back to article If you've ever wished Visual Studio Code could be more open source, the Eclipse Foundation would like a word

The Eclipse Foundation has pulled back the curtains on version 1.0 of Theia, an alternative to Microsoft's developer darling of the hour, Visual Studio Code. Except it isn't just yet. Those hoping to ditch a Microsoft-branded IDE for something more vendor-neutral might have a while to wait for something to drop from Eclipse …

  1. bombastic bob Silver badge

    UI performance issues

    just because we are using desktop machines that are 100 or more times as powerful as NASAs computers back in the 60's when we went to the moon does NOT justify writing hyper-inefficient Node.JS "code" for a user interface...

    Eclipse's Java code was always a little klunky from my point of view, but after 20 years of hardware improvements it became usable. Similarly, the Intelli-J interface (used by Android) is also a bit klunky, but usable. These were written in JAVA, and _NOT_ JAVA SCRIPT. A clear distinction should be made.

    in any case if the Eclipse tool discussed in the article is NOT "scripty" but instead uses actual Java code, I might be impressed. It's worth a look at least. I should devote some time to looking at it. Yep. Need to do that.

    Seriously, though, JUST BECAUSE COMPUTERS ARE FAST does _NOT_ mean you can use a SCRIPT LANGUAGE for a UI!!! And I'm talking to _YOU_ Microsoft...

    1. MacroRodent

      Re: UI performance issues

      > in any case if the Eclipse tool discussed in the article is NOT "scripty" but instead uses actual Java code

      It sounds like a fork of VS code, and compatible with its plugins, therefore it, too, must have been written in JavaScript, running on Node/js.

      Whther that is "scripty" is a matter of debate. The performance of JavaScript on Node/js is pretty good. It does JIT compiling. Certainly faster than, say, Python or Ruby. It is actually a question I have meant to investigate how much actual speed and memory usage difference there would be between JavaScript on Node/js, and C++ code that is written in the modern way using the standard containers and strings, instead of a "C-like" style. The answer could be surprising. The C++ containers basically do reference-counting based memory management, whereas Node/js does garbage collection.

    2. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: UI performance issues

      I have to wholeheartedly agree.

      My desktop is a beast but Eclipse just brings it to its knees. It's like people have forgotten how to write efficient code. My opinion, but Java should be taken out back and shot. It's only redeeming feature is the enormous software infrastructure.

      Give me a decent, high performance IDE written in something like Rust, please!

    3. regbadgerer

      Re: UI performance issues

      @bombastic it's mostly written in type script - not sure if that counts as 'scripty' to you, but regardless I think your assessment of what's good and what's not is out of date.

      It also has very little in common with the eclipse ide. For one the eclipse ide was clunky from day one and time has done little help with that. Two, theia is under the eclipse foundation, but mostly written by Microsoft and typefox, so it's wrong to tar it with the eclipse brush.

      Also, in my view the great thing about theia is that it runs in-browser. Not sure you'd want to use java for that...

  2. Irongut

    In my roughly 30 years of using IDEs Eclipse has to be the worst I've ever used. Complicated and long-winded to set up, slow and resource heavy in use, it had no redeeming features. A new IDE from the same people isn't going to be high on my list of tools to try...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have to agree with this. A lot of developers seem to stick with it because they're used to it, but having used NetBeans and IntelliJ I find Eclipse the clunkiest IDE I've ever experienced. The GUI controls behave in unintuitive ways, and the library they are from leaks memory like a sieve. Ironically, I find Eclipse performs poorly despite the native code GUI library, with controls freezing and their contents jumping perceptibly. The plugin framework is terrible for end users, with dependency hell, and the preferences dialogs are totally baroque. Add in the still piss poor Maven integration and I strongly discourage people in the teams I work in from using it.

    2. ThomH

      I head that the reason Eclipse is so incredibly and irredeemably awful is that its developers are hamstrung by their use of Eclipse.

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      >In my roughly 30 years of using IDEs....

      I get to use it a lot because customized versions are used by manufacturers as the IDE for their chip families -- they develop highly customized versions which become things like Texas Instrumentts's "Code Compose" or a FPGA development platform. You don't have to work inside this platform, though -- I'm really old school, I use and editor and command line for most work (...and I don't even invoke 'make' from inside the editor).

      I also have done quite a bit of work using VS and its various predecessors (right back to the Workbench). I don't find it any more convenient than Eclipse but I'd guess that if I was working in Microsft's code ecosystem, especially with their managed code environments, that I'd have to use their ecosystem just to survive. I suspect that extending VS to nominally non-MSFT envronments is just another instnace of 'embrace, extend, extinguish' -- to be treated with caution.

      (I might also mention that if as a programmer I find myself doing endless compile/debug cycles then I'm probably doing something wrong (like, 'I shouldn't be coding' just yet'). (

    4. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: in my roughly 30 years of using IDEs

      I would agree: never could see why anyone though Eclipse was any good.

      But then I'm so old fashioned I don't think the old Smalltalk IDEs like VW, VA and now Pharo have ever been beaten ;-)

  3. cornetman Silver badge

    Jesus, please don't write it in Java though. Memory hungry and a complete dinosaur.

    And that's from a regular Eclipse user.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      They haven't. They gone all colour-pencils department and are using JavaScript/TypeScript and Electron...

  4. regbadgerer

    Web app

    This article failed to mention the fact that it runs as a webapp. This is pretty game changing for me, because I host a theia instance in a container and I can log in to my ide from anywhere (yes, including my phone - actually pretty usable with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard).

    Also, not quite sure I agree with the 'competitor' angle presented in this article - don't they share most of their code?

    Also also, the thing about how vs code extensions 'just work' is sometimes true... the docker extension for example doesn't work at all.

  5. Timberzen

    Eclipse is a Memory Leak Tsanmi

    Eclipse is a Memory Leak Tsanmi. This was my standard tooling for java development. But having to reboot your PC to free up the leaks is why I stopped developing in java, then VS came along, joy. VSCode is good but then JetBrains is a winner. Which means if I can't use VS2019 then I'm not going to program in it.

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