 2024 )