Kite: First Impressions

I wrote in Robotic Pair Programmers:

If search engines ever get eclipsed, I think it will be by something in the environment that just brings things to your attention when you need them. I want this most when I code, like a pair programmer that just tells me stuff I need to know at exactly the right time.

Kite, a code editing plugin, seems to be trying to go down this route. They have “AI powered code completions” for 16 languages in 16 code editors. Unfortunately, they don’t support Swift in Xcode yet. But, they do support Python, HTML, CSS, TypeScript, and JavaScript in VSCode, Sublime, and all of the JetBrains editors, so I could use it to work on App-o-Mat, which is a Django-based site.

In addition to code-completion, Kite also offers Copilot, which is a documentation pane that is synced to your cursor. Xcode already does this—the issue is that a lot of Apple’s documentation isn’t very complete. Kite only supports this for Python right now, but one addition to the standard docs is they link out to open-source projects that use the type or method you are editing.

Unfortunately, Kite doesn’t work on Apple Silicon, yet. It uses TensorFlow, which uses a particular instruction set that isn’t supported by Rosetta. Apple seems to be working on getting TensorFlow ported to M1.

So, I’ll have to wait to try it out. Very promising though.