Eclipse Releases Theia - Open Source VSCode Alternative
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 03 April 2020

The Eclipse Foundation has released Theia, described as a true open source alternative to Microsoft’s popular Visual Studio Code. Theia is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDEs.

Theia has been designed to give is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDE-like products for developers.The project team says it means that as an adopter you don't need to make an upfront decision about whether your new developer product should run in the cloud, on the desktop, or both.

theia

Writing about the release, the developers say that first-generation online IDEs such as Cloud9 or Eclipse Che have paved the way, but that it's difficult to ensure support for the many programming languages and frameworks. Theia overcomes this by running VS Code extensions, which the team describes as the largest and most active IDE-extension community on the planet, with 16,000+ existing extensions developed by the open-source community. However, as Microsoft prohibits non-Visual Studio products from installing any binaries downloaded from their marketplace. To get around this the team has developed Open VSX, an open-source implementation of a VS Code extension registry with a publicly hosted version available in beta.

theia screenshot

The Theia team says that they want Open VSX to become a public registry for open-source VS Code extensions, accessible for everyone, and to have organizations host their own registries within their private networks. They say they encourage VS Code extension developers to push their extensions to Open VSX in addition to Microsoft's marketplace.

Theia runs in separate front- and back-end processes and uses JSON-RPC for communication over WebSockets or REST APIs over HTTP. Theia is available on GitHub.

theia

More Information

Theia Website

Theia On GitHub

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 April 2020 )