back to article Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

Mike Milinkovich, exec director of the Eclipse Foundation, has taken another swing at Microsoft-sponsored Visual Studio Code, claiming: "Anyone who relies on VS Code is then dependent on the future investment of Microsoft to continue supporting ongoing development of the product." He is keen to promote the Eclipse Theia …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    '"These extensions may be collecting their own usage data and are not controlled by the telemetry.enableTelemetry setting," Microsoft explained in the FAQ, which is not really a fault in VS Code.'

    Well...sort of. There's no reason why respect for a global telemetry setting couldn't be a requirement for listing in the Marketplace. It's clearly Microsoft's fault, whether you describe it as a fault in VS Code or in the Marketplace terms.

    1. Hawkeye Pierce

      "Respect for a global telemetry setting" could be a requirement as you say, but even if it were, without full audit of every component and on each update, I will bet you anything you like that the lawyers would take one look at the fact that Microsoft were facilitating third-party add-ins and would still require that exact same wording. Yes, in that scenario, the components shouldn't be collecting telemetry otherwise they'd be sent to the naughty step, but that still doesn't mean that they're not.

      ... just as the Eclipse Foundation can't guarantee that none of the Theia add-ins collect telemetry.

    2. chasil

      Open Rewrap - VS-Codium

      Similar to Chromium ports of Google Chrome on various platforms, there is a completely open and free rewrap known as VS-Codium that only includes the open-source telemetry variant.

      I have installed the RPM version of this, and I have tinkered with it. I don't use it regularly, as a full blink/v8 stack is really too much of an attack surface for simple editing. Vim is more to my tastes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Open Rewrap - VS-Codium

        VIM has had its fair share of vulnerabilities despite its small attack surface.

        https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-8218/opec-1/VIM.html

        Though I agree. VSCode is a bit pants. Calling out security issues is a bit weak as everything has had problems at some point. It is a bloated package though and it seems a bit derivative given the glut of similar editors out there right now.

        If I'm in full "leather armchair" mode then I use Atom. If I'm in "get shit done fast" mode...I use nano.

        1. chasil

          Re: Open Rewrap - VS-Codium

          Actually, when I do rare work on Windows, I usually rely on the Busybox port of vi.

          I still login to HP-UX systems on occasion, and I imagine that I am using the real Bill Joy code there.

  2. gobaskof

    But it is quite good!

    I have often been described as a "tin-foil twat" based on the strength of my anti-Microsoft sentiments. I am one of those people that migrated away from GitHub the week Microsoft bought it. However, I bent the knee and installed VSCode about 2 months ago as I couldn't get the refactoring tools I needed into Kate, and I hate the full fat Eclipse IDE. It really is a great editor.

    What I came to realises is that if I can't get behind a cross-platform open-source project with over 1000 contributors, then what am I really fighting for? Having to turn off the telemetry crap was rather discouraging, but the actual editor experience is really good. I cannot think I have ever said that the user experience was good for any Microsoft software before, and that is the power of open-source users added the features they needed. I think we the nerds won this round, Microsoft are doing it our way, we should encourage that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed

      I'm one of those who dislike both Eclipse and Visual Studio; both of them too bloated and a hobson's choice between the potential of supporting any language & toolchain (and attendant compromises) vs baked in support for one vendor's tools and nothing for anyone else.

      So VS code has been really useful because the designers understand that an editor should get out of the way - the code one's working on should always be front & centre.

      1. TurtleBeach

        Re: Agreed

        While I fully agree with you - an editor should stay out of the way, that is my greatest complaint with VS Code. Auto completion when I don't want it ('else' becomes element...), can never get braces to act like I set them to act, etc. And it subjectively seems to not respond to mouse movement and cursor positioning in the way other IDEs (e.g., NetBeans) do on the same computer using the same mouse.

        That said, I use it because it seems far and away better for creating/debugging/deploying Java functions on Azure. I am amazed at the number of problems people report on GitHub issues threads trying to deploy C# functions to Azure using Visual Studio. I don't see how anyone manages to deploy production C# function code to Azure using that bloated mess. It's only redeeming feature is relatively decent support for ARM chips, if you can manage to get the environment set up.

    2. Juha Meriluoto

      Re: But it is quite good!

      That is true. It IS rather good, which is something I don't remember saying about any Microsoft product. And if you want to use PlatformIO, you really don't have a choice.

      I used to use Eclipse, but it's frankly a godawful mess.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: But it is quite good!

