GitHub has revealed that its free and open-source text and source code editor Atom is biting the dust.
In a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the news, the company said it decided to sunset Atom on December 15, 2022, after which both the Atom repository and all other repositories will be archived.
Atom, which was first introduced more than a decade ago, was designed to be “deeply customizable, but also easy to use”, GitHub said, adding that while reliability, security, and performance remain core to GitHub, the best way to serve the community is to archive Atom and “prioritize technologies that enable the future of software development.”
And those technologies, it would seem, are Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VS Code), and GitHub’s cloud-based development platform Codespaces. These are the two solutions GitHub will set its sights on, going forward.
Overrun by VS Code
The decision is somewhat ironic, given that VS Code launched four years after Atom, as something of a competing product. When Microsoft acquired GitHub in 2018 and became the defacto owner of both products, the competition became counterproductive. It ended with the obvious victory of VS Code, as Stack Overflow found last year that it was used by 71% of developers, as opposed to 13% for Atom.
“This is a tough goodbye,” the blog further reads, reminding readers that Atom served as the foundation for the Electron framework, resulting in the creation of “thousands of apps”. Among those, curiously enough, was Microsoft Visual Studio Code, but also Slack, and GitHub Desktop.
It was also said that Atom “hasn’t seen significant feature development beyond maintenance and security” for the past several months.
But some reports have claimed that Atom may still continue its journey, as even after being archived, the service it will be available to developers, with one of the project’s core contributors, Max Brunsfeld, apparently soon set to launch Zed, something of a spiritual successor to the project.