A couple of years ago, GitHub decided to open source a new editor, named Atom, into the world. This editor was built on front-end technologies, was extensible and “hackable to the core”. A cool idea, to be sure. At Atom’s core was something literally called ‘Atom Core’. This was, basically, an API for interacting with core desktop operating systems. When it started, it was pretty sparse—only offering APIs that made sense for Atom. But, people began using Atom Core for other reasons—Slack built their Windows and Linux applications with it, Microsoft used it to build Visual Editor Studio—and GitHub saw the use in extracting out the foundation and renaming it to something more generic.
Most recently in May of 2016, Electron reached 1.0. In that time, people have pushed out cool projects such as hyperterm: an extensible terminal, mojibar: a searchable reference for emoji, among other things. As a matter of fact, this post was written in Simplenote, an electron note taking app that features tags, markdown preview, and syncing across devices!