Eclipse Theia 1.50 Release: News and Noteworthy

June 21, 2024 | 5 min Read

We are happy to announce the Eclipse Theia 1.50 release! The release contains 67 merged pull requests. In this article we will highlight some selected improvements and provide an overview of the latest news around Theia.

For those new to Eclipse Theia, 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.

The Theia project also releases a product, the Theia IDE. The Eclipse Theia IDE is a modern and open IDE for cloud and desktop for end user software developers. The Theia IDE is based on the Theia platform. For more details, visit the Theia IDE website.

If you are looking for a simple way to check out the new release, please download and install the Theia IDE, which is based on Theia 1.50.

Please note that with Theia 1.50, we finally deprecate the Theia Git extension. Please switch to the VS Code built-in extension instead.

Eclipse Theia 1.50: Selected features and improvements

In the following, we will highlight some selected improvements in the new release. As usual we cannot mention all 67 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.

Notebook editor Improvements

With the Theia 1.50 release, we’ve made substantial strides in improving and stabilizing notebook editor support, continuing the advancements we began in version 1.41. User feedback has been instrumental in driving these enhancements, leading to a marked increase in the adoption of notebook editors. For those new to this feature, notebook editors in Theia provide a versatile workspace where you can open files to render executable cells alongside diverse and interactive outputs, similar to the functionality seen in tools like Jupyter Notebook. This feature is accessible via the VS Code extension API and has been widely embraced by the popular Python extension for Notebooks.

The screenshot below illustrates the notebook editor interface, showcasing the seamless integration of text and executable code within the user-friendly UI. For a more detailed description of this feature, check out Mark Sujew’s blog post that delves deeper into the improvements and functionalities introduced in this release.

Theia IDE Improvements

We are happy that Theia IDE has evolved into a stable and powerful tool for everyday work. With the latest releases, we have focused on enhancing the overall functionality and user experience, including enabling popular extensions such as Gitlens and the Jira extension. Additionally, we have improved features like navigable links in the terminal (see screenshot below).

We are immensely grateful for the community’s feedback. Regular bug reports and feature requests have been instrumental in our continuous monthly improvements to Theia IDE.

Since December 2023, alongside the monthly Theia platform release, we have been publishing new versions of Theia IDE. These releases include new platform features, such as support for detachable editors and dev containers, along with several stability improvements and bug fixes. Although Theia IDE is still in beta, the steady progress suggests that we will soon be exiting the beta phase.

Your feedback about Theia IDE is invaluable. Please continue to report any issues and feature requests. We also invite you to participate in the ongoing development of Eclipse Theia IDE.You can try the latest version of the Theia IDE online. The online test version is limited to 30 minutes per session and hosted via Theia Cloud. Of course you can also just download and install the Theia IDE.

General Improvements

The Theia 1.50 release emphasizes significant improvements in stability and maintenance. Key updates include the bump in the default supported VS Code Extension API from version 1.88.1 to 1.89.1, ensuring compatibility with the latest features and enhancements in the ecosystem. This update aligns with the newest changes detailed in the VS Code 1.89 release notes and addresses related issues as documented in this GitHub issue.

For developers, the Electron version has been upgraded to ^28.2.8, bringing improved performance and security. This upgrade is particularly relevant for those working on the desktop versions of Theia. More details on this update can be found in the pull request.

Additionally, the auto-save mechanism has been refactored to enhance reliability and efficiency, contributing to a more seamless user experience. This refactor is discussed in detail in this pull request.

Several other improvements and fixes have been implemented in this release, such as performance enhancements for handling large files and directories, improved plugin system stability and compatibility, and various bug fixes and code cleanups to ensure a smoother user experience.

All these features and improvements (in total 67) 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 cloud. Get 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. …