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Microsoft, Red Hat and Codenvy start developing unified language server protocol

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language server protocol

To give ease to millions of developers worldwide, Microsoft, Red Hat and Codenvy have announced their collaboration and started working on a unified language server protocol. The new project is aimed to provide a common way to integrate programming languages across code editors and integrated development environments (IDEs).

The development of the new language server protocol will help developers access rich editing experience across multiple programming languages. Also, it will offer language providers a way to maximise their reach on a variety of operating systems.

Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse Che are already supporting the new protocol. However, other languages such as C/C++, Go, R, JSon, TypeScript, C# (OmniSharp), RAML and XML will receive the same functionality in the coming future. Red Hat is additionally set to provide an open source Java language server to help the community using Eclipse IDE.

“Having done a language server integration twice, it became obvious that a common protocol is a win-win for both tool and language providers,” said Erich Gamma, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer. “In this way, any language provider can make their language support available so that it is easily consumable by any tool provider.”

The language server protocol emerges as an open source project and comes with JSon-based data exchange support. It enables developers to access language assistants such as find by symbol, syntax analysis, code completion, go to definition, outlining and refactoring right within a supportive editor or any IDE of their choice.

“With a common protocol supported by Microsoft, Red Hat and Codenvy, developers can gain access to intelligence for any language within their favorite tools,” said Tyler Jewell, Codenvy CEO and Eclipse Che project lead.

Different language servers through the protocol will be published in a global registry to give them discoverability among developers. Further, the project itself is currently hosted on GitHub and licensed under the creative commons and MIT licenses.