First Look At Visual Studio Code

Monday, 20 July 2015
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Tools
  • Visual Studio

Check out the video preview I made of the new Visual Studio Code. I published the video back at the first of June, so there have been a couple of updates since then.

Overall I really like this editor.

I'm very happy to see Microsoft releasing quality software that works on Mac and Linux!

It is still an alpha product to be sure, but it shows great promise.

In my opinion the steps Microsoft needs to take to make this a success are:

  1. Open source it
  2. Make creating plug-ins easy
  3. Encourage community contributions

I'm quite surprised they didn't release it as an open source project from the get-go.

The list of projects and products Microsoft is releasing as open source is growing. To me Code is a natural. The fact that it is almost all JavaScript means that the code isn't hidden, so it's not like they are keeping something secret.

A programmer's text editor lives or dies by its community and their contributions. No one company, not even Microsoft, can add in all the esoteric little features that make a text editor great. Those have to come from motivated users hacking on the tool they love.

Microsoft have provided a great base that could grow into fantastic ecosystem if they nurture it properly.

Code is a combination of four things:

  1. GitHub's Electron
  2. Chrome's Chromium (open source bits of Chrome)
  3. Microsoft's JavaScript based Monaco code editor
  4. Node.js

Electron is a cool technology that consists of Mac, Windows and Linux native wrappers around a web component. Essentially web apps in a shell.

If you like cheesy tech jokes, the name Electron was chosen because it is the shell around GitHub's Atom processor. Atom. Electron. Shell. sigh.

Check out my video, and check out Microsoft's Code.

I need to make a video about Atom as well. It is similar, but much more complete at this point with a rich ecosystem of plug-ins. In other words, check Atom out as well.