You don’t always need a colossal all-in-one IDE to start developing software. Like other options such as the versatile Notepad++ or the more recent Brackets from Adobe, there are lighter multipurpose tools out there to write code, among them Atom, an open-source, multilanguage text editor whose prime appeal is having the support of GitHub, one of the best communities of developers in existence, at its back. After several months in beta phase, the final version of the program can now be downloaded.

The first stable version of the tool comes with a lot of history at its back. According to its official blog, in a little more than a year it’s been downloaded 1.3 million times, with more than 350,000 monthly users, besides having published more than 2,000 user-created packages. It’s precisely this that is the greatest appeal of Atom: its modularity and capacity to extend its features thanks to the generous work of the enormous GitHub community.

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Atom stores what it needs, no more, no less. An editor that can detect the syntax of some 50 programming languages and offers autocomplete and highlights, multiwindow capability, folder management, version control (with the Git control system, obviously), and a powerful search tool. All this with the benefits of being able to customize the program as desired, modify the program’s behavior with scripts, add snippets, and install the aforementioned packages and visual themes.

Atom is free, open-source, and multiplatform, being available for Windows, Linux, and Mac and supporting cross-platform development for your programs. What started as a humble project by the founder of GitHub roundabout 2008 has ended up becoming a powerful tool that has finally reached the necessary maturity to be taken into account as an alternative to the biggest names out there. Check it out now!

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