Without Guns for Visual Studio Code
A Visual Studio Code extension that teaches you mindful programming.
Without Guns allows you to quickly turn ON and OFF the following Visual Studio Code features:
When these features are turned OFF, we say that we code "without guns".
Occasional coding without guns forces you to code mindfully and yields the following benefits:
I suggest coding without guns whenever you learn something new, being that a new programming language, algorithm, framework or a technology.
To start coding without guns simply call the
Q: Why is the extension called "Without Guns"? Do you like guns?
No, I don't like guns. On the contrary, I dream of a world without them. The origin of the name is a story of its own :-) It has something to do with a quote from the 1996 film Last Man Standing starring Karina Lombard, Bruce Willis, and Christopher Walken. I plan to write a blog post about it. The blog post will also explain the whole philosophy behind the programming without guns.
Q: Are you suggesting that we should always code without IntelliSense, Syntax Highlighting, etc.?
No. On the contrary. I am myself a huge fan and a strong proponent of productivity features and tools. What I am suggesting is to turn them off occasionally, especially when learning a new programming language or a new framework.
Q: Does this really work? Will programming without guns really bring me confidence and deeper knowledge?
Out of my years-long experience in practicing this technique - yes, definitely. Productivity features and tools like IntelliSense help you being fast and productive in the "production environment". Writing code without guns helps you learn programming languages, frameworks, and libraries in a much firmer way. Leaving guns behind intentionally while learning leads to a much deeper coding experience. This at the end brings deeper knowledge and a greater coding confidence.
Q: Shouldn't we better spend time learning how to more efficiently use programming tools instead of learning how to code without them?
We should do both, master our programming tools and master working without them. Coding without guns can be seen as practicing Tai Chi movements in a slow and mindful manner. It builds strong inner foundations. Programming with guns is using Tai Chi in a fight.
Q: Is Without Guns written without guns?
Yes, a good portion of it. This is my first project ever written in TypeScript. Programming it without guns was a great way to deeply experience TypeScript's syntax and surrounding libraries.
Q: Is this all a joke?
No. I'm dead serious about programming without guns.
Without Guns unobtrusively changes some Visual Studio Code workspace settings on the fly. These results in two intrinsic limitations:
Without Guns extension comes with only one setting,
All notable changes to the Without Guns extension are documented in the changelog. Below is the excerpt from the changelog that lists only the major changes.
Without Guns is licensed under the MIT license.