GitHub Partners with Facebook to Release Atom-IDE

GitHub announced the launch of Atom-IDE this week, a new set of packages that extend its open source JavaScript-powered code editor to include IDE-like functionality. This first release includes packages that support TypeScript, Flow, JavaScript, Java, C#, and PHP.

“The start of this journey includes smarter context-aware auto-completion as well as a host of code navigation features such as an outline view, go to definition, find all references as well as other useful functions such as hover-to-reveal information, errors and warnings (diagnostics) and document formatting,” Atom engineer Damien Guard said.

Atom, which was open sourced in 2014, is relatively new to the world of text editors, but its directory lists more than 6,700 packages to extend its functionality. WordPress developers have created more than a dozen packages that support actions and filters, WP-CLI commands, documentation, and snippets for third-party plugins.

Those who have adopted Atom appreciate its extendability, but the most common complaint from the Atom community is that the code editor is noticeably slower than many others. This has been a frequent topic of discussion for several years and its creators admit that performance isn’t one of its strongest features. However, sometimes extreme performance issues can be caused by a package that a user has installed.

Atom partnered with Facebook’s Nuclide project developers to develop the new Atom IDE UI package that uses Atom’s atom-languageclient library in displaying features supported by the language server protocol. Users who want to get started with Atom-IDE will need to install the Atom IDE UI package as well as an IDE language support package (i.e. ide-php).

Using Atom-IDE currently requires Atom Beta 1.21+. In the future the team plans to add support for more languages, which will most likely happen through outside package contributions.

“With the help of our community, we plan to expand the number of languages that Atom-IDE can support and make it possible for you to run and edit applications, making Atom-IDE a true IDE,” Damien Guard said. “We hope to see future language support for the great languages out there including Rust, Go, Python, etc.”


  1. Nice! Thanks for reporting on this.

    As an existing user of Atom, the optional IDE-PHP plugin will make the ATOM core better. Even the atom-ide-ui plugin package is separate. Those that don’t want a more IDE like experience can just ignore these offerings. Seems like a very accommodating way of pushing these new changes.

    I’m gonna check it out even while in beta and hopefully it’s not an alpha labeled as a beta. Lol.


  2. That’s awesome news! I started using Atom last year and I have it installed on all my computers now (home, work, portable) and I synchronise all accounts and packages among them, a feature I couldn’t find with other IDEs.

    1.21 should be available next week, so I’ll wait for the stable version before jumping in.


  3. Just switched over from Atom to PHPStorm. Don’t get me wrong, Atom has been a great solution for me for 2 years, but PHPStorm is just more of a ‘complete package’. It’s always good to see competition though.


  4. One hopes they have increased its performance. One of the reasons I ditched Atom was because it was incredibly slow.


  5. I ditched atom a few weeks ago after enduring incredibly slow performance for months. I’m now happily using vs code with no regrets whatsoever.


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