Introducing Portable Packages

In the past, I’ve come across posts, where the possibility of portable packages has been discussed. Today, I would like to introduce the first version of a package that both, creates and installs, portable packages. The concept of having portable packages is known from Visual Studio Code’s (see .vsix files).

To create a portable package, simply run the Portable Package: Create command. This will prompt for the package name and create a zip of that package. Optionally, files can be excluded by providing a .atomignore file. To install the same file on another machine, simply drag it onto Atom or run atom my-package.atom-package.

It’s an early version with not much error handling. Portable packages will be overwritten without a prompt, the same goes for extracting a portable package.

I would have loved to use Electron’s own asar format (Atom Shell Archive), but the experience hasn’t been great. However, I guess using Zip makes the format more accessible and it’s easier to use other tools.

Since I don’t use portable Atom or portable packages myself, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions.