Pulsar text editor (an Atom fork to keep it alive)

Not sure how many people know (or care :wink: ) but the Atom text editor was sunset yesterday by GitHub which means the entire website was brought down and the package backend with it.

Some may have noticed I've not been as active recently here and part of that is that somehow I got unwittingly dragged into the project team for Pulsar and we have been hard at work getting everything ready for the day that Atom was sunset.

This meant rebranding the editor, bumping node and electron versions, setting up social channels, a new backend reverse-engineered from the closed-source backed at atom.io so all the old packages could be kept, a website with the original as well as updated documentation, download pages and blog etc. etc.

Thankfully things should calm down a little now the race against time is no longer on.

Yesterday we had our first tagged release to "celebrate" GitHub killing off Atom. The blog post with the announcement and all the changes made is here: Our First Release! |.

I'm not necessarily advocating that anyone should actively move over to using Pulsar, there is still a lot that needs to be done on it, but it is stable and if anyone is currently reliant on their Atom setup and doesn't fancy migrating to another editor then this could well be a decent option.

Next up will be future electron bumps with a goal to get it to 19 which experiments show that it might improve the performance considerably (not that it is slow by any means). The ongoing goal is to really double down on its "hackability" as its USP.

If you want to have a look at what has been going on then you can see the pulsar-edit.dev website and GitHub repo.

If nothing else the effort here is a great example of what the open-source community is capable of, a big company kills of an entire project that many people rely on and because it is open source the community has managed to pick it up and continue it.

We even got a couple of features on some FOSS websites/videos if anyone wants to see.
DistroTube video
It's FOSS article


Hi Daeraxa,

great work !
Didn't know about a sunset of my favorite code-editor.

That's the power of OpenSource: People can not only verify what's going on, where our data goes and so on, but also can rescue / keep alive a whole big project.

Thank You and Your team so much.

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I wonder if others consider this a near-miss, as in, an asteroid hitting the earth? I knew atom was open source, but I didn't realize that there is an extensive back-end that is closed source. Fortunately we have volunteers who are willing and capable of taking on this extra work.

Thanks to you brave folk who clone repos, build, test, and improve FOSS software.

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Same with VS Code. The libre open source version VS Codium will therefore always be stuck having to reimplement things that Microsoft provide for free (but proprietary) in their closed source version :slightly_frowning_face:

I personally didn't want to touch either VS Code or Atom because of their ties to Microsoft. Maybe now I should check the new Atom fork...