GitHub’s homegrown text editor has hit version 1.0 today, 18 months after the company launched a preview version of the app.
Atom, which has been downloaded 1.3 million times, has seen 155 releases since the editor launched and now features a Windows, Linux and Mac installer.
The new version also brings significant performance and stability improvements, focusing on scrolling, typing and start times.
GitHub focused efforts on stabilizing the API too, adding better support for developers to build packages that extend the editor and expanding the breadth of the customizations they can build.
Atom 1.0 also drops some of the original core packages in favor of community-contributed ones, like a substituting the autocomplete engine with autocomplete-plus.
The origins of Atom are quite interesting — it originally came about as a side project of a staff member in 2008, but was eventually shelved. In 2011, it was revived and became an official project, used by staff internally, before being released as a beta three years later in 2014.
Ben Ogle, Senior Software Engineer at GitHub, told TNW that Atom was started because the company wanted a text editor that developers could hack to their heart’s content. The idea was that they would be able to have total control over the text editor, unlike alternatives like Sublime Text.
Atom is open source, so developers can contribute to it, fork it or build their own version as well.
When TNW asked Ogle about the future of Atom, he said that GitHub is focused on “social coding” and “helping people work together.” He wouldn’t give specifics, but said that the company is looking into questions like “what does it mean to do social coding in a text editor?”
The future of Atom looks to be deep integration with GitHub that helps developers collaborate better, and that’s great news.
➤ Atom 1.0 [Atom Blog]