Visual Studio Code extension for Cordova

Visual Studio Code extension for Cordova

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Earlier today Microsoft released a set of updates for TACO. TACO stands for "Tools for Apache Cordova" and has been around for a little while yet, but I've not had a chance to give it proper review on the blog. I still plan on doing so, but I wanted to specifically call out part of what was released today - tooling support for Visual Studio Code.

Obviously this only helps you if you are a Visual Studio Code user, and if you are not, I highly suggest you take a look at the rest of the TACO site to look at the other parts of the suite. As I said - there is some impressive stuff here. If you do use Visual Studio Code though you'll want to grab this extension right away.

The extension provides three main features:

  • First, you get a debugger for iOS and Android. You can debug applications running on both the simulator and a real device.
  • Second, you get Cordova commands in the command palette. Right now this is just Build and Run, but it's something.
  • Third, and my favorite, you get intellisense for the plugin APIs. This provides code completion for Cordova plugins. Even cooler - the extension is smart enough to know what plugins you have installed in the current project. So if you don't have the Camera plugin installed, you won't get code completion. How does it look? Here is a quick example:

Visual Studio Code completion

To give you an idea of how the debugger looks, I did a quick video. I'm coming down with a bit of a cold, so forgive the somewhat scratchy voice.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by David McCan posted on 2/1/2016 at 3:13 PM

Nice addition. Thank you for posting about it. I've been pleased with VS Code. It is fast and stays out of your way. I've not tried the Mac and Linux versions yet, but that's on the list.

Comment 2 by Stefano Minghetti posted on 2/6/2016 at 11:33 AM

I develop with visual studio (vb and aspx) and I used eclipse for cordova/android. Since this post I try some project using VS. It is quite valid, but didn't find how to add references needed by some plugin (for eaxample admob need google-service) what if plugin setup doesn't set the reference on android project

Comment 3 (In reply to #2) by Raymond Camden posted on 2/6/2016 at 5:05 PM

I'm not 100% sure I get what you are asking, but it sounds like you want to know if the extension can handle plugin specific mods. If so, the answer is no, and I honestly don't think *any* IDE could handle a random plugins specific instructions. Basically, if cordova plugin add X by itself is not enough, I think you will need to just follow the directions and do it by hand. To be clear, Code won't make this harder. It won't stop you.