      VSC is worth its weight in gold purely for the debugger integration IMO.

      It's no Visual Studio, but it's a hell of a lot better than any other IDE I've used on Linux over the years, and a billion times easier to set up.

    4. razorfishsl

      Re: But it is quite good!

      VC Code is about the only MS product that intergrates correctly with GIt......

      WTF is wrong with a company that has 2 competing product that only one integrates correctly with a 3rd product they own....

      1. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Re: But it is quite good!

        VC Code is about the only MS product that intergrates correctly with GItHub......

        MS dont own git, just github

        Nothing correctly integrates with git, best you can hope for is a limited list of surprises to find and work around, linus wouldnt want to make it easy on anybody after all, its basically darwinism on the CLI

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But it is quite good!

      Hi there. Fellow tinfoil twat here.

      I agree with your telemetry stance. It should either be fully transparent or not exist in my opinion.

      I've yet to meet a software dev that would openly defend the use of telemetry in their products therefore it is privacy invading crap.

      Telemetry is no substitute for proper testing and QA.

      Just while I adjust my tinfoil titfer, if the telemetry is the benefit the development of the software, am I to assume that all of the thousands of Devs involved in this project have access to said telemetry to help them improve their respective contributions?

      1. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Re: But it is quite good!

        Depends on the telemetry, reporting operating environment system specs can be useful if you have ever run into bugs caused by the abysmal intel integrated display drivers or similar crappy driver issues (the ones direct from intel are the least buggy, the OEM whitelabeled versions dished out by vendors tend to be a few versions behind or broken but do display the oh so important company logo for half a second as you hammer "Next"), and data like that i have no issues with being collected and analysed its no different to what the ECU does in most modern cars and if it helps recreate a weird bug or let you see the correlation then its useful.

        The rest of "telemetry" is doublespeak for behavioural surveillance, how long did you spend looking for the option in the menu, which button is pressed most often, what is the most used feature buried in a menu, how long was the window in focus, what percentage of users are skipping upgrades, how often does a term related to program appear in a search query string, and out of that list the only thing i can see a legit use for is the one to do with upgrades skipped, everything else can and should be done with small focus groups, not a co-opted userbase, especially for the likes of piriform who used to make good (enough) software, got annoying with pro version nag screens, then were acquired and now just ape the AV industry and hide whole sale data capture and snooping as utility (Im looking at you CCleaner!)

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    VSCode has allowed me to loosen the universities (and students) obsession with full fat Visual Studio.

    We are finally able to use more modern innovative compilers like Clang, Emscripten, etc whilst still keeping those who are obsessed with "brands" happy.

    As for my personal use... Vim solved the text editor problem for me in the early 90s. It is something I have never had to worry about since.

    1. Def Silver badge

      As soon as your students get into the real world though, if they're working as software developers on Windows they're more than likely going to be using Visual Studio. Employers want people who know how to use the tools they use.

      In nearly 30 years of working as a software engineer, I don't think I've ever worked somewhere that didn't use Visual Studio. (Post 1995 that is - the DOS years are all a bit of a blur now anyway.) Even the places that were virtually married to Linux (and God forbid Solaris) I still used a Windows laptop with Visual Studio installed for my day to day work.

      Visual Studio Code isn't bad as a substitute on Linux, but it doesn't come close to the real Visual Studio.

      1. 9Rune5 Silver badge

        Employers want people who know how to use the tools they use

        I have not even tried to open our main solution file from VSCode and see if I can get any of our projects to build. But I would be absolutely thrilled if a new team member managed to do that.

        I suspect the biggest showstopper would be our model-first approach when it comes to Entity Framework which probably dictates proprietary VS functionality (the model browser). Our newer solutions use code first and would fit like a glove with VSCode.

        To snub a candidate because they use the wrong editor..? I'm more interested in someone who knows how to code.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "To snub a candidate because they use the wrong editor..? I'm more interested in someone who knows how to code."

          So many employers seem to want to hire someone as a "fully-formed widget", and not have to put them through any training, unfortunately.

          1. Def Silver badge

            It depends on the position you're hiring for too. Not all positions that require Visual Studio knowledge are pure programming positions.

            It's not uncommon at all in other disciplines that knowledge of the tools you'll be using is a prerequisite. Companies want you to be productive from day one. Knowing someone can get up to speed quickly is very much a deciding factor when selecting potential candidate hires.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          We used to be an Eclipse only shop...

