Pulsar, the hackable text editor that was born after the death of Atom

Publisher Pulsar, successor to Atom

When I started writing code (the simplest, just HTML) and realized that it could be more efficient, the first serious text editor I tried was Atom. I liked it, but the support and performance made me switch to Visual Studio Code soon after. Time proved me right, since GitHub, owned by Microsoft, decided to turn his back on the editor he started to focus on VSCode. But hey, in general I am someone who does not like changes, and those who enjoyed Atom should know that he is going to continue, but with another name: Press.

El name is not random, or not completely. What GitHub developed had the name of "atom", from the RAE "Particle indivisible by chemical methods, formed by a nucleus surrounded by electrons«. On the other hand, according to the definition in Wikipedia, a pulsar is “a neutron star that spins very fast and is highly magnetized«. In both cases, names that are given in science have been used, even though an atom is much smaller than a pulsar.

Pulsar is compatible with Atom extensions

Since last December 15, Atom has moved to a read-only repository, meaning the code is available, but changes can no longer be delivered. Since before that hackable editor passed away, some of its developers formed a team to work on something they called Atom Community, which was a clear statement of intent: not to allow the "atom" to vanish completely.

Thus, the end of the Atom story left "a post-credits scene", and the public only had to wait for the announcement of the continuation of the work. That continuation changed its title and, in the end, the name chosen has been that of Pulsar. The intention will not be that Pulsar is just an Atom with extended support; What the new team of developers is looking for is also to evolve, that is, to keep adding features for the hackable editor to regain at least some lost ground.

What is the new “hackable editor” like today?

I know that Atom/Pulsar is not the only publisher with this feature, but they are the ones that add it to their presentation or tagline. According to what they tell us, it is in its early stages, but a beta is already available (whatever they tested internally would be called alpha, something that, in fact, must be so by definition). It's cross-platform, and automatic updates don't work right now.

When it comes to packages, one of the first and biggest tasks for the Pulsar team has been to replace Atom.io's closed package repository with their own, so that users can continue to download from a very large ecosystem. The search and download of packages from the repository is, they say, fully functional, but other functions to maintain packages are not.

Design subject to change

Personally, I think the logo will stay the same forever, but there's a lot that can change. For example, there are general inconsistencies that need to be polished. Among them the logo is mentioned, so anything can end up being different when the stable version is released. The inconsistencies are understood when you visit their web page, when you enter and see that the background color is something like a dark bluish gray, the main color (text) is another light gray but on the buttons you see a green that doesn't quite fit. The news information does not quite fit either.

As for the editor itself, it reminds me a lot of the Atom that I tried, but the truth is that that was a long time ago and memory could be playing tricks on me. In the little that I have tried, I have not found the way to put it in Spanish.

Interested users can read more about Pulsar on their GitHub page or in official website. As a matter of fact, there is an AppImage for Linux users.

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  1.   louis said

    Interesting, should be followed up