Just ten weeks after the project was first announced as a private beta, Github has released Atom, its programming text editor, as open source and free for anyone to use.
Writing on the Github blog, the developers said:
After ten weeks in public beta, the community has already published 800 packages that extend its capabilities.
The importance of Atom being desktop rather than a browser-hosted web app is that browser based web apps are so tightly controlled from a security point of view that simple things like accessing the file system aren’t allowed.
As the Atom blog put it when the beta was announced,
"...More importantly, the browser severely restricts access to the local system for security reasons, and for us, a text editor that couldn't write files or run local subprocesses was a non-starter."
Although Atom is now out of beta, it is still considered a pre-1.0 release according to the blog post, which added that Github would welcome development help and input from the community on project goals including improving the editor's performance and stabilizing its APIs.
The current version of the editor is only for OS X, but the developers are working on support for other platforms, with Linux and Windows versions expected in a few months. It can be downloaded from the project's homepage.