My thoughts on VSCode

By Jordan Reger on


Introduction

I've been using terminal-based editors for the better part of 2 years now. That said, I've jumped around editors pretty much the whole time I've been programming. I started with a terrible Python web editor, moved to Replit, Atom, VSCode, VSCodium, Fleet, Sublime, Vim, Emacs, Acme, Helix, and now I'm here. I'm sure I'm missing some, actually. My point is that I've used a lot of text editors, which most recently were home in the terminal. I do genuinely believe every serious programmer should take some time to learn terminal-based editing skills, because it removes you from everything except the code. It's a very meditative experience. I only recently realized that I can benefit from the features of a graphical text editor like this.

Things I Like

I spent a few months not too long ago on 9front and the whole time I used Acme. During my time using it every day, I learned to love the mouse. The mouse is an extremely important input method; sure, they're less intuitive than touch but they're about as good as we can get with physical peripherals (in my opinion). Because of this, I realize how important the mouse is, even in a text editor. I appreciate this of VSCode, really any graphical editor, because it makes so much possible after just one click. Something else I like is the simple theme. I like to think I like customizing stuff, but it turns out that's not true at all. Besides, if it isn't broke... anyways. It looks really quite good, it has plenty of contrast, and it certainly doesn't hurt the eyes. Check! I like the ability to keep it simple if you want (no plugins), but if you really need something important, you can add it pretty easily. For example, I don't need an LSP for every language, but I really like the Go one so I added it. I don't need to add anything else! The final thing I like is the SSH connection... it makes it so easy to edit my site. This article is being written in VSCode through SSH right now. It's amazing.

Things I Don't Like

Microsoft is not my favorite thing in the world. I don't believe AI should be in everything, but they definitely do. To be fair, they don't really push it (yet) but seeing how Windows is, I do see it as a possibility in the near future. The other thing I don't necessarily like is the telemetry, but it is what it is I guess. There's always VSCodium but I appreciate the VSCode plugins more than I mind the telemetry, so I still use the official VSCode distribution.

To be honest, that's kind of all I've got. I actually really like it...

Conclusion

If you're using VSCode and never have used anything else, stop right now and use Vim. Take a few months to learn it and just be one with the terminal. It'll change you, and will most certainly make you more appreciative of what VSCode brings to you. If you're a diehard terminal user, try VSCode for a change. It's nice. The moral of the story is that things that you may've been opposed to in the past can be actually quite nice if you give it a chance.