Some functionalities for vscode extension

Hi all,
We now use a lot Julia and VScode for teaching. I’d like to ask about 2 things:

    1. while we mostly use notebooks, students often need to open the REPL (e.g. to install packages) or other tasks. They always ask on which button they should click to open up the REPL within VScode. Is there such a clickable button? I tell them to Crtl+shift+P and then search “start REPL” but that’s a bit of a hassle sometimes…
    1. Over the semesters and years, students come with already installed but old Julia version. Is there a way to easily update (without juliap). For example, I had the case of a student with v1.6 on a mac. We downloaded and installed v1.9. Upon VScode restart, the extension is still linked to v1.6. Then we edited the executable path but we were surprised to find the box empty. So we ended up with manually adding a link to v1.9. This is also sometimes quite a hassle when there are a lot of students with different computers. Is there a way such that the VS code extension automatically loads the most recent installed version?

thanks and cheers!

Re #1: I’m not aware of a “Start REPL” button.

I believe the problem with number two is that when the student installed 1.6, julia was added to the PATH environment variables pointing to the 1.6 executable. That was not overwritten when you installed 1.9, so since the extension is not explicitly told in the executable box where to look for Julia, it uses the PATH and finds 1.6.

Obviously, without looking at the system this is somewhat conjecture, but that’s likely the source of the issue!

Editing the PATH so that julia is associated with the new executable is the way to globally reroute all calls to that command to 1.9.

That said, why not use juliaup?

  1. No, I asked for that feature in a GitHub Issue, but it hasn’t moved. Alt+J, Alt+R is the direct way that I use now to open or restart the REPL.
  2. JuliaUp is that way. Otherwise you have to manually update that VSCode setting (or the PATH environment variable) every time. JuliaUp does this for you which is one of the main benefits; you can just leave the VSCode executable path blank and let JuliaUp manage your Julia versions.

I actually have an idea for a UI for the REPL :slight_smile:

We could show an additional tree that shows all detected projects in the current folders, with options to launch a REPL with a particular project activated, and we could then also have a button to do that.


We set up a vscode on a hosted server (actually a good desktop level cpu) and automatically installneeded packages at thw user creation… with 20-30 students it works great…

Here accessing it from a mobile:


Thanks to all of you for the feedbacks!
I see that 1) is a desired feature :smiley:

The main reason why I have not introduced juliaup yet:
I try to keep the number of steps minimum for the students. They have to install the language, the editor and the extension - these are the 3 main steps so far.
For a couple of years, it now works very smoothly for all students and it seemingly does not take them much time nor effort . So maybe I could now introduce step 4, installation of juliaup.

I believe installing JuliaUp automatically installs the Julia language at the latest release, so this can replace Step 1 rather than being an additional Step 4.

I find that this makes a fresh installation exceptionally easy on Windows, because both the Julia language and VSCode editor can be found and installed directly from the Windows store without all the fiddling with command line and installer versions.

  1. Language
  2. Editor
  3. Extension

    Done. They will all configure themselves to work together. (The experience now is much nicer than it used to be.)