back to article Visual Studio Code 1.45 released: Binary custom editors and 'unbiased Notebook solution' in the works

The Visual Studio Code team has released version 1.45 and is beginning to implement new features including binary custom editors for content such as images or audio files, as well as Notebook functionality, along the lines of Jupyter notebooks. The 1.45 release is covered in a long post which describes new features big and …

  1. Cronus

    Multi-monitor support could perhaps be one area that Eclipse Theia could steal some market share, though I suppose MS could just try and pull in their work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, one can have multiple VS code windows - and thus use multiple monitors. I tend to open each section of the code-base in its own VS code window, anyway.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Ahh, Electron.

        The only GUI framework I'm aware of that has a hard limit of one window per process.

        In the modern era of two or more screens being common, using it for anything other than toys is simply inexcusable.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: hard limit of one window per process?


          They copying some sort of OS for 4" phones?

  2. Elledan

    As a daily user of tricked-out instances of Notepad++ and Vim, VS Code confuses me.

    I know what it is, I know that people use it, but what I cannot figure out is the 'why'. I have used all kinds of IDEs, from VS Pro to XCode, Eclipse and IntelliJ, and as mentioned have settled for mostly NP++ and Vim. I do not see where VS Code fits in all of this. It's a bit like VS, with like 99% fewer features and performance. It lacks basic features that Notepad++ (and Crimson Editor before it in the 90s) already had.

    So again I ask, why is it that people use VS Code? What species of developer does it target who wouldn't be happier with anything else?

    1. SmartAlec

      They're for ctrl+space whores

      I'm proud to be one. I type MAYBE - at a push - 1/3rd of the actual character count of code.

      You probably could guess from syntax but with C++'s templates (and we've gone full "template the fuck out of everything" - even if I try and avoid it my IDE cannot) you need something a bit smarter.

      With the way C++ is now, "a bit smarter" is a VERY high barrier.

      1. Elledan

        Re: They're for ctrl+space whores

        I'm a senior C++ developer by trade, and that's not a scenario that I recognise. After enjoying auto-complete and such 'features' in VS Pro, XCode, Netbeans, etc., the only language where I actually appreciate that feature is in Java. For C, C++ (and increasingly Ada), the time I could conceivably save by something like Intellisense is negligible, and possibly negative.

        My usual workflow consists out of a few reference pages open, Notepad++ with the code, and a couple of terminal windows for compilation and debugging. I have found that anything beyond syntax highlighting and auto-indent merely gets in the way.

        But if I wanted to use Intellisense, why wouldn't I just use Visual Studio, instead of this VS Code website?

    2. quinninho

      One word - Extensions.

      Working on a project that has multiple components using many a wide range of languages and frameworks including C, C++, Make, CMake, Angular, NodeJS, SQL, Yocto and Docker and ROBOT Framework, it is an absolute blessing to be able to download an extension with a click of a button that instantly gives me IntelliSense for auto-completion, error highlighting, and syntax colour formatting. GitLens is useful too for seeing when a line was last modified without having to even look away from the line. You get all of this in one IDE that has pretty decent shortcut, search and navigation features, plus it's very fast (at least compared to Eclipse), and rarely crashes - it's probably the best thing Microsoft have ever created.

      1. Elledan

        But why use the VS Code website for this, instead of the VS application? What about any of the IntelliJ IDEs? They're also highly extensible.I have used IntelliJ and noticed the same functionality built-in there.

        One could also use Vim in this case, with the massive amount of extensions for it.

        1. Georgski

          VS is slower and slows down more the larger your solution gets. (And what is the point of solutions anyway?)

          It's ridiculous how much faster "Find in Files" is.

          Lots of things are at least a tiny bit faster - you might only wait a beat in VS, but in VS Code it's done instantly as your fingers go clicky clicky on the keyboard. You feel like a wizard.

          I am currently using both VS and VSCode, Code filling the role of Notepad++. (It totally kicks its ass. For starters - No menu-hunting ever!) Yeah Jetbrains IDEs are usually pretty nice, need to get me back a Resharper license.

