Theia vs VsCode pace of development

Theia, of course, very comfortable due to it extension/plugin system and modern workspaces/build environment. But VsCode project has a lot of commits and contributers + when code-server project appeared - more contributers come. I now that theia has commiters like Huawai, IBM, Google eth, but how can you add new features as fast as it can VsCode community do? Your github project doesn’t have so much contributers, and, as a consequence, less commits and activity

As far as i understand, to maintain the pace of development you should get parts of vscode source directly from their github. It will be greate if Theia will be as features packed as vscode is, but i really don’t understand how you can achieve this, and this is my main question

[original thread by Andrey Rtv]

We don’t compete with VS Code, we take VS Code tech and make it available to build custom products. If you just need VS Code then use it. But if you want to build something like Gitpod, Eclpise Che, ARM Mbed Studio, Arduino Pro IDE, Google Cloud Shell and so on then Theia is your choice. It is first.

Secondly we benefit from everything what VS Code maintainers do. For instance they started to work on new web editor api and it takes already around half an year and will take another half an year. For us though we don’t need to invent it, but can spend 2 weeks at the end to port the implementation.

[Jonas Helming]

I agree with Anton, Theia directly benefits from the development of VS Code. As a consequence, the code base of Theia is significantly smaller compared to VS Code (due to the reuse). If you take that into account, the activity in both projects is actually on a very similar level. However, if you look at the diversity, there are various parties contributing to Theia, while VS Code is mainly driven by Microsoft at the moment. I recently summarized this activity and diversity comparison in an article, which might be an interesting read for you:

[Andrey Rtv]

Thank you for your answers!
Jonas, i read your article very carefully about a week ago, you mentioned that Theia is rely on VsCode and reuse a lot, but i was a bit confused about how many commits VsCode project has, so despite Theia reuse some parts, VsCode has many improvements and bugfixes every week due to its community

We need open source Ide for our project, that can be highly customized, and Theia seems a perfect choice. Moreover, Theia code base seems clean and well structured. But as VsCode project is so popularity and active that we were a little doubted how you can catch this train

Thanks again for detailed answer, we tend to use Theia

@jhelming very nice article - thanks for sharing


“the code base of Theia is significantly smaller compared to VS Code (due to the reuse).”
Clarification please. I don’t see how reduction in codebase can be achieved by reuse of another project’s code.


Ugh. This chat is showing my message as including a quote that was not the message as posted. How do I prevent this?

[Jonas Helming]

Let us look at one example: the code editor used in Theia, called Monaco is actually the same as in VS Code. More precisly, the code is part of the VS Code project, Theia essentially “just” uses it. This component consists of quite an amount of code. The code base of VS Code includes it, Theia does not, as it does reuse.
This is probably the biggest, but by far not the only example.