Eclipse Theia 1.40 Release: News and Noteworthy

August 1, 2023 | 5 min Read

We are happy to announce the Eclipse Theia 1.40 release! Even though we are in vacation season, the release contains 33 merged pull requests and we welcome two 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.

One important announcement for adopters of Theia who use the Theia Git Extension: As discussed in several dev calls, the Theia team decided to deprecate the @theia/git extension. It has a functional overlap with the VS Code built-in Git extension and it does not make sense to maintain our own Git extension anymore. This will reduce maintenance efforts.

If you are an active user of the Theia Git extension, we recommend you to evaluate switching to the VS Code built-in. If you see any issues with the switch, please raise them on this ticket.

The Theia 1.40 release is the first release candidate for the next community release 2023-08. So if you plan to adopt the next community release, please verify the 1.40 release and report important issues for your use case!

Further, we would like to remind again that the call for submissions is open for TheiaCon 2023 is open. TheiaCon 2023 will take place as a 2 days virtual event on November 15th and 16th. The event is the perfect place to learn about news around Theia and its community. If you have anything interesting to share, please consider submitting a talk. This especially also includes adopter stories, i.e. if you build an application based on Theia, TheiaCon is a great place to present it.

If you are looking for a simple way to check out the new release, please download Theia Blueprint, which has just been updated to 1.40.

Eclipse Theia 1.40: Selected features and improvements

In the following, we will highlight some selected improvements in the new release. As usual we cannot mention all 33 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.

Visual Tab Preview on hover

In the 1.37 release, Theia introduced an enhanced tab hover option. By enabling the setting “Enhanced Preview” (see screenshot below), you will see not only the file name, but also the caption of a view/editor. Furthermore, we extended the way that the hover widget can be adapted by custom tools. In the 1.40 release Theia adds an even more advanced option. By enabling the mode “visual”, Theia will render a visual preview of the actual content of an editor when the user hovers over its tab (see screenshot below).

Show command shortcuts in toolbar item tooltips

Theia supports toolbar items, either in the global toolbar or in view specific toolbars. The user can trigger these actions by clicking the toolbar items or alternatively via the keyboard, if a keybinding is assigned to the corresponding command. To make it easier for users to learn the respective keybinding for frequently used toolbar items, Theia 1.40 shows keybindings for toolbar items on hover over (see screenshot below).

Identify Theia Extensions included in multiple version

Theia 1.40 introduces a new option to the CLI with which you can easily identify dependency issues for Theia extension, More precisely you can prevent having Theia extensions in multiple versions in your dependency tree. While it can generally make sense to include node packages in multiple versions for libraries such as loadash or rimraf, it is usually a source of issues for Theia extensions. This is due to the fact that Theia extensions contribute to the workbench. As an example, if an extension contributes a command, you do not want to have this command twice in your application. Theia 1.40 adds a new option to the Theia CLI, which allows you to identify Theia extensions that are included in multiple versions in a product. For details, follow the link on the heading of this section.

As always the 1.40 release contains much more than described in this article. Theia 1.40 increases the VS Code extension compatibility to 1.79A fix on the file serialization of the global-state.json improves the performance, especially with many VS Code extensions installed that use the store. And finally, you can now easily customize the file extensions for workspace files.

All these features and improvements (in total 33 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 next month, 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. …