GitHub Atom 1.09 picks up speed, drops API

Version 1.09 gains speed, but loses the GitRepositoryAsync API; the beta of version 1.10 upgrades the Atom Package Manager

GitHub Atom 1.9 picks up speed, drops API

It's two steps forward, one step back for GitHub's Atom editor.

GitHub is moving ahead with the text editor, releasing a speedier upgrade, version 1.09, this week and revealing intentions for the follow-up edition, now in a beta stage. But the company nixed the GitRepositoryAsync API for interaction with Git repositories and apologized to package authors about the deletion.

"Earlier this year, we added an experimental async API for interacting with Git repositories based on libgit2 called GitRepositoryAsync," GitHub's Nathan Sobo said. "Unfortunately, our bindings in libgit were causing Atom's helper process to become unstable, leading to hard crashes." The API was never officially public, but package authors were using it anyway based on examples in bundled packages. "We apologize to any package authors who may have switched to these new APIs," said Sobo, "but we've been forced to back out the async APIs."

Based on Google's Chromium project and the Node.js engine, Atom is a "hackable" text editor for cross-platform editing, file system browsing, and autocompletion for coding. Atom 1.09 features enhanced reliability for saving files, to minimize risk of losing files during a crash, as well as a shell commands compatibility on Windows. Version 1.09's Display Layers improve speed and feature freeform folds, via the Fold Selection command, and an improved soft-wrapping algorithm.

The beta release of Atom 1.10 focuses on performance and stability and an upgrade of Atom Package Manager (APM), to make installation and development smoother. "We've worked through some challenges with our internal builds that were holding back a much-needed upgrade to APM," Sobo said. "The new version ships with Node 4.4.5 and NPM 3.10.5, and solves a variety of issues that occurred when installing Atom packages," Sobo said. For example, packages depending on native modules install more reliably, and packages installed behind proxy servers should work now, he said.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform