Back in January, we took a precursory look at the in-development, cross-platform Xi code editor that then-Googler Raph Levien was building and how it related to Google’s Fuchsia OS. Levien has since left his position at Google and gave an update yesterday on how that will affect Xi’s development going forward.

Xi Creator Raph Levien announced his departure from Google at the end of August to pursue personal ambitions, leaving Xi’s future, including its place in Fuchsia OS, a giant mystery. Yesterday, Levien provided some of the much needed answers in a post to his personal blog.

Where they had previously been hosted on Google’s GitHub organization, Xi’s core and its Windows and Mac client projects are now under their own “xi-editor” organization, demonstrating the change in ownership from Google to community-owned.

While Xi was already an open-source project and open to community contributions, Google-controlled projects generally require contributors to sign what’s called a Contributor License Agreement, which gives Google permission to use and distribute your code without taking away your ownership of it. Some individuals are opposed to signing such an agreement with Google, or are unable to due to other legal obligations.

For the time being, the Xi project will continue to have a relationship with Google, as Googler Colin Rothfels is taking over management of the project. For his part, Rothfels appears to be steadfast in continuing the development of its Fuchsia client, with commits as recent as last Thursday.

While it’s exclusively intended to be a high-performance code editor on most platforms, Xi is currently poised to be Fuchsia’s primary text editor, even for tasks like email composition. That being the case, we’ll continue to keep an eye on Xi’s development going forward.


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