Free Visual Studio Code Editor Hits 1.0

First previewed at last year's Build developer conference, the free Visual Studio Code editor has hit version 1.0 with the help of open source community developers, Microsoft announced today.

With its new open development processes, Microsoft received community support in evolving the coding tool in its one year of existence, aided by more than 1,000 extensions that have taken it beyond its original JavaScript/TypeScript Web dev roots. Some 2 million developers have installed the tool, which is used monthly by more than 500,000 coders, who can develop with programming platforms/languages such as Node.js, Go, C++, PHP, F#, Java, Python and many more, Microsoft said. In addition to Windows, it runs on Linux and Mac OS X.

"What started as an experiment to build a production quality editor using modern Web technologies has blossomed into a new kind of cross-platform development tool, one that focuses on core developer productivity by centering the product on rich code editing and debugging experiences," the company said in a blog post today. "Visual Studio Code brings the industry-leading experiences of Visual Studio to a streamlined development workflow, that can be a core part of the tool set of every developer, building any kind of application."

Highlights of the new release listed by Microsoft include:

  • Added 9 localized display languages.
  • Improved JavaScript support with new TypeScript language service, codename "Salsa."
  • Simplified jsconfig.json and tasks.json file creation.
  • Support adding new file extensions to existing languages.
  • Implemented editor column text selection.

Other improvements were made to the JavaScript documentation, workbench, debugging and setup, along with several bug fixes.

A React Native Tutorial in Visual Studio Code 1.0
[Click on image for larger view.] A React Native Tutorial in Visual Studio Code 1.0 (source: David Ramel)

"While we're excited about releasing 1.0 today, we are even more excited about the future," the VS Code team said. "Of course, we will continue to focus on the fundamentals. Performance, stability, accessibility, and compatibility are of utmost importance to our users, and they are to us as well. We will continue to invest in improving developer productivity, guided by the great user feedback on UserVoice. We will continue to work with partners and the community to expand support for new languages, and platforms, and experiences. And we will continue to work with you, our community, to build a great tool for you, and for every developer."

On that UserVoice site, the No. 1 feature request is "Implement Tabs" across the top of the bar, like the Sublime Text editor, with nearly 6,900 votes. Another top item "under review" is an integrated terminal. Other features, like Vim-style keybindings, PHP IntelliSense, Unity integration and C++ code completion and debugging, are at least partly met with extensions, Microsoft indicated.

Visual Studio Code 1.0 can be downloaded, or, if you have the preview installed, just click Alt (on Windows) to bring up the command bar, click Help and select "Check for Updates... ." The update just takes a few minutes, and the tool will also conveniently notify you if your Git is out of date.

You can read more about the new release in our sister publication, Visual Studio Magazine.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.