          That was the defacto way of doing things, then a few of us looked at just what Eclipse was doing for us. Then started doing all the steps in CLI... which then made maven behave itself, as well as releasing us from only being able to use Eclipse.

          After that everyone just used whichever tool they were most comfortable with, VS Code being the common choice because it plays nicely with BitBucket, but there's Atom user, intelliJ and still some on Eclipse. We have recommendations and quick start guides in a few different IDE's but if you're more comfortable with another one and can use the IDE agnostic way of building then use whatever tool you're happiest with (Hell, use notepad if your a real masochist).

          Having another IDE in the mix that might behave slightly better with Java - why not, but don't expect us to drop the tools we're now happy and comfortable with just because...

      2. karlkarl Silver badge

        Quite possibly, but that isn't a bad thing. The main point is that non-Visual Studio users can easily use Visual Studio. (It is just a slow text editor after all). However, going the other way round, Visual Studio users are absolutely unable to use anything outside of Visual Studio. So Makefiles, build scripts, innovative compilers are all out of reach for them.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Novice users can edit files, sure.

          But can they navigate around the intricacies of all the project settings? Can they effectively debug multiple processes concurrently when one of them is running on a PC in a publisher's office on the other side of the world? Can they connect to a database and efficiently edit table properties? Can they profile GPU usage to discover rendering bottlenecks?

          In fact, if you give someone a copy of Visual Studio who's never used it, they generally get lost very quickly. Or manage to fuddle by with the bare minimum and then drop back to whatever other tools they're used to using in the past (which may or may not be a problem depending on licence costs and the budget available for that team). I even used to work with one guy who would use Visual Studio for everything (project management, building, debugging, resource editing) but would alt-tab to a different text editor to make any actual code changes.

          1. karlkarl Silver badge

            Surely the build settings are fairly unused (even if Visual Studio is the editor) due to CMake. CMake really has entered the industry in a big way (unlike GNUtools) leaving the Visual Studio way of managing project settings fairly legacy.

            For the profiling there is Intel Analyser (formerly VTune) as a standalone tool making the Visual Studio one look like a bit of a toy implementation. Most importantly, if someone can use VTune, they can easily work out how the Visual Studio one works.

            I have also seen people use Visual Studio just for the debugger. It does make me wonder why not use WinDBG and work a bit lighter. Again, remote debugging is in WinDbg (also an official free Microsoft product) and it is much more dedicated, again leaving Visual Studio's implementation looking a bit like a toy.

            1. Def Silver badge

              Yes, other tools are available, and yes dedicated tools are generally better than an all-in-one solution. But the convenience of having everything under one roof, so to speak, usually outweighs the limitations of those tools for the average person. Sure, a couple of people on a team might use Intel Analyser, but for a casual inspection by a more general developer who might be a little curious about the performance of something they've just written, the VS profiler is more than adequate. In fact, until you want to start chasing down cache misses and branch prediction failures, 99% of the time it's perfectly fine.

              My original point though was that, despite people's ongoing perceptions to the contrary, VS is much more than just a text editor. :)

            2. dajames Silver badge

              CMake really has entered the industry in a big way (unlike GNUtools) leaving the Visual Studio way of managing project settings fairly legacy.

              Yes.

              Visual Studio's project settings became too arcane for mere mortals to use without the aid of sacrificial chickens a decade or so ago, but too many people still blindly forge ahead with them without even looking for a better alternative.

      3. martinusher Silver badge

        >Post 1995 that is - the DOS years are all a bit of a blur now anyway

        I think the name you're searching for is "Programmers' Workbench".

        1. Def Silver badge

          I'm not *that* old. :p

          My first job was very much based in DOS with the Watcom C compiler and Brief, if I remember correctly. :)

      4. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Visual Studio Code isn't bad as a substitute on Linux, but it doesn't come close to the real Visual Studio.

        No, nor is it trying too, it has however increasingly taking over from notepad++ (or insert dominant text editor of choice for platform of choice if it has a gui) for me for code editing and inspection, which has led to an intresting "organic" work flow for me notepad++ for config files and system settings, vscode for code/json/xml editing, now have a visual cue for what im doing white text area = config, black text area = code, although that might change as im getting increasingly irritated by a lack of decent git integration in NPP, and i must say i love having a portable set of keyboard shortcuts between platforms.

        oh and mapping *.config files to open in vscode is a good idea if you dont want to wait for a solution to load and check its caches when you want to change an appsetting....

