Inline Help for Code Editors / Editor Preference?


I was watching one of Kindohm's live streams and I swear in-line help popped up for two different functions. Is there any help information in any (or all) of the code editors?

They went away quickly so I could be mistaken but this would be amazing.


There is some help available on hover when using the vscode plugin:

Oh wow. Nice. Do you happen to know if that’s also available in Atom?
That seems like a check mark in Code’s favor if not.


Edit: I found the github page for the Atom package. It appears like there is something similar. I’m not sure I follow exactly how to install it but I’ll give it a go tomorrow :

PS: Upon inspection of the two doc pages it appears that Code has more features for Tidal over Atom. This is making me snowball into wondering if Code is the better editor for Tidal. Is this a totally subjective choice or is one objectively more featured? Thoughts?

I use emacs out of habit, but vscode does seem to be more lightweight and the plugin seems to have more features. Discussions about editors can get strangely heated, but I would be interested to hear the experiences of people who have tried both.

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I would have moved to vscode by now I think but for one small thing. When you evaluate a line of code in atom there is a prompt t> to confirm something happened and all is well. In vscode you only get messages in the post window when there is an error. I find that confusing.

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Kindohm is the author of the vscode tidal cycles plugin, so it's extremely likely that's what he was using - the vscode plugin also has a sample library preview option in the left pane which I have found amazingly useful starting out and familiarising myself with samples

@tedthetrumpet vscode has the same thing as atom, but it doesn't auto scroll the terminal window for me for some reason - I've been meaning to look into it


@tedthetrumpet I'm not sure where you saw that, but the VSCode extension does provide immediate feedback with a tidal> message after you eval code. I think there may be a config setting to disable that feedback, but I don't believe that is the default behavior.


I thought I'd elaborate a little bit on the origin of the VS Code extension and how it has evolved.

I ported the Atom extension to VS Code a while back because I had struggled for a long time to work with the Atom package API. I really wanted a configurable output panel, and VS Code provided much of the behavior I wanted out-of-the-box. I also wanted some silly features for myself (e.g. random messages showing up in the output). I sometimes feel like I've made the editor landscape for Tidal more confusing by introducing this extension, but I do enjoy using VS Code a lot.

The "inline/hover help" available in VS Code was developed by another contributor to the VS Code extension. This is not something I knew how to do nor really ever considered building. A series of issues and pull requests came through, and now that feature is a part of the extension. Personally this is not a feature I prefer to use, but the amount of "hover help" is configurable.

The same contributor that added the inline help also built a sample-preview feature so that you can list and play samples in a preview panel.

For me, the VS Code extension works great as-is and I do not have any big plans to add more features. However, issue submissions and pull requests are always welcomed!


Thanks for the explanation Mike! Since I’m just getting going I’m going to try switching over to Code from Atom to give it a try. I noticed the custom key commands option in VS Code which also seems nice to play with.

@kindohm hmm, thanks, let me try again, maybe dm you if I still can't get that prompt in vscode to work.

I've now switched to VSCode and am enjoying it BTW. It seems to offer a few more features over Atom.

In terms of the inline code help, does all of the help from the wiki page get locally downloaded @kindohm? I'm wondering if Tidal help is at all searchable without an internet connection, as my reliance on going to the help files has raised this concern. Would I be hosed if the internet goes down or if I'm traveling? Maybe there are other downloadable solutions for this?


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The inline code help is baked into the extension, so it is available offline but it is also at risk of becoming stale or obsolete more easily. A direct change to the extension is required in order to update the inline help. When this feature was developed, we were a little concerned about maintaining documentation separately in the extension, but ultimately just decided to go for it.

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Hi, I'm the person (the only, unfortunately) that is maintaining the atom plugin at the time.
I have been a strong Atom supporter since the first release, it was great that finally an open source alternative to sublime text existed.
But... I admit that the atom development itself fell steeply... maybe the GitHub acquisition from Microsoft was the reason, but vscode is really better than atom, in everything.

So, why I'm still mantaining that plugin?
Dunno, but issues & pull requests are always welcome. :smiley:


Thanks for all your work on that!

Aesthetically I like Atom more than VS Code. It just 'feels' a bit better to me. But as you say the feature set for Code (and the extension) are pretty and hard to argue with. One of the things that I like in the extension is the ease of assigning key commands for Tidal. I saw that the option was there in Atom but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Anyway, that's just if you're curious for one of the reasons I switched.

Regardless, thanks again.