Atom 1.0 - GitHub's Hackable Editor Becomes Stable
Written by Lucy Black   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015

A year after launching a public beta GitHub's open-source code editor Atom has gone stable. Atom 1.0 has improved performance and support for ES6 language features and no longer has limitations on file sizes.

Atom, or rather Atomicity as he called it in 2008, started out as a side project of GitHub founder, Chris Wanstrath. His idea was to use web technologies to build something as customizable as Emacs and give developers total control over their editor. The project was shelved as GitHub became Wanstrath's main focus.



Then along came in-browser editors together with open source JavaScript editors and in August 2011, GitHub included Ace, part of the Cloud9 IDE, into the GitHub. This re-ignited Wanstrath interest in Atomicity, and within days he had an OS X app with Ace running in a native WebView control. That was the beginning of the Atom, which became publicly available a year ago.  




In the announcement of Atom 1.0 GitHub says that  the tool, has been downloaded 1.3 million times and serves 350,000 monthly active users. It also claims:

In the 155 releases since launch, the editor has improved immensely in performance, stability, feature-set, and modularity. The editor is faster in scrolling,typing, and start-up time. Atom now has a Windows installer,Linux packages, and several heavily requested features have been added likepane resizing and multi-folder projects.

Atom has become more modular through stabilizing the API, built-in ES6 support using babel, services for inter-package communication, decorations for extending the core editor, and new themes that automatically adapt the UI to the syntax colors. We've even removed some of our core packages in favor of community-built packages like autocomplete-plus.


This quirky retro video introduces Atom to those who've not yet encountered it:


One distinctive feature of Atom is its "hackability", in that you can customize the look and feel of the editor extensively. If you are keen to give it a go, this video provides information on how to set up it up and set styles, keybindings and themes to fit your style of work.


More Information


Atom 1.0

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 July 2015 )