    2. Philip Stott

      "Full fat" Visual Studio has supported clang for at least 3 years (maybe longer, but 3 years is my last time to need it).

      1. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Since the abominition of msbuild files have existed you can run any compiler you want, just add a pre build command, execute compiler of choice and return an error code to stop the build after that point or fart about with solution and set code to content and no need for an error code

      2. karlkarl Silver badge

        Visual Studio doesn't support clang. Clang supports Visual Studio by making a clang-cl wrapper (missing out more than half of the features). For example asan, emitting wasm, etc.

        It may sound a bit harsh, but just like IE6 did, Visual Studio is holding everyone back.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nicely balanced article

    My congratulations to Mr Anderson for taking a critically balanced view.

    I'd just like to comment on this bit:

    > Visual Studio Code is used by 50.7 per cent of developers (with Visual Studio in second place), according to the latest StackOverflow survey.

    That would be 50.7 of respondents to that survey, which does not tell us much about usage by the population of developers at large nor about the preferences of the population of developers you would actually want to hire who, if they use that site at all, is to answer support questions about some code that they maintain.

    So the actual usage amongst your target pool of developers might be lower or it might be higher, there is no telling from that poll.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Nicely balanced article

      The Stack Overflow survey results are more than a little weird.

      No insult intended, but vim isn't really a development environment that is comparable with IntelliJ (both on 25.4%). Notepad++, which is more popular than either, is a handy tool that I use quite often, but I've never thought of it as a development environment.

      And there's something odd about the dominance of Microsoft tools. I'm sure Java is more widely used than C#, but Visual Studio is more popular than the three main Java IDEs.

      1. juice Silver badge

        Re: Nicely balanced article

        > No insult intended, but vim isn't really a development environment that is comparable with IntelliJ (both on 25.4%)

        Hey, don't knock vim! ;)

        My main dev environment is Ubuntu, running one or more tabbed terminal windows. Generally, most of the tabs have Vim open on a file, alongside a couple which I use to commit/upload changes and tail log files.

        And thanks to the power of keyboard shortcuts, I can easily move between tabs and windows without having to use the mouse. And Vim has colour syntax highlighting, and can run commands, so I can easily trigger local builds and syntax validation.

        With that said, I'll be the first to admit that a dedicated IDE can offer a lot more - and other people in the company do use their IDE of choice - but for what I do, it works well enough. And almost as importantly, it's a setup which I can use on virtually any *nix environment without having to install or tinker with anything. And it works just as well when I have to log into a production environment to investigate or fix issues.

        Perhaps most importantly of all... it's not Emacs :D

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Nicely balanced article

          I think IDEs appeal to different styles of users. Personally, when I work on code, I'm editing code in an editor, I'm running commands from the command line, and I want/need to understand how things operate. If I want to debug things, I will know how to invoke tests with a debugger, how to set a breakpoint and how to operate the debugger. If I want to run just these subset of tests, and to re-run failed tests when the code/test code changes, or run all tests but in 6 parallel workers, I know what I need to type on the command line.

          The thing I don't want to do is move my fingers from the home keys to my mouse.

          Now, I know I'm not a typical developer. They don't want to know how to operate a debugger from the command line, and they want to click the green play button to build their code.

          So, I'm glad that there are options for those developers, but don't discount little old vim. I get all the code completion that you get in IDEs. I get help docs on those functions. I can jump up and down the code to method definitions. I get syntax highlighting. I get more complete refactoring tools than in vscode. I get linting and hotfixes. I get deeper git integration than in most editors. Depending on what you want, vim is as full an integrated development environment as any GUI.

    2. Philip Stott

      Re: Nicely balanced article

      Good point.

      I started on Borland Turbo C circa 1989, after a short interval with MS Visual C and their Windows SDK experience afterwards (which want nice), I've been using MS Visual Basic, then Visual Studio for .Net development since roughly 1995.

      Mainly developing LOB applications for banks and trading houses.

      At no point in the last 25 years have I been approached to give my opinion on the merits of one IDE/toolset over another, so I'm guessing that these surveys aren't actually representative of the jobbing developer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nicely balanced article

        > Borland Turbo C circa 1989

        Oh the memories!!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nicely balanced article

        > so I'm guessing that these surveys aren't actually representative of the jobbing developer.

        No they aren't. For a start, the participants are self-selected from amongst the population of one website.

