Atom 1.5 Released
Thursday, 18 February 2016

Github has released a stable version of its Atom open-source text editor with support for more operating systems. Alongside Atom 1.5, the developers have also launched a beta of Atom 1.6.


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Atom was released in 2014 as GitHub's cloud hosted editor. It was created by taking the source code of Chromium, the open source browser that Chrome is based on, and customizing it to work with the Atom web app. While this is mainly an HTML/JavaScript based web app, it doesn't run in a browser. It can be extended using JavaScript, and is Node.js based.

The changes to Atom 1.5 start with improvements to CJK (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) softwrap. Previous versions of Atom considered every character to have the same width when performing soft-wrapping. The new version makes a distinction between default characters, double width characters, half width characters and Korean characters.

The marker index has benefitted from performance improvements. Markers are used in Atom to handle cursors, selections, the autocomplete suggestion box, and find result markers. The change to the indexing will improve performance for all these cases.

 

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Other changes are more minor; you can disable Atom autoupdating, you can cascade windows below existing ones when working in Mac OS X, and the release-notes package has been removed "to reduce confusion on updates".

The developers are now concentrating on Atom 1.6, with the beta improvements including the addition of block decorations. Decorations are one of the ways you can customize Atom. They have a simple API that gives you ways to customize the editor, but until now there was no way to display things between lines of text and have the subsequent lines move position. A block decoration lets you insert a DOM node before or after a certain line, and have it follow the line as the buffer changes. The new API means developers can create things such as inline diffs, code evaluation, and image previews.

The 1.6 beta also improves the handling of multi-pane displays. There's a new API for top and bottom bars, along with a new pending tabs API.

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More Information

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Release Notes

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 February 2016 )