Visual Studio Code Windows support help

The main purpose in developing the Visual Studio Code Swift extension was to provide an IDE that wasn't limited to macOS. We wanted to make it easier for developers to work with Swift on Linux and Windows.

Unfortunately we currently do not have anyone available to do Windows support. Because of this we are unable to properly maintain a Windows version of the extension. We know there are issues with debugging Windows executables but in the current situation we are unable to resolve these.

Is there anyone in the Swift community who would like to join us in improving the developer experience for Windows users. The work would involve testing features to verify they work on Windows and resolving Windows specific issues. We know that this will be someone who is most likely volunteering their own free time and don't have any expectations.

If you are interesting you can reply here or message either me @adam-fowler or @0xTim privately


Verifying features and basic experience on Windows is relatively easy IMO. "Resolving Windows specific issue" could be a bit tricky as most of the experience issues I’ve met on Windows resulted from lack of support from the toolchain itself (eg. poor debugger support and path normalization). I don’t think the plugin is capable of fixing such problems.

Anyway, I would try my best to offer help to improve developer experience on Windows:)

I am ready to help out any way I can, I'm just not exactly sure where to start and what to do :d

Yeah I realise the resolving Windows specific features work is limited by lack of support from the toolchain and there is only so much that can be done. There is work based around debug formats. See the conversations in issues Add option to output CodeView debug info for Windows · Issue #153 · swift-server/vscode-swift · GitHub and Windows Debug settings · Issue #80 · swift-server/vscode-swift · GitHub.

@stevapple @Skwiggs Thank you for the offer of your time.

Regarding the verifying of issues and basic experience the last time the extension was fully tested on Windows was with the release of v0.1.0. Any feature detailed in the changelog after that has not been tested on Windows. I think the best way forward now, would be for me to create a bunch of issues (for testing features) in the vscode-swift repository and label them "windows" and then if you guys can assign yourself to verifying it by adding a reaction to the first comment. I should have the issues done by the end of today (GMT).

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Will do :slight_smile:

The path normalization issue is not a toolchain support issue, it is a library level issue in swift-tools-support-core.

Debugging support is a known quality issue, and my recommendation for that currently is to use CodeView debug information with WinDBG (or WinDBGX). Although its not as convenient as what I would like, it does help a great deal with debugging.

Edit: To be more explicit, I think most issues (outside of QoI items like debugging) at this point are far beyond the scope of the toolchain. There are a number of known issues with lldb, but, in terms of functionality from the toolchain, I think that Windows support is fairly complete (caveat: on main, not in released toolchains). There are some issues in LLVM and clang, but they are also outside of the Swift compiler.

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I am interested in helping as well!

That's great @thx1766

As I said in Visual Studio Code Windows support help - #5 by adam-fowler I've tagged any Windows issues with "windows". You are also welcome to have a go at any of the others. Probably best picking an issue tagged "good first issue".

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