2 min read

Raph Levien, an ex-software engineer at Google’s Fuchsia project, announced yesterday that Fuchsia’s Xi editor is no longer a Google-owned project. It is now being hosted in its own GitHub organization.

Xi editor was a Google project to create a performant text editor. All editing operations are asynchronous, so the UI is responsive even when editing huge documents. It is used as the basis for text editing services in the Fuchsia operating system.

Raph had started working on the Xi editor at his time in Google, where he had been working for 11 years. The Xi editor is thoroughly async with a loosely coupled design which promises performance and rich extensibility. It’s main aim as stated in the project’s abstract is to “push the state of computer science for text handling and build an open-source community for teaching and learning, and working together to create a joyful editing experience.”

After his departure from Google in August, he gave an update yesterday on how that will affect Xi’s development going forward. Per his blog, Xi’s core and its Windows and Mac client projects are now under their own xi-editor organization. They had previously been hosted on Google’s GitHub organization where it was a part of Google’s Contributor License Agreement. As per this agreement, Google can use and distribute a developer’s code without taking away its ownership.

The new Xi editor project, licensed under the Apache 2 license, also has a new set of contributor guidelines, which explains in more detail what their process will be going forward.

Raph stated in his blog, that since he will be busy with creating a music synthesis game, he is inviting contributors to “help share the load, reviewing each other’s code, discussing desired features and implementation strategies for them, and then assigning issues to me when they need my review.” He further adds, “I’m hopeful this will grow a scalable and sustainable structure for the community.

Regarding the state of the Fuchsia front-end, he mentions that it’s still early days for Fuchsia and the platform is not really ready for end-user software or self-hosted development. “ I’m hopeful it will get there in time and feel that xi-editor will be a great fit for it at that time. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Fuchsia team and others within Google.

Read Raph’s announcement on his blog.

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