Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Open VSX: A Vendor-Neutral Home for VS Code Extensions

with one comment

With the transition of the Open VSX Registry from TypeFox to the Eclipse Foundation, the industry now has a vendor-neutral and publicly hosted open source alternative to the Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace for VS Code extensions. The move increases transparency and flexibility for extension users, extension publishers, and tool developers.

Overcoming Single-Vendor Marketplace Restrictions

While the Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace is a great resource for developers that use Microsoft VS products, its terms of use states that extensions can’t be used with the increasing number of open source tools and technologies that support the VS Code extension API.

In addition, because Microsoft doesn’t provide access to the source code for the Visual Studio Marketplace, there’s no opportunity to contribute new features and enhancements, or to reuse the source code to create an internal extension registry for in-house developers.

The Open VSX Registry is built on the Eclipse Open VSX project. It’s visually and functionally similar to the Microsoft VS Marketplace, but the extensions can be used with any editor that supports VS Code extensions — from VS Code and forks of VS Code like VSCodium, to Eclipse Theia, Eclipse Che, Gitpod, Coder, and SAP Business Application Studio.

The Eclipse Open VSX source code is open to all, so anyone can reuse and enhance the marketplace technology to meet their specific needs. They can even create an internal, private extension repository that’s connected to the upstream public Open VSX Registry.

Providing a Level Playing Field for All

Following a true open source model, all aspects of the Open VSX Registry are guided by the community based on our proven governance framework and processes for entrepreneurial collaboration. These vendor-neutral processes bring important benefits. For example:

  • No single company or vendor owns the Open VSX Registry servers, operates the service, or has more control over the service than any other participant.
  • Any individual or organization can influence how the Open VSX Registry evolves by participating in design discussions and contributing code to the Eclipse Open VSX project.
  • There’s a public record of all extension ownership claims by extension publishers to avoid conflicts over ownership.  

Driving Open VSX Registry Innovation and Collaboration

The Eclipse Cloud DevTools (ECD Tools) Working Group will manage the Open VSX Registry, driving further platform growth and marketplace adoption. With members that include Broadcom, EclipseSource, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, SAP, and Typefox among others, the ECD Tools ecosystem is very well positioned to support and advance the Open VSX Registry over the long term.

I want to thank all of the ECD Tools ecosystem members and Eclipse Foundation staff who worked so tirelessly to enable the smooth transition of the Open VSX Registry to the Eclipse Foundation. And a special word of appreciation to the TypeFox team who built and nurtured the Open VSX Registry from the ground up. Your contribution reflects the true spirit and values of open source communities and will benefit all.

Read the Open VSX Registry White Paper and Get Involved

To help everyone with an interest in the Open VSX Registry fully understand its benefits and potential, the ECD Tools Working Group has created a free white paper you can download here.

I also encourage you to:

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 30, 2021 at 7:33 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] details can be found see the Eclipse blog. The Open VSX Registry is to be found at open-vsc.org. Of the Source code for Eclipse Open VSX is […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: