Visual Studio Code Adds Java 12 Support, Java Code Actions and Features

A new extension pack for Microsoft's open source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor boosts Java functionality by adding support for the new Java 12 release, along with new Java code actions and language features.

The Java Extension Pack does all that via a bunch of extensions ranging from Red Hat's language support to Java Test Runner to Visual Studio's AI-assisted IntelliCode, along with several others.

Available on the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, the extension pack has been installed more than 1.7 million times as of this writing.

In the April update to the tool, announced May 1, the dev team announced support for Java 12, which debuted in March.

"Java is now updating with a faster pace and we're following closely," said Microsoft's Xiaokai He in a blog post. "Thanks to the upstream update from JDT [Eclipse Java development tools], you can build your project with Java 12 features now with VS Code as well."

Other new features include: functionality to ease the getting-started process; performance improvements; new code actions to resolve ambiguous imports, generate toString() and more; a tweak to enable the debugger to show the logical structure of lists and maps, instead of the physical layout of the collections, along with several others; and Maven updates including customized commands, showing dependencies in a tree view and more.

Performance improvements include:

  • Improved editing performance when dealing with large amount of source file opened in the editor
  • Optimize start up and load time with better server initialization and lazy downloading Java source

"As we try our best improving performance, it would still take some time when importing a big Java project to Visual Studio Code," Xiaokai He said. "In this case, it would be helpful to show more progress details and let you know what's actually happening behind the scene. Instead of just showing the percentage of progress, we now added detailed step information into the status, such as inspecting location, configuring project, updating Maven dependencies, refreshing workspace and build workspace to let you know the wait is meaningful."

Microsoft's Java in Visual Studio Code site says the tooling for the ever-popular programming language:

  • Is fast and lightweight, free, and open-source
  • Supports multiple, or all the programming language developers use
  • Helps start a Java journey without installing and learning a complex IDE
  • Provides great microservices support including popular framework, container tooling and cloud integration
  • Improves productivity through smartness and collaboration features

The full list of exetensions in the pack includes:

The Java Extension Pack is still in preview and so far has received an average 4.1 rating (scale to 5) from 15 developers who reviewed it.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.