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Re: [ui-best-practices-working-group] [ide-dev] VS Code

Reply-To: UX Group <ui-best-practices-working-group@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 9:01 AM
To: UX Group <ui-best-practices-working-group@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [ui-best-practices-working-group] [ide-dev] VS Code

On 14 September 2016 at 21:54, Doug Schaefer <dschaefer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 2016-09-14, 2:25 PM, "ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of Gorkem
Ercan" <ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of gorkem.ercan@xxxxxxxxx>

>On 13 Sep 2016, at 16:06, Doug Schaefer wrote:
>VS Code is a coding editor not an IDE. It caters a different workflow
>than IDEs. Yes there are ideas here and there that can be applied to
>Eclipse workflows such as the language server but I think Eclipse should
>continue to improve on its workflow and not borrow a new one.

I¹ve heard this argument before. What¹s an IDE?

As soon as you have integration with a debugger, I consider you an IDE. VS
Code has that.

I agree with this. I think once you integrate with a debugger, or a *semantic* tool (like code completion deamon), you have an IDE, not an editor. Under this sense Vim/Emacs when used for programming would be an IDE. But this just arguing abstract semantics, most users would still call their tool "editors". Vim/Emacs in particular would probably be offended if their tool is called an IDE. :p

I think what is really important is whether the user expect their IDE/editor to be "lightweight" and "simple". Because the VS Code people call their tool an "editor", they are making a statement that they expect to deliver something "lightweight" and "simple". Whilst those terms are not precisely defined either, I'd expect most users would agree VS Code is simple and lightweight, and Eclipse is not, far from it. (BTW, neither is IntelliJ)

So I think trying to draw UX lessons from VS-Code to Eclipse is not going to work well, IMO, unless you want to redesign a whole new Eclipse workbench.

I think that’s a great point. A lot of people, myself included, love Eclipse because it can do everything I need when building software. There is a lot of automation that just works and takes care of things for me, makes me more productive. It can only do that because it’s heavy weight.

People who don’t care so much about automation, just want to type their code in and run it will want something more lightweight and simple.

I mentioned I was worried that VS Code would fall into the same traps we have when trying to do more, but we also need to be careful that Eclipse doesn’t become so simple we start to lose functionality users expect.


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