I’m excited to announce that InterSystems will be joining the open source community for InterSystems ObjectScript extension to Visual Studio Code. Early this year I posted that we were on a journey to redefine the future of our IDE strategy, and what came out of that is Visual Studio Code is the IDE that can support that future. It’s fast, stable, feature-rich, and built on a modern technology architecture that affords us the ability to offer you far more functionality around your ObjectScript activities than ever before, particularly in the area of DevOps, continuous development, and collaborative programming.
The developer community agrees with us, as for the first time in my memory, a product has captured more than half of the market share for general purpose IDEs. The language story is even more striking, with VS Code being used exponentially more than any other IDE. Other than Java, which is still split very evenly, all other developer communities have chosen VS Code. Innovation only happens where there’s a community to support it, and more and more every year, that place is VS Code.
In addition to deciding on VS Code as a platform, we’ve also made the significant decision to, instead of building our own extension from scratch, join the open source community to advance the existing effort created by @Dmitriy Maslennikov, who has done an amazing job building a tool with which many are already doing productive ObjectScript work.
Our mission for the project is to develop VS Code support for server-side workflows familiar to long-time InterSystems customers, while also offering a client-centric workflow paradigm more in line with the way mainstream programmers think.
To be clear, we are not there yet, and getting the existing tool to that point will take time. But we expect to deliver a version of the VS Code extension to ObjectScript that is production quality and supported by InterSystems by the end of the year. Another important point is, Studio will continue to have an important place in our IDE plans for a long time to come. If Studio suits your needs, you have nothing to worry about. It stays the tool of choice for those with the most sophisticated requirements, such the biggest code bases and low-code editing needs. But our development efforts will focus on VS Code.
What happens now?
The first order of business is to have you try it out and provide feedback. To make that easier we’ll be working hard to make frequent documentation updates on the GitHub project’s wiki.
If you find something that doesn’t work, or a feature you’d like to see, please add it to the GitHub issues board. I know many InterSystems users are not familiar with using GitHub, so we’ll be talking a bit about that here in the coming weeks.
This is open source
You’ve probably noticed that feedback and communications on this product are all happening in the open. This will continue to be open source software, with InterSystems being a major voice in the community, but far from the only voice. Open source principles will underpin all activities around this project, structured by formal governance principles outlined in the governance.md file in the GitHub repository. Here are the highlights:
- Anyone can post an issue – which is a bug or feature requestabout
- Anyone can submit a pull request (PR) to add a feature, fix a bug or enhance documentation
- Committers can approve PRs
- The Project Management Committee (PMC) approves committers and prioritizes the issues list, thereby setting the project roadmap
- The PMC is chaired by @Dmitriy Maslennikov and includes 2 InterSystems members and @John Murray
- The PMC strives for consensus but requires a simple majority vote
Try out VS Code and get your issues in. We’ll be processing that input over the coming weeks to work out a roadmap that will get us to a version 1.0 production release that InterSystems will formally support through normal channels.
Learn more about this work, and modernizing development practices in general. CaretDev featuring @Dmitriy Maslennikov will be offering a webinar on April 14th, and InterSystems will have a webinar focused on IDEs in mid-May. We’ll also be posting articles here on various IDE-related topics, such as continuous integration and testing, leveraging the cloud with services such as Azure DevOps, and managing multi-language projects.
It’s going to be a very exciting year for development tools in this community, and I’m looking forward to helping you all take your business to new levels!