Visual Studio Code varies-with-device

Free software for code editing that is compatible with several operating systems

  • Category:

    General

  • Works under:

    Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7

  • Also available for:

    Mac

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    5.0 (10)

Visual Studio Code is Microsoft's proprietary source code editor, and it manages to feature an impressive amount of tools that should cover practically anything a programmer could need. Built off the fundamentals of the reliable and well regarded Electron, Visual Studio Code has rapidly become one of the most popular development environment tools, with over a third of respondents in 2018 claiming to use it for their source code programming.

This is a Microsoft product, and the attention to care they put into all of their software packages really shines through here. Dozens of languages come supported, and they run the full gamut of style. Seasoned old veterans like C and C++ sit alongside markup languages like HTML and popular up-and-comers like Python. The range here covers most of the popular languages around as well as some more esoteric ones, but the features available for each vary slightly according to language. Depending on the language, Visual Studio Code may allow for snippets, code bracing, syntax highlighting, and code folding. In instances where these features aren't supported, it's often because they don't make sense for the language in question, but it's a bit disheartening to see inconsistencies like these across the different languages supported.

One of the biggest aces up Microsoft's sleeve with this platform is IntelliSense. Visual Studio Code is far from the first code editor to offer auto-completion, but no editors have tried anything on the sale of hat Visual Studio Code is doing now. IntelliSense takes a number of factors into account that include variable types and the modules and libraries that have actually been imported to provide you with a smarter approach to auto-completion. Equally as smart is Microsoft's approach to debugging. It's a task that's regularly regarded as one of the most tedious in coding, but Visual Studio Code at least makes debugging your scripts a little more manageable. Code can be debugged straight from the editor so you don't have to jump into the command line interface and run each test independently from scratch. Smooth integration with GitHub makes it easier to both share your code with others and find code that can help you improve your scripts and remove unnecessary legwork in the process. Visual Studio Code can make commits without having to leave the editor, and it can pull and push from any SCM service.

Rounding out the features in Visual Studio Code is the massive support for extensions. No modern text editor would be worth its salt without the ability to be expanded and customized, as a modular structure has become one of the key selling points of these programs. Microsoft's influence and reach means that they've managed to create a pretty extensive library of supported extensions. They also run completely separately from your editor to keep them from slowing things down.

Pros:

  • A remarkably polished source code editor that comes with the backing of the Microsoft brand
  • Some of the most advanced auto-completion functions you'll find

Cons:

  • Inconsistent features depending on the language being used

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