back to article Project Ticino: Microsoft's Erich Gamma on Visual Studio Code past, present, and future

Visual Studio Code only succeeded because a failed online editor was pivoted to become a desktop product, according to Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Erich Gamma. Gamma spoke at the virtual VS Code Day yesterday on how the world's favourite programmer's editor (or is it an IDE?) came about. Introduced at the Build event in …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    "What many people don't know is that we decided to not use any UI frameworks from the beginning and that's still true today," Gamma added, "because performance is very important to us and we want to be fully in control of our own destiny."

    This is very refreshing to hear a developer say this. I will likely be using this to help strengthen any arguments against the occasional framework obsessed guy I have to deal with.

    Obviously because it is Microsoft I have to sound a little bit petty and include this modified quote:

    "we want to be fully in control of our own destiny [and the destinies of all the other twits who buy into our ecosystem]."

    But my respect for this team in general has gone up a little.

    1. Alan Bourke

      Then again

      they have the resources to not have to use frameworks if they don't want to.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Re: Then again

        Very true, but some of these resources they gain by not having to maintain large generic frameworks partly written by a 3rd party.

  2. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

    "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

    Is this why everything from Microsoft looks different from everything else from Microsoft?

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

      More like Linux every day then.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. chololennon

        Re: "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

        But VSCode is written mostly in Typescript (OO Typescript with classes and interfaces), not Javascript.

        1. Howard Sway Silver badge

          Re: "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

          Indeed, my bad for getting befuddled there.

          But it's still a horrid language to code in in my opinion, and I think the decision to ignore any existing frameworks illustrates either Not Invented Here syndrome, or the fact that nothing exists yet that was considered up to scratch for that language.

          1. chololennon

            Re: "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

            Well, I agree that Javascript is a horrible language (I hate it with passion), but Typescript isn't. It's a really nice improvement over the nastiness of JS.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "we decided to not use any UI frameworks"

          Lipstick + pig... though I'll admit the pig is looking pretty good compared to most examples of this idiom.

  3. LDS Silver badge

    It looks he has a great experience on overbloated software...

    ... from Java to Electron, I don't know what is worst.

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    Contrarian?

    Gamma spoke at the virtual VS Code Day yesterday on how the world's favourite [sic] programmer's editor (or is it an IDE?) came about.

    Being old enough to remember (or forget) edlin, the Visual C++ 6.0 "editor", and the abomination known a QuickC, I find myself comforted that I have not and continue not to drink the Micros~1 Kool-Aid, and that regardless of "favo(u)rite-ism", VSCode does not grace any of my desktops.

    JetBrains FTW! (Did you notice that VSCode is one keystroke away from truth in advertising, identifying itself as a Disease of the Venereal (not Venerable) kind?)

    Now take yer damn editor and git offa my lawn!

  5. Binraider Silver badge

    This is a decision I have a lot of time for. UI frameworks - .net, QT, others all, sooner or later lead to dependency hell.

    I don't rate many MS programs but VSCode is one I definitely appreciate.

  6. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    A bear of little brain asks...

    If they're not using a UI framework then does that mean Electron is not a UI framework? I'm confused.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A bear of little brain asks...

      They are using a UI framework - their own one. Those that decry frameworks bemuse me - every API is basically a "framework", be it a library or even something as low level as system calls. The reason the term gets so much abuse seems to be down to the JavaScript world, where every year or two a new framework eclipses the previous ones.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you are working on Windows desktop, is there any compelling reason today why you would use VS Code instead of Visual Studio to build software? I keep looking for one, but apart from wider language support, I can't see anything.

    1. myhandler

      it's free

      1. DNH

        Visual Studio offers a "Community" edition, which is free (in the sense of nothing to pay). But if that didn't exist, then I'd just modify my question to limit it to professional developers. Presumably, if you can afford to buy hardware to work on, then you can afford to buy software to use, too.

        My question was really not rhetorical. I have a sense that I must be missing out on something important but can't see what it is. VSCode hype is everywhere: it has attracted a lot of developer love, lots of effort and management attention from MS. But every time I look at it, it feels like a product for someone else (a Linux person, maybe?).

        What's the idea for the future? Will VSCode evolve to be a full IDE and replace Visual Studio, or somehow will IDE users be forced to downgrade to working with an advanced code editor and some command line wrangles? Where is this all heading?

    2. chololennon
      Linux

      Well, IMHO VSCode/Codium is lighter/easier to install and can manage more languages/files types with its plugins. Also the interface is more simpler than the VS one. On the contrary if I have to develop in C++ for Windows, I would choose VS Community for sure (I don't use .Net). For other languages/tools like Typescript/Python/Go/Terraform/SQL/Markup/HTML/Docker/Generic editor/etc VSCode/Codium is my choice.

  8. Uplink

    They'll make their own UI framework. With blackjack. And hookers.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    WTF?

    Auto-save

    If your editor and computer don't crash every five minutes, why would you ever lose work because you didn't have auto-save? And when "Save All" is only ever a couple of keystrokes away, why is it such a "great feature" for the computer to do it for you?

    My memory is a bit dim if you go back too many decades, but the only times that I have ever felt that I'd "lost work" were when I saved something broken over something that wasn't without having first put the working stuff to revision control. Auto-save sounds like a way to automate that mode of failure.

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: Auto-save

      I think some of the use cases would also include the possibility of failures of other things than your own computer, remote editing for example? They don't see VS Code as only for desktop use.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Auto-save

      You've obviously never worked with Micros~1 Word....

      1. PerlyKing
        Facepalm

        Re: Auto-save

        Someone I know has been using Word for at least 25 years and still hasn't got the hang of always saving a new file at once to avoid the inevitable.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

    Says who? I don't know anyone in my team who uses it. I tried it once, couldn't stand it, typical GUI editor bloatware, went back to vi.

    1. PerlyKing
      Trollface

      Re: "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

      I think we all know where this is going... Emacs forever! ;-)

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

      For a minute I almost thought I should check it out. Thanks for talking me back from the ledge.

    3. chololennon
      Facepalm

      Re: "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

      "Says who?"

      Jetbrains and Stackoverflow polls say that.

      "I don't know anyone in my team who uses it."

      C'mon, personal experience is not evidence, it is anecdote. You can't generalize based on that.

      "I tried it once, couldn't stand it, typical GUI editor bloatware, went back to vi"

      Typical comment from a vi fanboy. Bloatware? OMG, it's just a simple editor. The "Bloatware" level depends on the number of plugins you install in it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

        Size of vim on my linus install 1.2 megs. Size of VSCode installed 200MB - for a fecking editor!

        You've clearly drunk the Kool Aid and have no idea what bloated junk MS tosses over the wall.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: "the world's favourite programmer's editor"

          Everything that take more place than a single sided floppy can handle is bloatware!

  11. Korgonzolla

    I'm no great fan of MS in general, but I must admit I'm a big fan of VSCode and Windows Terminal.

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