Looking to bolster the appeal of Visual Studio Code to Java developers, Microsoft has published a roadmap for bringing new Java-related capabilities to the code editor. Among the goals is making it easier to migrate to VS Code from other Java IDEs.
There are now more than 1.5 million Java developers using the code editor, Microsoft said. Several areas of investment have been designated for 2022, including the “inner loop” development experience, cloud-native development, build tools, performance and reliability, and other aspects of the user experience.
For inner loop development, improved code completion intelligence and optimization for common cases are planned, along with better code snippet generation and shortcuts based on user preference. Code completion performance improvements are eyed, as well. Planned debugging improvements include virtual thread support, debug for compiled classes, faster evaluation in variable views, and lambda expression valuation.
The 2022 roadmap also includes Java 18 support; Java 18 itself is due in March. For cloud-native development, the intention is to deepen integration with both Kubernetes and cloud services such as Azure Spring Cloud. Other goals cited on the roadmap:
- Improving the reliability of the Java Language Server and reducing project import times.
- Improving the user experience by making features more discoverable and easier to use.
- Improving the Maven and Gradle extensions.
- Better Junit testing, a better package import/project creation experience related to Swing/JavaFX applications, and support for Live Share in VS Code Java.
- Easier creation of Spring components for Spring Boot.
Aside from the roadmap, Microsoft said it has now embedded a JRE into its Java extensions, meaning developers no longer have to configure a JDK to run the extensions and only need to configure the JDK for their project. Microsoft also introduced a view where developers can change formatter settings for Java code and preview the effects. This can be accessed by bringing up the command palette (Ctrl+Shift-P) and run the “Java: Open Formatter Settings with Preview” command, or use “Java: Help Center” (Ctrl+Shift-P and run the “Java: Help Center” command).