GitHub discontinues Atom in favor of Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Codespaces
Microsoft can’t go too long without pulling the plug on a project, can it, but this latest one has at least been coming. The popular code editor, Atom, built by the now Microsoft-owned GitHub is being retired. Why? Because Visual Studio Code exists, of course.
“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. 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.”
Atom was at one time one of the most popular code editors around. It also served as the base for the Electron framework, for better or worse, which in turn helped give birth to its eventual successor. Visual Studio Code is now the top dog and you could probably see the end for Atom as soon as Microsoft acquired GitHub.
So, what happens now? GitHub is giving six months’ notice of Atom being discontinued to allow its users sufficient time to build their workflows elsewhere. On December 15, 2022, all Atom repositories will be archived. So it’s not the end just yet, but it’s close. In the time leading up to this date, GitHub will push reminders of the impending doom of its text editor just so you don’t forget.
So, what’s next? The logical (and Microsoft-expected) move is that folks will simply move over to Visual Studio Code. As with Atom, it’s completely cross-platform and open-source, and there are versions out there without the Microsoft telemetry if that’s the part that puts you off. Atom can of course be forked before its demise, but whether anyone can keep it alive for the long term is a mystery. Alternatively, Jetbrains Fleet looks pretty interesting, albeit as yet not publicly available.