        Secondly, because of the gamification nature of the site, it attracts people whose goal is, well, to play a game and that have time to spend in it. In my last successful development project, none of the 16 devs had, to my knowledge, an account in there and I never saw the site open on their computers. The exact opposite happened in the failed project before that, and it showed, complete with the guy who spent more time copying and pasting "answers" onto that site, concerning stuff totally outside his area of expertise, than actually writing code (project failed for other reasons, but it all kind of tied together).

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Nicely balanced article

      the survey results suggest a few things, not the least of which is that they have a somewhat limited pool of respondents to poll [the kind of things that makes polls skew to one side or another].

      Eclipse USED to be compiled Java. Why would they [apparently] change to JS like VS Code is? Or did they? [maybe I'll have to look more closely at that].

      I'm no fan of Java-based editors, that's for sure. They tend to stutter a lot and have quirky behavior, or (worse) INHERIT FEATURE CREEP from Java packages maintained by 3rd parties.

      Some time ago when Arduino switched over to a canned Java library, it "inherited" a couple of VERY IRRITATING "features", in particular placing curly braces into your code at certain times when you pressed 'enter'. Yes, it was _MY_ pull request that finally *ALLOWED* users (note: users should NOT be controlled by applications nor their developers) to TURN that *BLANK* *OFF* !!!

      In the mean time, if Eclipse actualy moves to NodeJS then I'll NEVER use it AGAIN.

      There's still IntelliJ, which [last I looked] was being used for Android. It's bloatware but it works. However, I've had a hard time trying to get the Android stuff running natively on FreeBSD. Fortunately I can still get it (mostly) to run in a VM running Linux.

      Back to VS Code: By comparison, its popularity may simply be that there are enough monkeys with typewriters to get something working that fixes MOST of the gross 'missing features' or 'bad performance' issues. However, you're getting a "lipstick on a boar" solution [which THIS time appears to be on the end that goes 'oink']. NodeJS was a *HUGE* mistake. Either make it PURE Java, or write it in something that COMPILES TO NATIVE CODE (and is NOT C-pound or Mono-based).

      From the article: If Visual Studio Code usage does decline, it will not be because of licensing, but rather the product becoming bloated or evolving in a direction that is unwelcome to many of its users.

      But isn't it SO typical of Miicrosoft to do EXACTLY THAT - add bloaty features we eo NOT want, NOT fix the problems we want fixed, TAKE AWAY features we DO want, and then THROW TRACKING AND SPYING IN on top of it all, making so we can NOT remove it, _ONCE_ _WE_ _HAVE_ _BEEN_ _LOCKED_ _IN_ _AND_ _ALL_ _OTHER_ _CHOICES_ _ARE_ _GONE_ ???

  5. Detective Emil
    Meh

    Well, you can't fault Eclipse's consisitency …

    From Wikipedia, quoting IBM's Lee Nackman from a now-inaccessible eWeek article: the name "Eclipse" (dating from at least 2001) was not a wordplay on Sun Microsystems, as the product's primary competition at the time of naming was Microsoft Visual Studio, which Eclipse was to eclipse.

  6. johnnyblaze

    Not free

    VSCode is fine for the basics - the light stuff for new/occasional coders. It's free for a very good reason though - MS hopes/expects that as those new/occasional coders ramp up, they'll see the limitations of VSCode, and invest in full fat Visual Studio (storing all their code branches in GitHub of course). Nothing is free - ever!

    1. 9Rune5 Silver badge

      Re: Not free

      Meanwhile... Some of us see VSCode as a bloatfree edition of VS. It even comes with features that I doubt exists in VS.

      I still use VS as my main tool, but I enjoy firing up VSCode for 'other' stuff. My biggest reason for remaining with VS is actually a third-party tool: reSharper. Without reSharper I can certainly see myself using VSCode full time.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Not free

      when I checked [right after VS Code released for Linux], VS Code was missing a key feature: Virtual Space. Maybe I missed it, but this is the ONE thing I like about Visual Studio these days. [what I prefer is how it was for VS '97 because i could edit dialog boxes and add callbacks for buttons and stuff using JUST the keyboard, not mousie-clickie-mousie-clickie all the time, removing one hand from home row on an arbitrary decision by VB-oriented people, but I digress...]

