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New for VS Code: MongoDB, Kite AI-Powered JavaScript Completions

This week sees several significant additions to the Visual Studio Code ecosystem: an update to the Python extension; the popular open source MongoDB database; and AI-powered JavaScript code completions from Kite.

First of all, the super-popular Python extension for VS Code stirred up some developer interest with some tweaks to interpreter path functionality.

And just today (May 14), another extension was announced: MongoDB for VS Code, which lets developers quickly connect to the popular open-source MongoDB and MongoDB Atlas and work with data to create applications right inside VS Code, which has been named the No. 1 development tool in major surveys.

"In the past few years, VS Code has grown in popularity and became the most used code editor for developers," said Massimiliano Marcon from the MongoDB team in a blog post. "Its extensibility makes it possible to customize the coding experience and tailor it to the languages, frameworks, and services developers use to build applications."

Specifically, the new extension lets VS Code devs:

  • Connect to a MongoDB or Atlas cluster, navigate through a databases and collections, get a quick overview of a schema, and see the documents in collections
  • Create MongoDB Playgrounds, the a quick way to prototype CRUD operations and MongoDB commands
    MongoDB Playgrounds
    [Click on image for larger view.] MongoDB Playgrounds (source: MongoDB).
  • Quickly access the MongoDB Shell, to launch the MongoDB Shell from the command palette and quickly connect to the active cluster

And just a couple days ago, Kite, which uses machine learning to offload repetitive programming tasks in a variety of editors -- including VS Code -- boosted its tooling with JavaScript support.

Kite's AI-powered completions were previously available for Python, and as of this week also for JavaScript code. Besides VS Code, it works iwth IntelliJ, Sublime, Atom, WebStorm, Vim and other editors. Support for Jupyter, Java, PHP and more is planned, according to its site.

Kite says its tooling can:

  • Complete multiple lines of code at a time
  • Provide completions when editors like VS Code cannot understand the code
    Kite Claims More Code Completions than VS Code Alone
    [Click on image for larger view.] Kite Claims More Code Completions than VS Code Alone (source: Kite).
  • Show completions in more situations, for example after a space
  • Work alongside VS Code's and other editors' code completion tools

"The JavaScript ecosystem continually invents new frameworks and design patterns," said the company's Daniel Hung. "These inventions make it a vibrant place to be, but it also creates the need to learn an ever-changing set of code patterns and APIs.

"Kite's deep learning models have learned all of these patterns, and understand the context of your code, so Kite can predict chunks of code and put them in your completions."

Hung said two use cases where that comes in handy include:

  • If developers already know what they need to type, Kite helps them jump ahead to the next task
  • If coders are having trouble remembering an API or design pattern, Kite can remind them so they don't need to search on Google

While the company offers a for-pay pro tool, it also offers its JavaScript tool for free, available here (note: clicking on link may initiate download).

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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