Just a periodic reminder: Microsoft's VSCode is not open source. No more than Google's Chrome is. Both are based on open source projects (Chromium and the unimaginatively-named VSCodium are open source) but include proprietary stuff like fonts, integrations, and telemetry. If a software app isn't entirely FOSS, it's entirely proprietary. If you're using VSCode or Chrome, you're not using open source.

And I stand corrected - I had the dependency the wrong way around. @nuclear points out that MSFT's VSCode codebase is not available under a proper OSI/FSF approved license (plus it includes telemetry and other undesirables), so the VSCodium project has been set up by people (independent of MSFT?) wanting to rehabilitate the salvageable code.

As I've noted before: yeah, MSFT loves open source. Like a tapeworm loves a healthy digestive system.

@lightweight all I want in this life is a web browser that is not 17 million lines of code and all of these "smart" companies keep failing me :bball1:

@lightweight YUP! Source available != open source

I do like VSCode, but it's not open source.

@robdaemon I'm not convinced all the code's even available... how would anyone know? I won't use either, because I intensely dislike Microsoft in particular (and all the proprietary mega tech corps in general) :) not to start an editor war on a Friday arvo in Kiwi lockdown but what would you recommend as the best code editor for front end web dev on Linux that isn’t owned by Google or Microsoft?

@drh Ain't nothing wrong with vim or emacs, to be honest.

You may need to add some third-party stuff to make a full "IDE" experience, but you can get there for sure.

OTOH, the fact that the VSCode source is MIT-licensed means that you don't really have be concerned about the owner of the copyright being Microsoft per se ... unless you're worried about the long-term development & community involvement in a product, which is something that's also completely missing from the majority of source licenses ...


I do like Vim but I don't have the headspace to make that my daily driver.

Like many open source cats I don't wanna touch anything by M$ unless I really have to i.e. VR.

Although proprietary I did use Sublime Text for years and really enjoyed it however after I stumbled across Atom and the amazing experience I had with that it was hard to go back.

I do most of my dev on macOS these days but after the announcement of their CSAM scanner I'm gonna slowly move 😢

@drh Well, it sounds like you're at an interesting point where you're considering the ethics & politics of software as well as the more technical aspects usually talked about via licenses.

At the extreme end of this we get into discussions about things like the Debian Social Contract saying "No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups" vs the anti-facist message saying that we should work against the far-right; or indeed any group you support wanting to work against any opposing group.

Every software license choice is a political statement.

@yojimbo Yeah man! You know exactly where I'm at. I was in this place a couple years back but doubled down on the Apple world due to tiring of constantly tweaking my tools as opposed to getting stuff done. In light of the CSAM guff Apple is implementing I am willing to reassess my tech life.

On the plus side I have been able to resurrect my old System76 lappy and got Elementary Odin running as well as turning my Win10 Gaming/VR box to dual boot with Elementary Odin as well.

@drh You have to decide how much 'freedom' to exchange for the ability to 'get stuff done'.

This is similar to security risk assessment - If something bad might happen, but it's really really unlikely, then you probably should spend your limited resources on something else.

The base OS is the most obvious place for 'freedom from external interference', which leaves you with the Linux & BSD world. So that's a better place to start from, while working out what other concerns you actually have and what you're prepared to "spend" on them.

But then the spotlight moves to the applications ... I'll assume that you use Audacity, but how much do you know about the code owner's recent change, and their new behaviours? How much effort do you need to put in to researching each app? The Debian team does react to some of the indicators, but the end-result is often a much older app version. Does that impact your ability to 'get stuff done'?

@yojimbo BTW I am overdue for a jam in Elite Dangerous 💥

@velartrill @lightweight

VSCodium is a separate, independent project whose name alludes to Chromium. VS Code is not based on it, it's the other way around.

Technically the editor's source code is available under MIT:

However the builds featured on contain additional "Microsoft customizations", which are only available under Microsoft's standard proprietary license.

To create a fully free software version of the editor, the VS Codium project was created.

@nuclear I'm afraid I've never had any interest in using either version as I have an aversion to anything MSFT ;) But good to know so I can advise others.

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