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Hacking on atom-typescript

This project is developed in TypeScript. TypeScript isn't directly supported by Atom, so it requires transpilation into JavaScript. Atom packages are just git tags, so transpiled sources have to be included into version control.

Consequently, please avoid editing files in dist/ directly, since those are generated and your changes will be gone after the next build.

Also see the Atom contributing guide

Getting started

Is rather simple. Here are some steps to get you running:

  1. Fork the repository (the button in top right corner of GitHub page)

  2. Clone your fork

    • With SSH: git clone


    • With HTTPS: git clone

    Either of these commands will create a working copy of the repository in atom-typescript directory.

    All further commands in this list are assumed to be run from root of the working copy (i.e. atom-typescript directory, the one containing package.json)

  3. Create a new branch! git checkout -b my-awesome-contribution. Please use a meaningful name for your branch.

  4. Install dependencies with apm install.

    Install development dependencies with npm install --only=dev.

    Optionally apm link if you want to test your changes in Atom. Be careful if you're using atom-typescript to hack on atom-typescript though! You'd be hacking on the software using the same software you're currently hacking on, which sounds somewhat convoluted because it is. See section on workflow below for some tips.

  5. Hack on it!

  6. Prettify the code by running npm run prettier

  7. Transpile to JavaScript by running npm run build

  8. Run static checks with npm run test (this will run typechecker and linter, and check if formatting is OK)

  9. Run dynamic test-suite with apm test (at the moment, it's rather anemic and only checks if package loads at all)

  10. Commit your changes. Don't forget to commit transpiled source in dist/. Write a meaningful description for your commit! Push often! Repeat steps 4-9 until satisfied.

  11. Create a pull request.

Note: feel free to create pull requests at any stage of the process. Earlier is usually better. For one, creating PRs early is a good way of letting people know you're working on something, which helps avoid effort duplication. Also it will allow maintainers to chime in early and help you avoid pitfalls and common mistakes.


Whenever you pull in latest changes, you should run npm install. Whenever we update to latest TypeScript we need to recompile all our js to make sure everybody gets the same code.


You need to have git. Note on windows long file paths can be an issue so run:

git config --system core.longpaths true

And use Shift+Delete to delete files if simple delete doesn't work.



  • If you have only fixed bugs in a backward-compatible way (or consider your changes very minimal), run apm publish patch.
  • If you have implemented new functionality, run apm publish minor. (A TypeScript update should at least be minor).
  • For breaking changes run apm publish major. These must be justified with a reason documented in

Additional Notes:

  • The apm command does a lot for you that you shouldn't do manually. It automatically updates the package.json + creates a git tag + pushes to git + pushes to apm.
  • On windows : storing your github password using git config --global credential.helper wincred helps smooth out the apm publish <type> experience.


We develop atom-typescript with atom-typescript

Some shortcuts:

  • ctrl+alt+i or ctrl+shift+i (View → Developer → Toggle Developer Tools... menu item) will open the dev tools. These are the same Chrome dev tools you may be familiar with. Feel free to inspect elements. This will come handy when doing UI or even seeing why a particular code element is highlighted in some way.
  • ctrl+alt+r or ctrl+shift+f5 (window:reload command) will reload the entire atom instance.

General Steps

  1. We open atom-typescript source in one Atom window
  2. We have atom-typescript-examples open in another atom window as such: atom --dev <examplesFolder>
  3. We make changes to atom-typescript and save to get the JS (optionally run typescript:build command to rebuild everything)
  4. We typecheck whole project with typescript:check-all-files command to see if our changes accidentally broke anything.
  5. We reload the atom-typescript-examples (ctrl+alt+r or ctrl+shift+f5) window to see the effects of our change.
  6. Only reload the atom-typescript window once we are sure that our new code is functional.

When you break atom-typescript during development

This shouldn't happen as long as you start the atom-typescript window without the --dev flag, and do testing in another atom instance. If you reload the atom-typescript window thinking its going to be stable but it turns out to be unstable, discard JavaScript changes that you think broke it and reload the atom instance.

For example, this will revert to last commit:

git checkout dist

And if you need to go back to master branch:

git checkout origin/master -- dist

Language Service Documentation

The TypeScript Language service docs:

The tsserver protocol definitions

Showing errors in atom

Done using Linter V2 Indie API.