Visual Studio Code Overview


What is Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor that runs on your desktop and is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js and has a rich ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, Go) and runtimes (such as .NET and Unity).
  • It combines the simplicity of a code editor with what developers need for their core edit-build-debug cycle.
  • It provides comprehensive code editing, navigation, and understanding support along with lightweight debugging, a rich extensibility model, and lightweight integration with existing tools.
  • Visual Studio Code is updated monthly with new features and bug fixes.
  • You can download it for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Visual Studio Code's website.

History

Visual Studio Code was announced on April 29, 2015, by Microsoft at the 2015 Build conference. A Preview build was released shortly thereafter.

  • On November 18, 2015, Visual Studio Code was released under the Expat License, and its source code was posted to GitHub.
  • Extension support was also announced.
  • On April 14, 2016, Visual Studio Code graduated the public preview stage and was released to the Web.

Features

Code Editor

  • Visual Studio Code is a code editor that can be used with a variety of programming languages, including C#, Java, JavaScript, Go, Node.js, and C++.
  • It is based on the Electron framework, which is used to develop Node.js Web applications that run on the Blink layout engine.
  • It employs codenamed Monaco the same editor component which is used in Azure DevOps (formerly called Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio Team Services).

Language Support

  • Instead of a project system, it allows users to open one or more directories, which can then be saved in workspaces for future reuse.
  • This allows it to operate as a language-agnostic code editor for any language.
  • It supports many programming languages and a set of features that differs per language.

Extensions

  • Visual Studio Code can be extended via extensions that are available through a central repository.
  • This includes additions to the editor and language support.
  • A notable feature is the ability to create extensions that add support for new languages, themes, and debuggers, perform static code analysis, and add code linters using the Language Server Protocol.
  • Visual Studio Code includes multiple extensions for FTP, allowing the software to be used as a free alternative for web development.
  • Code can be synced between the editor and the server, without downloading any extra software.

Others

  • Unwanted files and folders can be excluded from the project tree via the settings.
  • Many Visual Studio Code features are not exposed through menus or the user interface but can be accessed via the command palette.
  • Visual Studio Code allows users to set the code page in which the active document is saved, the newline character, and the programming language of the active document.
  • This allows it to be used on any platform, in any locale, and for any given programming language.