Eclipse Theia 1.38 Release: News and Noteworthy

June 5, 2023 | 5 min Read

We are happy to announce the Eclipse Theia 1.38 release! The release contains 48 merged pull requests and we welcome six new contributors. In this article we will highlight some selected improvements and provide an overview of the latest news around Theia.

You don’t know about Eclipse Theia, yet? It is the next-generation platform for building IDEs and tools for the web or desktop, based on modern state-of-the-art web technologies. For more details, please refer to this article and visit the Theia website.

If you are using or adopting Theia, please note that the development team is very actively looking at reported bugs and feature requests. In particular, we also look at ticket votings on Github. So if you are interested in a particular feature, use the “thumbs up” emoji on Github to get the attention of the community. Ultimately, the committer team will assign the label “community pulse” to selected tickets, which indicates that there is a high interest to implement a specific feature.

Please note that in parallel to the 1.38 release we have just published the final version of the community release 2023-05, the official announcement will be published next week. Please see the Theia release page for more information.

If you are looking for a simple way to check out the new release, please download Theia Blueprint, which has just been updated to 1.38.

Eclipse Theia 1.38: Selected features and improvements

In the following, we will highlight some selected improvements in the new release. As usual we cannot mention all 48 improvements, however we will focus on the most notable changes as well as changes visible to end users. The corresponding pull requests are linked under the respective heading when applicable.

Add “open tabs” drop down menu

Theia 1.38 continues to improve the management of open tabs in the editor area. With Theia 1.37, we introduced a new, dynamic tab resizing strategy. The Theia 1.38 release continues these improvements by adding a drop down to the tab bar (see screenshot below). This drop down is only displayed if not all tabs fit on screen anymore. Then, the menu allows easily accessing open tabs. However, the default behavior is still to show a horizontal scrollbar, so if you want to benefit from the new behavior, please turn the setting “Shrink tabs to fit available space” on. Please let us know how you like the new tab management behavior, we might consider making it the default in Theia.

Search-In-Workspace: Support for multiselect

Theia 1.38 improves the search dialog by introducing support for multi select. After searching for a term, the user can select an arbitrary number from the result list (see screenshot below). Now, the user can trigger actions on all selected result items, e.g. dismiss items from the search, replace the term at selected occurrence or copy the result items.

Support for VS Code Extension API 1.77

The Theia 1.38 release is kind of a final leap in terms of compatibility to VS Code extensions. As you might know, you can use VS Code extensions in Eclipse Theia applications. This enables you to enhance your Theia-based application with a pantheon of features from a huge ecosystem of available extensions available for VS Code, e.g. via the openVSX Registry. VS Code extensions specify the minimum version of VS Code they require to run to ensure compatibility. The Theia release 1.38 raises the compatibility level to 1.77, which is only one month behind VS Code and allows the vast majority of extensions to be installed in their latest versions.

New VS Code API features include the Telemetry API, although for privacy reasons Theia of course does not send the data anywhere by default. In addition to providing the VS Code Extension API, Theia also ensures compatibility with VS Code wherever it makes sense, e.g. by supporting the  “enablement” property in extension command contributions, by adding a “Collapse All” command in tree view toolbar or by aligning the available “Task options” with VS Code.

Finally, we have started to implement the two remaining features in the VS Code API that are currently only stubbed in Theia, the Notebook Support and the TestAPI.

As always the 1.38 release contains much more than described in this article, e.g. the improvement of the performance in the problems view and the improved support for high contrast themes. All these features and improvements (in total 48) were the result of one month of intensive development. Eclipse Theia follows a monthly release schedule. We are looking forward to the next release due in June, stay tuned! To be notified about future releases, follow Theia on Twitter and register to our mailing list.

If you are interested in building custom tools or IDEs based on Eclipse Theia, EclipseSource provides consulting and implementation services for Eclipse Theia as well as for web-based tools in general. Furthermore, if you want to extend Theia with features such as the toolbar or the test framework, EclipseSource provides sponsored development for Theia, too. Finally, we provide consulting and support for hosting web-based tools in the cloudGet in contact with us, to discuss your use case!

Jonas, Maximilian & Philip

Jonas Helming, Maximilian Koegel and Philip Langer co-lead EclipseSource. They work as consultants and software engineers for building web-based and desktop-based tools. …