    3. chuBb. Bronze badge

      I use both daily, NPP has been great for years but for general code editing vscode does it better, for example i support some friends wordpress based sites whilst i have used npp as a php "ide" the extensions for xdebug for vscode work better and have actually been finished unlike the npp one which has languished half done for over a decade.

      As for missing features im yet to find anything show stopping and the real big win for me is common keyboard shortcuts regardless of what OS im using, im yet to find a 1:1 replacement for npp on linux desktop for example, and have often run it with wine, now i just install vscode and it doesnt matter what platform im working on, it also has much better git integration than npp.

      What i have found is that i have developed a rather organic work flow using NPP for manipulating log and config files and vscode for code things, if the text area is white im working on config/logs if its (out of box config) black then its code, surprisingly useful when i wear about 20 different hats a day....

      1. Elledan

        I regularly write PHP in Notepad++, but haven't felt any need for anything beyond syntax highlight and auto-indent. Around 2000 I did use a number of PHP-oriented IDEs, but found myself never really using their features beyond said auto-indent and syntax highlighting.

        On Linux I use Vim, which also has an extensive collection of extensions. As a bonus, Vim works on just about any platform as well, and even without an X server.

        1. chuBb. Bronze badge

          the debugging and ability to have a pretty decent (no worse than workbench but thats a low bar) query runner for mysql swung it for me, along with the wordpress extension makes it less braindamaging to support, at least i dont have to learn the bodge that is wordpress and its obsession with no forward progress incase it breaks a 10 year old abandoned plugin some gimp's blog with 20 unique visitors ever (15 are bots) relies on, while i could do all of that in npp its just a cleaner and less clunky experience in vscode, same is true with dealing with json xml and increasingly js files.

          But then like i said before as soon as im dealing with the more operational aspects of my jobs npp is my goto editor

    4. ThomH

      In my company, VS Code is standard issue because (i) it's platform agnostic; and (ii) it has good ssh support — a local instance can use ssh to fetch and store remote files, and to build, run and debug remotely.

      So most of us use Macs while developing big server software on big Linux servers. Compared to my previous employer in the same line of work that had us using painful remote X11 sessions from our not-the-server devices, it's an improvement of maybe 10,000%.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too hard

    According to team member Benjamin Pasero: "I would not say that this is technically impossible but what I can say is that this feature request is both very challenging because of the UI impact and because of the fundamental change it requires to each aspect of what we have today,"

    That's a bit of an unfortunate situation to be in: fundamental and very challenging changes required to add multi-window support. I can only assume that this was a waterfall project, because only they fail in that way. Apparently.

    1. Andy Denton

      Re: Too hard

      No, it's because of a limitation in Electron, the tool they use to develop VSCode, nothing at all to do with the development process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too hard

        Isn't selecting the right development language and toolset part of the s/w development process any more?

  4. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Tried to like it, but

    VS Code was one of the code editors I occasionally try - and then go back to Emacs. The one-window restriction was a major reason. Even Netbeans (which has its own suite of other problems) is better in this respect. Supporting only one window was excusable in the MS-DOS age, but not afterwards.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top Tip!

    For those Windows users desperate for a multi-window experience.....

    Hold down shift while clicking on VSCode taskbar icon. Hey Presto, multiple instances! Each in its own window.

    No charge.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Top Tip!

      On Mac:

      Click File | New Window

      or: Right Click the Icon on the Task bar and click New Windows

      or: Press Shift | Cmd | N

      And you get a new window

      You can drag tabs to another window, but that duplicates the window rather than moves it

    2. chuBb. Bronze badge

      Re: Top Tip!

      Or just middle click the icon if your keyboard adverse works with any taskbar icon unless there is a hard coded only one process is allowed mutex of similar method, currently have 6 vscode windows open....

      Although i suspect this isnt the multi window solution people are looking for and instead want the abysmal photo shop/gimp floating tool box chod which i hate with a passion, even full fat vs i set all panels to auto hide and pin open only if i have to, is also why i dislike 4k monitors i like my windows maximised and desktop icons auto arranged lol and maximised windows looks stupid on that high a resolution/30"+ screen

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top Tip!

      But if you select the same folder as your existing window, it simply switches your focus to the existing window rather than opening another window for the same folder.

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