Microsoft has made an announcement that will surely appeal to developers using Visual Studio Code. The company says the cross-platform development tool can now be used within a web browser.
Specifically, a version of the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provides the basics of the platform. This means users can start coding without needing to install any programs.
You may remember Microsoft made a similar announcement in August. Well, that was a mistake and the company says this is the real deal. Users can now access the lightweight version of Visual Studio Code via vscode.dev.
Visual Studio Code is Microsoft’s open-source and cross-platform code editor that is focuses on providing lightweight editing. Users can tap into the service across Windows, macOS, and Linux. What makes VS Code a popular choice is a vast library of extensions available to developers for mobile and web apps.
Translating to the web, VS Code works on any modern web browser that integrates the File System Access API. This includes Microsoft’s own Edge browser and Google’s Chrome, both running on the Chromium engine.
This API is necessary because it allows access to the local machine for viewing files and making edits, creating applications, and changing code on different devices. It is worth noting even browsers without the API still support the ability to open individual files. However, this requires uploading/downloading directly on the browser.
Microsoft points out some features of VS Code have limitations on the web. For example, users cannot access the debugger and terminal.
In its announcement, Microsoft points to the following benefits of using vscode.dev:
- “Good: For most programming languages, vscode.dev gives you code syntax colorization, text-based completions, and bracket pair colorization. Using a Tree-sitter syntax tree, we’re able to provide additional experiences such as Outline/Go to Symbol and Symbol Search for popular languages such as C/C++, C#, Java, PHP, Rust, and Go.
- Best: For many “webby” languages, such as JSON, HTML, CSS, and LESS, the coding experience in vscode.dev is nearly identical to the desktop (including Markdown preview!)”
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