The Open Source in Visual Studio Code


open source handwritten with related word cloud on blackboardIan Battersby commented at Twitter on my recent blog post about my first impressions on Visual Studio Code that I didn’t mention OmniSharp which partly powers Visual Studio Code. And he is right. I forgot to mention it. But Code actually builds on many open source projects. So I thought that I write a blog post which lists some of them. Please write a comment if you know about a project I forgot in the list.

Open Source Software, Visual Studio Code is built on

  • Electron from Github – formerly known as Atom Shell. It is used to write cross platform desktop applications with web technologies.
  • Chromium from Google. Electron uses Chromium, the open-source browser project behind Google Chrome.
  • io.js, a fork of Node.js which is a JavaScript platform.
  • Blink from Google. Blink is the rendering engine used by Chromium.
  • OmniSharp provides language services for C#. Visual Studio Code uses for features like code navigation and refactoring. There are plugins for other editors like Emacs, Vim, Sublime Text or Atom which use OmniSharp for the same purpose.
  • Roslyn from Microsoft. Roslyn is the .NET compiler platform with C# and VB compilers. OmniSharp uses its C# compiler for its code analysis features.
  • TypeScript from Microsoft. Visual Studio Code uses it for JavaScript and TypeScript code analysis to provide features like code navigation and refactoring.
  • Node.js, a JavaScript platform
  • V8 from Google. V8 is the JavaScript engine used by io.js, Node.js and Chromium.
  • Squirrel, an installation and update framework for Windows desktop applications. Used for installing Visual Studio Code on Windows
  • DefinitelyTyped, the repository for TypeScript type definitions. Code uses it for getting the type information for third-party JavaScript libraries in JavaScript and TypeScript projects.

Someone on Stackoverflow wrote another list of open source software used in Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft released software which includes open source components, some of them written by Google. This shows that Microsoft today is not the Microsoft we knew in the past. Although Visual Studio Code builds on all those awesome open source projects, Code itself is not open source. There are components like the “Monaco” code editor or the debugging services that are not open source. Microsoft contributes back to the open source projects, at least to some of them. So even if Microsoft won’t open source VSCode they give back to the community.

There is already an issue in Microsoft’s issue tracker about open sourcing VSCode. If you want Code to be open source vote for it.