      I hate it when an editor doesn't let you scroll past the end of a line when you scroll down using the keyboard. It's *IRRITATING*. And nearly ALL of them do just that, and won't let you change it. But I think IntelliJ _does_ support something like Virtual Space. I should verify that, though... I think it's buried someplace, along with the settings to NOT force K&R style when you're doing Android Java code. That's right, MY Java code is NOT K&R style!!! It's ALLMAN STYLE! (like my C++)

      If VS code _does_ have this 'virtual space' feature, go ahead and correct me (please). Maybe it was added, or I just didn't find it...? If I am to have gripes about VS Code I want them to be LEGIT gripes.

  7. deMangler
    Mushroom

    Vi. Darcula.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      have you considered pluma? It doesn't have the irritating gnome-3-ness of gedit these days, but DOES supports auto-indent, syntax highlighting, user-specified tab widths, turning OFF hard tabs and line wrap (or back on if you really want that), and NOW comes with a plugin to remove extra white space from the ends of lines, which it should have done from the beginning...

      Then you can continue to use Makefile builds and so on, like you probably would if you're a 'vi' fan.

      [I guess all it needs is a gdb plugin and "virtual space" and we're good to go]

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Eclipse

    I have a personal bone to pick with that pile of crap. Ever since IBM shoved Notes into Eclipse on R7, the Notes developer client has gained an unstability that it never had before. You do your normal programming of agents or script libraries, you check the results in views and such, and all of a sudden, you're not getting the result you know you should get.

    Well, after a while and a lot of experience, you understand that your Notes environment has gone to the dogs, with one or more processes than you are actually using. I don't know what Eclipse does, but it fails to remain in the processes that should normally be running and creates new ones without asking your opinion, thus you're doing something in a process that no longer has anything to do with the one you were coding in.

    It's fucked up, and the only solution is to use the Task Manager to kill all Notes processes and get a clean situation - until it fucks itself up again, that is.

    I hate Eclipse.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Eclipse

      your Notes environment has gone to the dogs

      As a Notes 4 survivor, I thought this was the default state?

  9. Dan Druff

    VSCodium, VSCode without the telemetry

    Surprised this hasn't been mentioned so far - https://vscodium.com/

    1. streaky

      Re: VSCodium, VSCode without the telemetry

      I'm not. Everybody is either so anti-Microsoft and therefore won't touch it despite it being the best solution available or will be total buy-in to VSCode. Middle-ground solutions like that are completely alien to most people in these parts..

  10. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Eclipse

    I detest Eclipse. I have found it an awkward PITA. Not really tried VSCode but the little I have fiddle with it left me unimpressed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's certainly an alternative ...

    ... but it's a bloody terrible one at that! Eclipse Che is a confused, sluggish mess and Eclipse Theia is a poorly implemented and never-going-to-be-finished clone of VSCode; every time Microsoft update VSCode with new APIs and features, Theia has to go and play catchup (for example https://github.com/eclipse-theia/theia/issues/5673). How is that a good strategy for building a successful IDE?

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    Eclipse has other lives....

    I'm not a great fan of Eclipse but I've found myself using it time and again. Not to develop applications -- it seems to be a lot of bloat and bother to make mere programs -- but as the foundation for development systems supplied by chip vendors. The three I've worked with recently include the Code Composer Stuido from Texas Instruments for DSP development and toolsets from Xilinxx and Lattice (they each provide nested development environments, one for the FPGAs itself, the other for their soft processor if you're using it). These toolsets use a fair amount of scripting (especialyl the FPGA ones) which I'd guess is where the MS bite would come in -- MS has only recently discovered shell scripts and they're constantly reinventing scripting languages targeted exclusively towards their software ecosystem so it may be problematical trying to integrate true third party tools into their environment. (Their USB driver support tends to be a bit hit and miss as well -- not a big issue unless you're trying to use a JTAG loader/debugger.)

    Corporate loves its Windows software ecosystem but the reality is that if you need to get serious non-Windows application work done then you need to work on Linux. The majority of the tools that I use in a Windows environment are running under Cygwin, its not a perfect solution so I'd guess one reason why MSFT is pushing a Linux environment embedded in their platform is the recognition of the inevitable -- Its becoming increasingly difficult to work in a Windows environment, especially a modern locked down one, so they either have to bow to the inevitable or lose the trade.

    1. chuBb. Bronze badge

      Re: Eclipse has other lives....

      Discovered it wasn't hard to avoid eclipse if you learn how to compile and link from command line then it was a simple job of wrapping in a script and just calling that from editor of choice

      Lot to be learned from the .Net microframework build targets for ways to implement an essentially environment agnostic build

    2. streaky

      Re: Eclipse has other lives....

