Microsoft launches VSCode.Dev, Visual Studio Code in the browser

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Microsoft has spear the Cloud version of its Visual Studio code editor via the vscode.dev domain, which offers a light version of the editor that can be run directly from the browser without installation.

While not up to par with its desktop counterpart, Visual Studio Code for the web offers a lot of features, including editing local files on browsers that support the. File System Access API, syntax coloring, text-based completions, syntax highlighting and errors, etc. The actual availability of these features, however, depends on the particular language, as they must run entirely in the browser.

In particular, Microsoft maintains, edits, browses, and browses source files is generally good for most programming languages, including Go, Rust, C / C ++, PHP, and Java. This includes support for code syntax colorization, text-based completions, and hook pair colorization. TypeScript, JavaScript, and Python instead use a new native implementation of the Language Services Browser that also supports single file completions, semantic highlighting, and syntax errors.

The power of Visual Studio Code for the desktop comes from a plethora of extensions that add new features and functionality to the editor and allow many developers to be more productive and customize their workflows. As is understandable, not all Visual Studio Code extensions that can be used on the desktop are compatible with the web version.

When VS Code is used on the web, the installed extensions are executed in an extension host in the browser, called a “web extension host”. An extension that can run in a web extension host is called a “web extension”.

Although extensions use the same VS Code API, they cannot use the Node.js API or load modules. According to Microsoft, most UI customization extensions work, but extensions that require operating system-specific npm modules or run local executables cannot.

Microsoft provides detailed steps to migrate extensions, including JavaScript code to the new web extension architecture. The work Microsoft has done to bring the language server protocol to VS Code Web can be taken as a reference for the process including an executable sample. Other complex extensions that have been ported to VS Code Web are the Luna painting image editor and GitHub Problem Logs.

VS Code Web comes with a number of extensions that will allow you to work with GitHub, for example, to make quick edits, revise PRs, and quickly switch to a local clone or GitHub code space if you need to. more power.

VS Code for the Web looks like github.dev, GitHub’s browser-based code editor that is directly accessible from any GitHub repository or pull request. The main difference between the two solutions, both being based on VS code, is the further integration of github.dev in GitHub, while VS Code Web aims to work with multiple repository hosting services including GitHub and Azure Repos and with the ability to support more through extensions.

It should also be noted that VS Code Web differs profoundly from GitHub code spaces, although the latter is also based on VS Code, in that it provides a complete environment that allows you to install plugins and run build scripts, GitHub actions, etc. Additionally, code spaces are still limited to team or corporate users for now. If you want to explore an alternative solution to have a cloud-based portable development environment, you can consult gitpod.io or Eclipse Che.

The developers of Hacker News positively received VS Code’s announcement for the Web, praising its reactivity and the ability to seamlessly and effortlessly move your development environment from one device to another and find it in the exactly the same condition where you left off. Many developers have also hinted at the new convenience of using an iPad or Android tablets for development tasks, including offline, or for education. A useful hint in this regard is to create an app shortcut so that you can launch directly into the editor from your launcher screen, which will remove browser chrome and make the editor correctly handle check keystrokes. On the negative side of the comments, some developers have expressed concerns that VS Code Web is partially closed, with the risk of lock up in a development environment that could change its license or pricing at any time.

Visual Studio Code for the web performs at its best on modern browsers, including Chrome and Edge. In particular, Safari’s limitations make it unable to support the use of local files.


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