Florent Benoit

Eclipse Che & Eclipse Theia committer

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Extending Eclipse Che 7 to use VS Code extensions

Extending Eclipse Che 7 to use VS Code extensions

Recently the Eclipse Che community has been working to make Eclipse Theia the default web IDE for Eclipse Che 7. We’ve added a plugin model to Eclipse Theia that is compatible with Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extensions. Che 7 users will eventually be able to take advantage of extensions that have been written for VS Code in their cloud-based developer workspaces. It’s worth pointing out the popularity of VS Code extensions. Red Hat has contributed extensions covering Java, XML, YAML, OpenShift, and dependency analytics. The Java extension provided by Red Hat has been downloaded over 10 million times!

If you aren’t familiar with Eclipse Theia, Che 6 and earlier used a GWT-based IDE. While it is possible to develop and use plugins in that environment, it is cumbersome. Coming from tools like VS Code, developers expect to be able to customize and extend their workspaces at runtime. Eclipse Theia is an extensible open-source framework to develop multi-language IDEs using state-of-the-art web technologies. Moving to Theia as the default IDE for Che 7 provides a foundation to enrich the developer workspaces in Che. See the series of articles by Stevan LeMeur for more information about what’s coming in Che 7.

This article explains why we decided to add the new plugin model to Eclipse Theia and the benefits for Eclipse Che 7 developer workspaces. I also cover how the new plugin model differs from the existing Theia extension model.

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