What you need to know
- GitHub previously announced that its Atom code editor would be sunset from December 15.
- All repositories will be archived, active support and package management will end.
- Community forks such as Pulsar will aim to keep Atom alive.
Back in the summer, Microsoft-owned GitHub announced it would be sunsetting the Atom code editor in favor of other products such as Visual Studio Code and GitHub Codespaces. And that day has finally arrived.
There's many a joke to be had about Microsoft canceling products, but Atom, despite its popularity, was always a likely casualty. Its impact will forever be felt, though, as it was one of the foundations for the Electron framework. This, in turn, led to Visual Studio Code, the current big dog in the yard.
Atom has always been an open-source project, though, and prior to its repositories being archived at least one community-led project of note has popped up with the intention of keeping the Atom fire burning for a while longer. If you're still using the official build of Atom, here's what you can expect after the December 15 archiving of its repositories.
- Pre-built Atom binaries can continue to be downloaded from the Atom repository releases
- Atom package management will stop working
- No more security updates
- Teletype will no longer work
But while the door is closing on official development of Atom,
Pulsar rises from Atom's ashes
Microsoft and GitHub are obviously hoping that Atom users will migrate over to Codespaces and Visual Studio Code, but there's already at least one fork of note that Atom fans could think about migrating to.
Pulsar is still in the very early stages, but at its core retains the same user experience as those familiar with Atom have come to enjoy.
The project is still in its very early stages so might not be ready to become your full-time code editor just yet, but it's available on Windows, Mac, and Linux to try out right now. There's also a portable version that doesn't require a full installation if you just want to see where it's at. Find out more about Pulsar through its GitHub repository, and pour one out for the passing of Atom. It gave so much.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine