Orion 14.0 New and Noteworthy

Another three months and another awesome release! Its that time again where I share all of the cool new features, enhancements and fixes with you. As usual with every release, there were lots of changes, so lets jump right in.


The work that began in 13.0 to make Orion completely accessible to every developer continued at a furious pace in 14. This time around, our work was focussed on having the correct colour contrast.

We tightened up our colours in the light theme so that all colours pass the WCAG 2.0 AA guideline for colour contrast. The changes are subtle, but they do make text easier to read, as seen in this before-and-after snapshot of selected code in the editor.

Selected text comparison

Comparing selected text in 14.0 vs. 13.0

Language Tools

Automatic Project Configuration

The JavaScript tooling can now read and understand complex project configurations and automatically configure Tern for the best development experience. For example, the tools can better read and understand package.json files and automatically load available plugins into Tern (rather than the user having to tailor their configuration settings).

Projects Anywhere

Using the new support from the platform to find project contexts, the JavaScript tools can now support a “project” at any level in the navigator. Where a project means any folder that contains JavaScript project-like files – package.json, .tern-project, etc.

Smarter Defaults

The default configuration for the JavaScript tools has been retooled to provide more support right out of the box. In Orion 13.0 (and before), we started the tools in a very bare-bone fashion, and would alert you about potential configuration changes (with quick fixes). Now we automatically start with ECMA, node and browser support, and configure your project as you code.

Disable Linting In-File

Tired of being nagged about a particular code pattern used in certain places (but like to be warned elsewhere)? You can now use the new quickfix to ignore the problem in the current file.

Disable rule in-file

Disable rule in-file

JavaScript Type Icons

In an effort to make the overload of information (while coding in JavaScript) a bit more understandable, we have added icons to help users immediately understand the type of something. For example, F stands for function, O is for objects, C is for classes, etc.

Type icons

Type icons

Improved ESLint configuration file support

We have improved how the JavaScript tools handle the various forms of ESLint configuration files. We now properly support all entries of the files (except for extends).

SVG Support

The CSS and HTML parsers have been updated to properly support SVG attributes and properties. The HTML and CSS validation has also been updated to properly process the new attributes and properties.

Platform Improvements

Syntax Styling

Syntax styling grammars can now define a firstLineMatch attribute.  This enables multiple grammars to be defined for a content type, and the grammar that gets applied will be chosen based on the first line of content.


The node server now stores its tasks metadata in a Mongo DB when running as multi-tenant.  As a result, requests querying long-running tasks can now be handled by different server instances that have access to the shared Mongo DB.

Automatic Syntax Checking

Previously, syntax checking took place when a file is saved – if you have autosave turned on in Orion, this is not a problem, as problem markers would be updated as you made changes. If however, you had autosave turned off, any problem markers would quickly become stale causing confusion. Now, in Orion 14, syntax checking will take place on a regular interval even if autosave is turned off, to try and avoid stale problem markers piling up.

New File Client API

The Orion file client has been updated with the ability to find a project given a particular resource path. The new API can be invoked as:

fileClient.getProject(resourcePath, options)

Information Annotations

A new type of annotation has been added to Orion – the info annotation.

The info annotation

The “info” annotation

Annotation Visibility

Always wanted to only show annotations in certain parts of the IDE? Well, now you can.

Simply navigate to the editor settings preference page, and look for the Annotations, Overview Annotations and Text Annotations sections to configure annotation visibility as you’d like.

Annotation visibilities

Annotation visibilities

Don’t forget, you can also use the handy star buttons to have the preference(s) show up in the quick preference menu.

IDE Themes

Finally, after all this time, we have the ability to change the theme of not just the editor, but the entire IDE from the preferences!

Not happy with the default theme in Orion? Head over to the IDE Theme preferences page to change to another theme (currently there are only two of them) or create your own (by modifying an existing theme and saving it as your own).

IDE Theme preferences

IDE Theme preferences

This entry was posted in New & Noteworthy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.