Oracle unveils Java development extension for Visual Studio Code

Oracle has released the Oracle Java Platform extension for Visual Studio Code, bringing full-featured Java development for Maven and Gradle projects to Microsoft’s popular code editor.

Available in the VS Code portion of the Visual Studio Marketplace, the Oracle Java Platform extension was unveiled October 18. The extension covers the development cycle from editing to compiling to debugging and testing, Oracle said, with class-level and variable refactorings supported. The initial release offers features such as a project view, auto-completion, error highlighting, and jump-to-definition capabilities, along with unit testing support for Junit.

Oracle said the increasing popularity of Visual Studio Code as a universal IDE has changed the relationship between programming languages and their IDEs. Previously, developers picked a language and then an IDE; now many developers expect that language-agnostic IDEs like VS Code will offer good support for every language that developers use. A large number of Java developers use VS Code, particularly students and developers using other languages alongside Java.

To support a programming language, a VS Code extension has a language server at its core, Oracle said. This back end operates the language’s tools and communicates with the IDE using the Language Server Protocol. Oracle’s Java language server is a slimmed down version of one developed for the Apache NetBeans project.

Leveraging the OpenJDK javac compiler for code editing and compilation, Oracle’s language server will enable VS Code support for new JDK (Java Development Kit) features as soon as they are introduced. Oracle’s VS Code extension will support current JDK releases and the next upcoming JDK version. The current version is JDK 21, released in September.

Microsoft also provides Java development tools for VS Code, including an Extension Pack for Java. It features a collection of extensions for writing, testing, and debugging Java applications.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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