Live Share Communities
Live Share Communities enables you to join one or more communities, and begin discovering, communicating and collaborating with other developers in real-time. A "community" is nothing more than a name, that allows you to find other people that share common interests and/or context (almost like a Twitter hash tag). A community can represent an ad-hoc group (e.g. a hack-a-thon team, a classroom), a language/framework ecosystem (e.g.
redux), an online forum (e.g.
Once you join a community, you can chat with other members, invite them into collaboration sessions, ask for help and even live stream anything cool that you're working on. All of this is built-in top of Live Share, which provides a full-fidelity developer collaboration platform (e.g. co-editing, debugging, localhost server, etc.).
To begin joining communities, simply perform the following steps:
Install this extension, then reload VS Code
Open the Live Share activity bar, and look for the
Communities tree view. Click the
Sign in with Live Share... link and complete the sign in flow, using a GitHub or Microsoft Account.
If you're already using Live Share then you won't need to sign in again. Signing in is required so that other community members can idenitify who you are.
Join a community... link and then type the community name you'd like to join (e.g.
python) or select a popular one from the list
Alternatively, if you see a GitHub repo or web page with a
Live Share Community badge (like you see at the top of this readme), you can simply click that in order to join it's respective community.
The community chat window will automatically launch, which enables you to begin talking with other members
When you want to collaborate with someone, simply invite them into a Live Share session by clicking the
Invite action next to their name in the
Members list. This will start a read-only Live Share session and present an invtation toast in-tool to the other developer.
Once you're in the Live Share session, you'll be presented with a chat window for this session (as opposed to community-wide), and you can begin chatting, co-editing, debuging, etc. with the other developer.
If you'd like to start up an audio call, click the
Start audio call... node in the Live Share
Session Details tree in order to start a voice chat with everyone else in the session.
Additionally, you can leave code annotations on anyb line of code, by simply hovering over the "comment bar" and adding your comment. These are syncronized with everyone in the session in real-time, and represent a great way to add focus to a discussion and/or leave todo commments for the host to address asyncronously.
When you're ready to ask for assistance (e.g. figuring out a bug, reviewing some code), simply click the
+ button next to the
Help Requests or
Code Reviews node in the
Communities tree, and specify a description. This will notify th entire community about your request and allow others to jump in to help you.
If you'd like to help others within the community, simply look at any outstanding
Help Requests or
Code Reviews and click on the join button next to the one you'd like to jump into.
When someone creates a help request/broadcast/code review, you'll immediately see a notification about it, which helps to improve visibility when your'e closely working with others. From the toast, you can immediately join their session and/or mute that community.
At any time, you can also mute a community (or all communities) directly from the
Communities tree, which enables you to reduce noise when you're not actively participating in a community.
By default, any community you join is public. However, if you're the founder of the community (i.e. the first person to join it), you can choose to make it private by simply right-clicking it and selecting
Note: You can easily identify private communities within the
Communities tree, because they display a lock icon next to their names.
In order to invite members to a private community, right-click the community, select
Copy Link to Community and send/publish the invitation URL to the intended members. They can simply click that URL, which will deep-link them into VS Code, and automatically join the community.
Note: As opposed to directly clicking the link, users can also paste the invitation link into the
Join community input box as well.
Only users that have an invitation link can join the community. If anyone tries to join, and doesn't have the invitation link, they'll be denied access to the community.
If at any time, you decide that you'd like to make the community public, simply right-click the community and select
Make Public. Then, anyone can join the community, regardless if they've been invited or not.
To simplify the onboarding process for your community, you can provide a deep link to it, using one (or both) of the following techniques:
Right-click your community in the
Communities tree, and select
Copy Link to Community. This will generate a URL that you can send to someone (e.g. via e-mail, Slack), and when clicked, it will automatically join them to the community. Additionally, you can publish this URL, along with the Live Share Communities badge, on a webpage, or GitHub repository (like this one!), so that visitors can easily discover your community.
If you've built a VS Code extension (or extension pack), that represents your community (e.g. an opinionated set of extensions/tools for a classroom), then you can add an extension dependency to this extension (
lostintangent.vsls-communities), as well as a
liveshare.communities contribution point to your extenison's
package.json file. When others install your extension, it will install Live Share + Communities, and then automatically join them to the specified communities.
Note: You can see an example of this in the Live Share Counter sample.
How do I create a community?
By joining it! Live Share Communities (like Twitter hash tags) are simply monikers that allow multiple developers to discover and collaborate with each other. As a result, there's no need for creation/deletion/management of communities. You simply join and leave communities as needed. That said, if you are the first person to join a community, you'll get the special title of
Founder added to your name in the member list 🎉
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