GitHub has announced it is “sunsetting,” aka killing off, its popular Atom text editor with a view to replacing it with Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VS Code).
GitHub first introduced Atom in 2014, with the app serving as the foundation of the Electron framework. The app quickly became popular among developers for its extensible nature and cross-platform design. GitHub was acquired by Microsoft in 2018, and the latter has been aggressively pushing its own VS Code. GitHub is now throwing its weight behind VS Code.
“When we formally introduced Atom in 2014, we set out to give developers a text editor that was deeply customizable but also easy to use—one that made it possible for more people to build software,” the company writes in a blog post. “While that goal of growing the software creator community remains, we’ve decided to retire Atom in order to further our commitment to bringing fast and reliable software development to the cloud via Microsoft Visual Studio Code and GitHub Codespaces.”
GitHub says, despite making the announcement now, it will not archive the project until December 15, 2022, in an effort to give developers time to make the switch.
Given Atom’s popularity, it’s a safe bet the project will be forked and live on in some form or another. Only time will tell if it ever achieves the popularity it once had.