Microsoft's Python extension for VS Code just added the fast-coding Pylance language server

Microsoft has made its Pylance language server the default on the Python extension for Visual Studio Code.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft has released a new version of its hit Python extension for its cross-platform code editor Visual Studio Code (VS Code) that makes its Pylance language server the default. 

Microsoft started work on Pylance last June and promised it had "the ability to supercharge your Python IntelliSense experience with rich type information, helping you write better code faster."

IntelliSense is Microsoft's answer to automatic code completion to help developers skip through repetitive coding tasks and boost productivity. 

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The Python extension for VS Code is by far the most popular extension for the Microsoft code editor and speaks to the language's admiration when it comes to machine learning and data science, as well as the popularity of VS Code among developers.

"We're thrilled to announce that Pylance is now the default language server for Python and is bundled with the core Python extension as an optional extension starting with this release," said Savannah Ostrowski, a program manager for the Pylance Python Language Server and Python in Visual Studio. 

The Pylance extension works alongside the Python extensions in VS Code to boost performance. It's powered by Microsoft's static type checking tool, Pyright. 

"We've been making dramatic improvements to Python language support via the Pylance extension," says Ostrowski in a blogpost

"As of this release, we've included the Pylance extension as an optional dependency for the core Python extension. This means that you'll get the latest and greatest language support right out of the box with the Python extension (no separate install needed!)," says Ostrowski. 

Microsoft is recommending VS Code users to try the Pylance language server for a faster experience but notes that developers can configure the development environment to use other language servers, like open-source Jedi.

"We are committed to maintaining open-source language support options for our users in the future," she notes. 

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VS Code users can uninstall or disable the Pylance extension at will and, once it's uninstalled, it won't re-install when the Python extension updates. 

Microsoft also boasts that the Python extension it develops for VS Code now loads 10% faster for Windows and macOS systems, and 20% faster for Linux systems. 

Ostrowski says the Python extension now has better debugging, building on its existing support for the web-focussed Django and Flask frameworks for Python.

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