VS Code Java Extension Pack Adds AI-Assisted IntelliCode

Microsoft provided an update on Java tooling for its open source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor, detailing better performance and several tweaks and enhancements, along with the introduction of IntelliCode to a popular extension package.

IntelliCode uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve on the IntelliSense feature of Visual Studio that provides functionality such as code-completion help: a list of possible code constructs likely to finish off what a developer is typing.

IntelliCode uses AI to examine quality open source projects and the code context of the specific project being worked on so as to better provide code-completion options based on what a developer is likely to need next. IntelliCode was provided to Java programmers with the IntelliCode Extension for Visual Studio Code extension last November. Now, that tool has been added to the Java Extension Pack, which also features other extensions that provide Java functionality.

"IntelliCode saves you time by putting what you're most likely to use at the top of your completion list," Microsoft said. "IntelliCode recommendations are based on thousands of open source projects on GitHub each with over 100 stars. When combined with the context of your code, the completion list is tailored to promote common practices."

In a blog post today, Microsoft's Xiaokai He announced Visual Studio IntelliCode was being added to the Java Extension Pack. "After releasing it 3 months ago, we see more and more developers adopting it with great feedbacks," He said. "Thus we decided to include it into our Java Extension Pack so more developers could benefit from AI-assisted coding."

The Java Extension Pack, available in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, packages together these separate extensions that give VS Code its Java goodness:

Beyond the addition of the IntelliCode extension to the Java Extension Pack, other recent improvements to Java programming in VS Code include:

  • Dependency auto-completion and more Maven updates
  • Performance improvements
  • Standalone file supports
  • Multiple source folders support
  • Easy launch for multi-main-class projects
  • Hide temporary files
  • Bulk generate getters and setters
  • Test configuration and report update
  • Including IntelliCode to Java Extension Pack

Still in preview, the Java Extension Pack has been installed more than 1.3 million times, its marketplace entry says, having been downloaded more than 3.3 million times and earning an average 4.4 rating (scale to 5) from 11 developers who provided review feedback.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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