Visual Studio Code - SFTP Update

August 7, 2021

Visual Studio Code LogoThis is an update about the SFTP extension for Visual Studio Code.

Earlier this year, an update to VSC prevented SFTP from working. Reports about the problem poured into GitHub but the author, liximomo, was non-responsive. SFTP has not been updated for nearly two years.

However, several users discovered the underlying problem and posted instructions for working around the problem. I can't be certain about this, but when the problem came back I decided the reason was that the very regular updates to VSC itself wiped out the workaround.

Meanwhile, several SFTP users and GitHub contributors forked the SFTP code and started addressing this and other problems. The one that has gotten the most attention is from Natizyskunk and this version in in the Visual Studio Marketplace. SFTP is an important extension for many Web developers, so I can't be anything but happy that others have stepped into the void.

Nevertheless, this story is a warning. I have no doubt about Microsoft's long-term commitment to VSC but the same cannot be said about extensions. I am dependent upon two extensions, SFTP and Intelephense. If either of those authors moved on and no one picked up the baton, and especially if updates to VSC then caused a problem with either extension, it would seriously degrade my ability to do my type of work.

At this point, I'm using eight VSC extensions. I could do without four, but if any of the others became a problem, VSC would become a problem.

I should make one other comment in closing. SFTP is the most popular and most-widely used FTP client extension for VSC, but it is not the only one. There may be other choices that suit your purposes, and I urge you to examine them if anything happens to Natizyskunk's fork.