      What exactly is stopping you running vscode on Linux?

  13. raving angry loony

    How soon we forget.

    Microsoft's standard play has been "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". Invariably for their own profit and to the detriment of everyone else.

    So many companies have learned this lesson to their everlasting peril. The number of companies that "partnered" with Microsoft, only to go bankrupt a few years later, is too long to list. Working with Microsoft, or in a Microsoft-only shop, is bloody stupid and short-sighted. So glad I'm out of that industry, because there are a lot of companies out there who believe Microsoft salespeople over their own techs, let alone are willing to heed any warnings about anything to do with "Microsoft".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How soon we forget.

      Technology has moved on. Amazon are firing whistle blowers. Google are slurping everything they can. You're moaning about the fact someone once threw a toilet roll at your house while there's kids in the back garden torching your shed. Wake up!!

  14. Maelstorm
    Mushroom

    Eclipse...

    I have used a number of IDEs over the years, and I can say with absolute certainty that Eclipse is the shitstain of development environments. Eclipse is the piece of shit that was crapped out of a dog's ass. The problem is that it's written entirely in Java, which is slow to begin with. When I coded in Eclipse, my 8-core 4 GHz workstation felt like I was running a 486 under the hood. It's slow, sometimes taking several tens of seconds to process a command which in other IDEs (that are written and compiled for the platform that I'm using) processes immediately. Now imagine that delay when writing code. Then it becomes very annoying very quickly.

    "Milinkovich's problem may be related to the fact that Visual Studio Code is used by 50.7 per cent of developers (with Visual Studio in second place), according to the latest StackOverflow survey. Eclipse, the developer tool platform for which the foundation was formed, has just 14.4 per cent usage. Theia does not yet feature."

    Gee, I wonder why when your slow crappy product is written in a slow crappy language. Yes, I am proud to say that I use Visual Studio Code with the Vim extension for all web and some Unix/Linux development, Visual Studio for Windows development, and I use Android Studio when I need to develop mobile apps. I don't have a Mac, so iPhone is out. Most of my Unix/Linux code that I have written over the past 30 or so years was written in vi.

    Some of the best DOS based IDEs that I have used were the integrated ones from Borland. Turbo Pascal, Borland Pascal, and Turbo C.

    1. fortyrunner

      Re: Eclipse...

      I was with you until you said that Eclipse is slow because it's written in Java. That was almost certainly true until about 12 years ago. It isn't the case now. Hotspot is an astonishing piece of engineering.

      I switched to IntelliJ about 6 years ago and it is more than fast enough for anything I need, written in Java (and I suspect Kotlin).

      I used to use Visual Studio (written in C++) and found it slow and a horrible UI mess. I do use VSC because that what my company lets us install, but its also slow - especially on large files. Give me Textpad any day.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Eclipse...

        >Give me Textpad any day.

        Suddenly I find I'm not alone...someone else uses Textpad.

        One thing I have noticed about the VS type editors is that its object reference and unpacking capabilities allows you to build incredibly convoluted code. This is really useful if you've got to unpick a pile 'o' crap to figure out what's gone wrong, its a lot more difficult with a normal search capability because of the indirect referecnes. This leads to an interesting question about whether 'convoluted' or 'labrinthine' qualfies code as 'structured'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eclipse... and the winner of thread twit is..

      So someone who thinks Eclipse is written in Java and thinks VI is a dev env...

      Enough said.

      Well the very first 1.0 release in 2001 was mostly written in Java so it took minutes to boot (I timed it at around 6 mins in mid 2001) but since about 2.0 has used fully native SWT. So if Eclipse is slow its because you dont know what you are doing. Never had any real performance problems in the almost 20 years of professional use developing and shipping software

      I thought VI was a joke when I used it on VAX's back in the mid 1980's. VIM on a VT100 is easily the most unpleasant dev environment I have ever used to develop commercial software in. Used emacs on a Symbolics 3600 around the same time. All that Control, Meta, Super, Hyper modifier key crap. What a load of bollocks.

      So happy when the first IDE's with source level debuggers came along in 1986 (LSC) and left all that time wasting deliberate obscurantism bullsh*t behind. Never looked back. Some of us have product to ship.

      1. Maelstorm

        Re: Eclipse... and the winner of thread twit is..

