Visual Studio Java Gets IntelliCode
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 15 November 2018

Developers using Visual Studio Code to write in Java can now make use of Microsoft's AI-assisted IntelliSense extension. The extension has until now been limited to use with Python and C#.

IntelliCode goes further than the old IntelliSense feature that attempts to guess what you're typing. Machine learning is used to make the feature understand coding context based on a project's existing code. The extension shows you the recommended code completion options at the top of a list of suggestions, marked by stars. IntelliSense attempted something similar, but often came up with a wide range of suggestions, many of which were less useful, so you had to manually work through them to find the one you were looking for - or just type it for yourself.

The suggestions in IntelliCode are based on an Azure machine learning model trained on over 2,000 GitHub repos. The repos ranged from machine learning frameworks, through web frameworks, to general purpose scripting. The machine learning model is complete so the VS add-on that implements it doesn't have to look anything up on GitHub or Azure. The extension isn't just about statement completion. IntelliCode suggests the most appropriate API, and offers advice on the most appropriate overload for that API given the current code context.


Alongside the Java IntelliCode support, a number of other improvements were added to Java extensions for Visual Studio Code. The Debugger for Java now uses code lens to run Java programs more simply, and has a troubleshooting page for common errors. It also supports starting without debugging and has support for logpoints. 

Tomcat support has been updated, making it easier to work with Apache Tomcat, an open source implementation of the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages, Java Expression Language and Java WebSocket technologies. You can now right-click on the exploded WAR folder to run it on the Tomcat Server, and also to debug it on the Tomcat Server.

Maven support has also been improved so you can quickly re-run a maven command from history, with historical commands available from the context menu. Support has also been added to trigger maven commands from the command palette.

The extension offers better support for Java 9, 10 and 11. The integration with the editor is better, and it supports more code actions, including the ability to convert a var to a type and vice versa, and to convert to a lambda expression.


More Information

Java Extension On Microsoft MarketPlace

Related Articles

Visual Studio IntelliCode Infers C# Coding Conventions

Visual Studio Python Gets AI-Based IntelliCode

Visual Studio 2019 Will Include IntelliCode

The AI In The IDE - IntelliCode In Visual Studio


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 November 2018 )