Atom's application shell - open source?


Hi Atoms!

Just wanted to know if you are planning to open the application shell source, particularly the chrome/cef + node integration.
For our Substance.Composer (see we could benefit greatly from your implementation.
It would be great if you could at least share your experience regarding these bits with us?


Oliver (Team Substance)


If you listen to the first 15 minutes or so of the linked podcast, the hosts talk a bit about Atom and Github’s plans to make Atom’s application shell available to other people. Not sure if open source was mentioned, been a while since I’ve listened to the podcast. They’ve got their information from a Githubber they know, so it’s probably not an official statement but the next best thing.


Thanks for the link.

Then we have to continue the cef/node wedding on our own.
Contrarily, we are going to make it open source. If you are interested you can subscribe to!forum/substance_
I will post the next days when the first steps are done.



Hi Oliver,

You may want to check out the node-webkit project which is similar in concept.

I have been using node-webkit to build a frontend for a multiplayer game concept. The backend is wholly implemented in node.js, so keeping the entire project largely in the ES/JS realm was desirable to me. I also appreciated the idea that I could take some/most/all of the effort and put it toward a game or client that lives wholly in the browser (mostly for a demo experience, or some single-player venture.)

Another Oliver


Thanks Oliver!

I will try this instantly.




Let me wrap-up with a last summary: node-webkit seems to be a solid implementation and its chromium is of the current stable version. I had overlooked this project as I was looking for a native library – and essentially it isn’t.

This one comes with an interpreter, a node derivate, that can spawn windows with webkits and you can configure many things such as menus a.s.f.
The node integration is very tight – exactly what I was looking for – i.e. node and webkit share the same v8.
(In contrast, Adobe’s brackets shell uses a node in an extra process communicating over websockets)

In the future, I will try to contribute a way to use node-webkit as a library to better integrate it with native applications.