        It comes down to use what you know. I have used vi for many years, so I'm used to it. I do most of my unix stuff on command line, so vi is king there. Vi is an editor, not a development environment. Vi, gcc/clang, make, gdb, and other tools is what makes the development environment. As for emacs, i get carpel tunnel syndrome just thinking about it. Not only that, I have product to ship too.

        I stand by my statement. Eclipse is junk because it's slow. Takes too long to do things. Android Studio is much faster. Visual Studio is faster.

  15. boltar Silver badge

    vi, gcc, make, gdb, strace, gprof

    You can stick your IDEs. I've used both VS and Eclipse in anger and I can't stand either of them - they get in the way of what I want to do by making simple tasks complicated and obfuscating stuff that should be readily visible and changable (eg library and include paths in VS buried so deep you need a virtual JCB to find them). As for intelli-no-bl00dy-sense, give me a break.

    Yes, maybe I am a dinosaur, but I'm a damn site more productive than some of the 20-somethings using IDEs.

  16. razorfishsl

    VC is GARBAGE.....

    the integration with GIT is crap & error filled.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More MS crapware...

    Installed an early version of VSC which was very unstable and when it was uninstalled so utterly screwed up the various C# libs on Win7 had to spend almost a day getting my dev machine stable again. Never fully stable until did a complete OS wipe / reinstall soon afterwards. So fell at first hurdle. I have been installing / using alpha / beta dev tools from various vendors for 35 years and so far VSC is the only one that serious damaged my non platform specific dev / OS environment. And the only MS application beta/release that trashed the machine so badly that it took more than a few mins to fix it.

    So VSC has no place in my very heterogeneous dev machine install. Got everything from MW Codewarrior through VS2008 to Ellipse, Netbeans and Android Studio. As for MS and Open Source, dont believe a single word they say. Remember, young 'uns, Microsoft is the company that has been lying through their teeth every day since 1977. I learned that lesson with the first release of AppleSoft BASIC and they have had a perfect track record since for utter mendacious. Just because a particular MS employee is not a complete lying bastard (known quite a few who were quite nice) does not mean the company has escaped its corporate DNA for doing utter evil at every turn. In fact I cannot think of a single good faith action done by MS (the corp) in the last 40 plus years. But you could fill books with all the horrible terrible things they have done. Like, to pick a random example, how they screwed their home state out of billions in sales tax even after getting a special tax break..

    MS = Criminal Psychopaths. And just as trustworthy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eclipse is a stinking sack of wank. VSC, IntelliJ IDEA, or vim, depending on what or where I'm editing. And source control (Fork) outside of whichever editor I'm using because I like a bit of separation.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this imply

    there's something wrong with Notepad? ;)

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Does this imply

      notepad lacks the syntax highlight feature that's pretty useful, which of course you have in an open source tool like pluma - think what Notepad does for you on winders, but it's on Linux or FreeBSD, has multiple tabs, doesn't have a limit [that I have ever hit] on file size, and does auto-indent and has user-configurable tab settings. And it does that all-important syntax highlighting if you want it to.

      (yeah another plug for 'pluma')

  20. Smartypantz

    Where do you want us to make you want to go today?

    Thank you for supporting the borg, usefull idiots, Your contributions will be assimilated.

    PS. We are not evil, we LOoOoOoOve Open source!

  21. Smartypantz

    Netbeans ftw

    Netbeans has always been my goto IDE. It just works, and the design is thought out and organized. It supports a lot of languages (C, C++, PHP, and offcource java) and Unit testing, debugging and version control, is superb. Never understood why the brogramming proddingfools loved that piece of crap, eclipse more? The brainwashed lemmings of MS + VS are excused and beyond reach of reason.

    Young people SUCK!

    Now get of my lawn

    1. Maelstorm

      Re: Netbeans ftw

      I tried Netbeans years ago and didn't like it. Now if you want a good lightweight editor on Windows, Notepad++ is quite good. Language neutral, but will do rules based highlighting, no limits on file size that I've ever reached, it's fast, and has a number of interesting features.

  22. DomDF

    Who?

    Who are Eclipse anyway? Aren't they the bad guys from Horizon Zero Dawn?

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    I like both

    VS Code is basically a programmer's editor with some plugins that can be used to build / debug but nowhere close to the sophistication of an IDE. If you have an ad hoc project or just want to edit files then it's very handy.

    Eclipse is an excellent IDE for Java development and some other languages. It's not so good at the ad hoc stuff and I'm not sure I'd want to control an external project because it's never been good at that compared to IntelliJ for example.

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