Visual Studio Code for the Web is now available as a preview

Screenshots of Visual Studio Code running on the web

Microsoft has today announced a preview version of Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for the Web. This essentially allows developers to use a lightweight version of the integrated development environment (IDE) directly in the browser and without downloading any installer.

Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge support the File System Access API so will allow local code files to be opened directly. Meanwhile, other browsers will have to rely on code files being uploaded and downloaded. Some scenarios included in the initial release of VS Code for the Web includes:

  • Local file viewing and editing. Quickly take notes (and preview!) in Markdown. Even if you are on a restricted machine where you cannot install the full VS Code, you may still be able to use vscode.dev to view and edit local files.
  • Build client-side HTML, JavaScript, and CSS applications in conjunction with the browser tools for debugging.
  • Edit your code on lower powered machines like Chromebooks, where you can't (easily) install VS Code.
  • Develop on your iPad. You can upload/download files (and even store them in the cloud using the Files app), as well as open repositories remotely with the built-in GitHub Repositories extension.

It is important to note that the debugger and terminal are not available in VS Code for the Web, as it's not possible to compile and run app code in a browser sandbox right now. That said, most programming languages will feature code syntax and bracket pair colorization, symbol search, and more. Some like Python, TypeScript, and JavaScript will also be able to leverage semantic highlighting and single file completions. Meanwhile, web languages such as JSON, HTML, CSS, and LESS will work identically to the desktop version of VS Code. Extensions are supported too.

Visual Studio Code for the Web is now available in preview and you can give it a spin here. You can also find out more details about the initiative here.

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