An Important Announcement to Publishers and Users
What is Open VSX?
The Open VSX Registry offers a community driven, fully open platform for publishing VS Code extensions. The Registry is built on Eclipse Open VSX, which is an open source project hosted at the Eclipse Foundation.
Open VSX is integrated into multiple software applications that support VS Code extensions. There is strong demand for a fully open alternative to the Visual Studio Marketplace, and with hundreds of great extensions already available, it is the intent of the Eclipse Foundation to enable continued and accelerated growth.
What is Happening?
The Open VSX Registry is being transitioned to the Eclipse Foundation and as of December 9, 2020 will be managed under the Eclipse Cloud Development (ECD) Tools working group. Once the website transition is completed, Eclipse will be responsible for the hosting and maintenance of the site. This post explains what will happen during the transition phase and the implications for you as a publisher or user.
All stakeholders will benefit from the Open VSX Registry being run by Eclipse. Advantages include:
Vendor-neutral, open source operation and governance under the Eclipse Cloud Dev Tools Working Group
More marketing and promotion, with the intent of driving more extensions, more visibility, and more consumers to this open, vendor-neutral service.
A publisher agreement designed to add a level of trust, building off the Eclipse Foundation’s reputation for intellectual property management, thus making published extensions more attractive to a broader group of downstream consumers, notably corporate consumers.
What you Need to Know if you are a Consumer of Open VSX Extensions
If you are consuming extensions in applications that use the Open VSX Registry ( i.e. in Gitpod or VSCodium) there will be no usage impact. You can expect a seamless experience, while we work to add more extensions, raise the visibility and increase the number of consumers, to ensure the long-term viability and vibrancy of the registry.
What you Need to Know if you are a Publisher to Open VSX
Our goal is to minimize disruption through this transition. If you are an existing publisher to the Open VSX Registry, there are two items that will require your attention:
You will be required to accept the Eclipse Publisher Agreement
You will need to ensure that your extensions are published under a license
The current publishing process is described in the openvsx Wiki. From December 2020 onwards, in order to publish an extension or to keep your current extensions published, you will need to take the following steps:
Login and authorize open-vsx.org with your GitHub account. Even if you have already authorized, you will need to do it again. A GitHub account is still required as the initial authentication layer.
Set up or use an existing Eclipse account. You will be able to set that up or connect an existing account on the Settings page of open-vsx.org.
Confirm your consent to the Publisher Agreement
Open VSX currently allows the publication of all extensions, including those which do not specify their license terms. Going forward, unlicensed extensions will not be allowed. If publishing an unlicensed extension, you will have the opportunity to choose the MIT license as a default. You are also free to choose any other license by putting its identifier into the extension manifest (package.json file). The opportunity to choose MIT will be given by the command line tool. If you have questions about what license is best for you, we recommend that you read about licenses at the Open Source Initiative.
Above all, Open VSX is a community. We thrive on collaboration and, with this change, will continue to build more opportunities to contribute.
Here are some ways to get involved right now:
Open issues of problems you encounter at https://github.com/eclipse/openvsx/issues
For open-vsx.org registry-specific issues go to https://github.com/eclipse/open-vsx.org/issues
Check out the project repository, and submit pull requests
Join the openvsx-dev mailing list (eclipse.org account required)
Join the conversation on the ECD Tools Slack Workspace
For Publishers, these are the important dates to be aware of:
November 10, 2020: Starting from the publish date of this post, you should prepare for the upcoming changes. If your extension is unlicensed, choose one that is right for you and add it to your extension. Otherwise you will have the opportunity later to opt-in to the MIT license.
December 9, 2020: Changes to the open-vsx.org site will be effective as of this date. From that day on, if you already have an extension listed, you will have a 30 day grace period to accept the publisher agreement and add a license. Note that adding a license will require that you create a new version.
January 8, 2021: If you have not taken both steps by this date, your extension will be deactivated until you do take necessary action. Before this date and potentially after, we will be reaching out to publishers via their code repositories to remind them of the changes needed.
The Open VSX Registry is not a success without you and the great extensions that you write. Thank you for considering and supporting these changes, which are designed to cause as little disruption as possible. Please join us in offering a first class open and vendor-neutral extension registry.