Programming languages: Python and Java VS Code extensions get these new updates

Java for Visual Studio Code now gets SonarLint 'spellchecker' tool, while the Python extension gets a new debugger.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released the March update for its popular Python extension for Visual Studio Code (VS Code), its widely used cross-platform code editor. It's also released an update for Java on VS Code with support for the IDE extension, SonarLint.   

The most notable change in the Python for VS Code update is a new Microsoft-built Python debugger called debugpy, an implementation of the Debug Adapter Protocol for Python. The tool allows developers to debug script files and modules from the command line, as well as enable debugger logging. 

Until now, VS Code had built-in debugging support for JavaScript, TypeScript, Node.js, and so on, while extensions from the VS Code marketplace enabled support for other languages like Python, Go, C# and C++. 

Microsoft has also made it easier to attach dpbugpy to processes running on the user's machine. 

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"Sometimes you may want to attach the debugger to a Python process that is running on your machine, but that can be tricky if, for example, you don't have control over the application that launched that process," explains Luciana de Melo e Abud, a program manager for the Python extension in VS Code. 

On the Java side of VS Code, Microsoft has introduced Syntax mode for standalone Java files and support for the newly released SonarLint extension for detecting code quality and security issues on the fly.  

Microsoft says it's aiming for VS Code to be "really fast" when developing in Java. This update to the Java extension for VS Code promises noticeably faster times for resolving Maven and Eclipse projects. 

Syntax Mode addresses the 'Classpath is incomplete' warning Java developers would see when a Java file is opened that doesn't belong to a project. 

"A lot of developers complained about this rather unhelpful warning, so in this release, we decided to provide a dedicated mode for reading non-project Java code," said Xiaokai He, a senior program manager for Java on Visual Studio Code and Azure.     

Syntax Mode allows the user to read code more efficiently aided by Code Navigation and Outline features, while errors for fixing are also reported.

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The SonarLint IDE extension promises to help Java developers in VS Code fix issues before they exist with spellchecker-like squiggles under erroneous code. 

SonarLint was already supported in Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Visual Studio IDEs. SonarLint support for Java in VS Code is the result of a collaboration between team members from SonarLint , Red Hat and Microsoft.   

Microsoft's VS Code Python extension also makes it easier to attach dpbugpy to processes running on the user's machine.   

Image: Microsoft

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