VS Code Java Team Boosts IntelliSense Performance

Microsoft's dev team for Java on Visual Studio Code is working to improve IntelliSense performance in the popular open source code editor that acts like an IDE via its vast library of extensions.

"The performance of IntelliSense is highly impacted by the number of requests clients send to language server and the language server's capability to process these requests," said Yaojin Yang, senior program manager in the Developer Division at Microsoft, in a Sept. 10 blog post.

VS Code relies heavily on language servers to provide the language-specific "smarts" such as code completion through use of the Language Server Protocol.

The graphic below, from Microsoft's "Language Server Extension Guide" for VS Code, shows how the Language Server extensions for HTML and PHP work, communicating via the Language Server Protocol:

Language Server Protocol for HTML and PHP
[Click on image for larger view.] Language Server Protocol for HTML and PHP (source: Microsoft).

It is that communication that is being addressed by Yang and his team.

"Our improvements have been focused on cutting unnecessary client requests and optimizing language server's processing capability. Although the improvements will take a couple of iterations, we have already seen very positive results through our latest releases in August. In our test with the latest releases, we are able to achieve over 80 percent performance improvement."

His post includes the following table that shows the results as a measure of the duration between the client's request time and language server's response time. The explanation of the table is: "In a Java file with 5000+ lines of test code, trigger IntelliSense by typing Character 'S', and wait till suggestion popped up. Repeat 5 times for July and August releases respectively. Each time, we measure duration between client's request time and language server's response time."

Jul. release742067456653505150636186.4
Aug. release923412469600752631.2

Other highlights of the August 2020 update to Java on Visual Studio Code include better debugging support, improvements to the newly introduced project view and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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