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Improving startup time in Atom with V8 snapshots

Over the last months, the Atom team has been working hard on improving one of the aspects of the editor our users care about the most: startup time. We will first provide the reader with some background about why reducing startup time is a non-trivial task, then illustrate the optimizations we have shipped in Atom 1.17 (currently in beta) and, finally, describe what other improvements to expect in the future.

For a long time, we’ve been wanting to have more control over Atom’s startup code. In November of last year, as part of this effort, we created an in-depth issue that carefully described where time was spent when opening an Atom window. We realized that that many of the operations happening during startup were redundant and that we could use the information we knew at build-time to minimize their cost.

V8 snapshots

V8 snapshots allow Electron applications to execute some arbitrary JavaScript code


 

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