IntelliSense for reStructuredText Extension, Initial Offering

December 27, 2017

IntelliSense (or autocomplete in general) is one of the key features we prefer to use a tool to write code (instead of raw editors like Notepad).

Code Snippets

This extension already provides some basic autocompletion functionality, which is the code snippets,

Figure 1: Code snippets like 'note'.

Once triggered when you input a keyword (even partially), Visual Studio Code would expand the template associated.

But code snippets can only implement certain kinds of logic. So they are not smart enough.

Smart File Path Insertion

With the reStructuredText parser and Language Server, now I can start to add context-aware IntelliSense features in the extension, and the first offering is something I personally call “Smart File Path Insertion”.

Take a look at the screen shot above, you will see that to link to other articles in the same sphinx project, I need to use :doc: (cross-referencing documents).

It was painful to fill in the file path manually, as

  • I need to move my eyes to the EXPLORER panel
  • Maybe expand a few nodes in the folder structure to navigate which document I should link
  • Type the file path (and remember not to add the file extension).

Starting from release 47.0.0, you can receive some assistance from this extension.

First, enable IntelliSense following the steps.

Second, restart Visual Studio Code.

Third, open the folder once again, and see in OUTPUT panel the following,

Installing reStructuredText dependencies…
Platform: darwin, x86_64
Downloading package 'reStructuredText Language Server for macOS (x64)' (12454 KB) ……………….. Done!
Installing package 'reStructuredText Language Server for macOS (x64)'

Now when you try to create a link and press the “/” key, see what pops up,

Figure 2: Basic Intellisense.

Well, do you like it? It should save you several seconds per link at least, and several minutes per day I believe.

More to come in the next few weeks :)

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