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Hackable to the core

Pre-release for text editor Atom 1.0 out now

Natali Vlatko
GitHub image via Shutterstock

GitHub’s text editor Atom is currently available via pre-release at version 1.0, however the API is considered stable. We take a quick look at the editor’s main features.

As a hackable text and source code editor from GitHub, offering support for plugins written in Node.js, Atom version 1.0 has been made available via pre-release and has been stabilised to ensure that no breaking changes will occur (unless, of course, there’s a serious bug).

While there are a lot of text editors out there, the push behind the creation of Atom was to build a tool using web technologies. Atom is built on top of Google’s open source browser project Chromium, and it uses various web standards to configure and extend.

Atom’s to-do list

During pre-release, there will be some small issues for the Atom team to resolve, as well as the need to improve performance. For developers who have written packages based on the older version of the API, a transition guide has been established to make sure they don’t miss the changes.

Atom’s credentials appear quite impressive, with cross-platform support and ready-to-use features including code folding, multiple panes and a fast project-wide search and replace function. Thanks to Node.js integration, users are allowed to freely mix usage of Node and browser APIs.

Nathan Sobo of GitHub gave some insight into the changes that this pre-release offers, as well as what we can expect from the next major release:

2.0 will likely focus on solidifying Atom’s style guide and more tightly codifying the DOM as an official part of our API. Until then, we’ll avoid additional disruptions to DOM structure as far as styling is concerned. As a rule, programmatic DOM manipulation should not be considered part of the stable API at this time.

It seems the Atom team is finally happy with the quality of the API. More about the pre-release changes can be found at the latest documentation pages on the Atom website.

Author
Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for JAXenter.com (S&S Media Group).