Atom (text editor)

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Atom icon.png
Atom editor with an open project
Developer(s) GitHub Inc.
Initial release February 26, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-02-26)[1]
Stable release
1.14.3[2] / February 17, 2017; 4 days ago (2017-02-17)
Development status Active
Written in Electron (CoffeeScript / JavaScript / Less / HTML)
Operating system macOS 10.8 or later, Microsoft Windows 7 and Later, Red Hat Linux and Ubuntu Linux [3]
Size ~113 MB
Type Source code editor
License MIT License (free software)

Atom is a free and open-source[4][5] text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows[6] with support for plug-ins written in Node.js, and embedded Git Control, developed by GitHub. Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies.[7] Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained.[8] Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell),[9] a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.[10][11] It is written in CoffeeScript and Less.[12] It can also be used as an integrated development environment (IDE).[13][14][15] Atom was released from beta, as version 1.0, on June 25, 2015.[16] Its developers call it a "hackable text editor for the 21st Century".[17]

Language support[edit]

Using the default plugins, the following languages are supported in some aspect as of v1.5.1: HTML, CSS, Less, Sass, GitHub Flavored Markdown, C/C++, C#, Go, Java, Objective-C, JavaScript, JSON, CoffeeScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, shell script, Clojure, Perl, Git, Make, Property List (Apple), TOML, XML, YAML, Mustache, Julia & SQL.


Initially, extension packages for Atom and anything not part of Atom's core were released under an open-source license. On 6 May 2014, the rest of Atom, including the core application, its package manager, as well as its desktop framework Electron, were released as free and open-source software under the MIT License.[18]


There was initially concern and discussion about two opt-out packages that report various data to external servers.[19][20][21][22][23] However, those packages are now opt-in with a verbose dialog at the first initial launch:[24]

  • Metrics package: Reports usage information to Google Analytics. By default, Atom reports usage information to Google Analytics, including a unique UUID v4 random identifier.[25] According to the authors, this is to determine the performance and know the most-used functions.[26] This feature can be disabled by the user by opening the Settings View, searching for the metrics package, and disabling it.[25]
  • Exception-reporting package: Reports uncaught Atom exceptions to[27] This feature can be disabled and, unlike the metrics package, it is not mentioned to the user after installing. Another concern is that "the description of exactly what data is being collected is very lacking."[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Introducing Atom". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Atom Releases". Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Henry, Alan (May 8, 2014). "Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Goes Free and Open-Source". Lifehacker. 
  5. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (May 6, 2014). "GitHub Open Sources Its Atom Text Editor". TechCrunch. 
  6. ^ "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Getting Started : Why Atom". Atom project. Retrieved 17 August 2015. [...] we didn’t build Atom as a traditional web application. Instead, Atom is a specialized variant of Chromium designed to be a text editor rather than a web browser. Every Atom window is essentially a locally-rendered web page. 
  8. ^ "Atom Packages". 
  9. ^ "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Atom GitHub Page". Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Electron GitHub Page". Retrieved February 14, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Hacking Atom : Tools of the Trade". Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Nuclide". Nuclide. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  14. ^ "Juno, the Interactive Development Environment". Juno. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  15. ^ "PlatformIO IDE: The next-generation integrated development environment for IoT". PlatformIO. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  16. ^ Ogle, Ben (June 25, 2015). "Atom 1.0". Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Atom Is Now Open Source". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "Have metrics disabled by default, or completely removed". Github. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Collecting Metrics in Atom Core". Atom. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Communicate plan on how to modify metrics to be opt-in now that 1.0 is released". Github Atom. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  22. ^ "should be disableable during install". Atom. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Should be disabled by default". Atom. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Send telemetry only with consent by damieng · Pull Request #66 · atom/metrics". 
  25. ^ a b "atom/metrics: A package to collect metrics". Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  27. ^ "exception-reporting". Atom. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 

External links[edit]