Language Server Protocol and its role in the software development field

Language Server Protocol and its role in the software development field

Language Server Protocol or LSP is a communication standard originally created by Microsoft with the objective of defining a better protocol between a source code editor or the IDE implemented by the developer and the servers that contain all the specifications and functions of a specific programming language.

Thus, by means of the LSP standard you will be able to create a single server capable of supporting editors such as Visual Studio Code or Eclipse IDE and vice versa. In addition, you will find a huge availability of libraries for other languages such as Java, Haskell or PHP, in case you need to implement this protocol from your own development. Learn a little more about this standard in this article as it can help you in the creation of new tools.

How does LSP work?

For this case we will quote the official description of a session made by Microsoft:

User opens a document: The editor notifies the server of this action (didOpen) and that it has the document in memory.

User edits the document: The editor informs the server about the changes (didChange) The server analyzes the information and notifies the possible errors and warnings found (diagnostics)

User requests a specific command: Here the user can ask for a definition (definition), the completion of the text from the current cursor position (completion) or help with a signature (signatureHelp), etc. Then the publisher sends the request and the server responds appropriately so that the publisher satisfies the user's request.

User closes the document: The publisher notifies the language that the user has closed the document (didClose) and that the document is no longer in memory.

What are its features?

LSP is designed to better support languages with dedicated fields for accessing and reading a symbol, but it cannot operate on binary code. Language Server Protocol has been created with source code editors and local development as parameters, but nothing limits its implementation with other tools such as MySQL or Workbench.

Its role in the technological industry

If as a programmer you are interested in the development of programming languages LSP is a fundamental tool to support allowing the language designer and the tool programmer to accept new developments from other editors. In this way LSP is positioned as a tool capable of guaranteeing the globalization of your new language.

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