dealing with buggy software: visual studio code rendering issue

Ubuntu 20.04.2 running as a full desktop VM within Parallels on macOS 11.2.2

I have for some time now been running multiple versions of Linux as VMs on my 2019 MacBook Pro via Parallels. Up to this point everything has run smoothly. Until recently, that is, with Visual Studio Code. For whatever reason, something was altered within VSCode that causes it to completely render the display either as you see it above, or if I resize the window, as a red-only window with the white, in which the black is replaced with red. I at least traced to the release where the problem did not occur to 1.52.1, the November 2020 release. Every release since then has exhibited this problem.

Normally I’d take this as something of a challenge and try to find and fix the issue, but before I decided to dive in and look into it I fired up a RHEL 8.3 VM. I had VSCode installed on it and I needed to do some rather quick code work inside VSCode. I have all my VMs sharing common data using a folder on the Mac so it’s rather easy to keep data and source code easily synced. Unfortunately the same problem reared its ugly head on the RHEL VM.

I believe that there is something unique about the current release of VSCode that causes it to improperly render when running within a Parallels Linux VM.

In the mean time I’ve dropped back to VSCode 1.52.1 and blocked it from being updated. I’ve also built and installed Emacs 28, just like I did on the Nvidia Xavier under Ubuntu 18.04. If this problem remains unsolved in VSCode then it looks like I’ll stick with Emacs.

pycom pymakr fails to work with visual studio code on macos catalina

PyMakr terminal failure to execute

I’m working with Pycom ( ) IoT devices. One of the tools they supply to work with their devices is a plugin named PyMakr. They have release a version for Visual Studio Code and Atom. The version for VS Code has never worked on my MacBook Pro 15″ or 16″. As a consequence I’ve turned to Atom just to run the plugin. It seems to work properly with Atom. But I’d rather have it work with VS Code, since I do everything else with VS Code.

Here is the setup for the software environment.

  • macOS Catalina, version 10.15.6
  • Visual Studio Code, version 1.49.2
  • PyMakr, version 1.1.7
  • Node.js, version 14.12.0 (installed via Homebrew)

I’ve gone through all the recommended solutions that others say they’ve discovered, and none of them work for me. I’ve seen such error messages in the past on Unix/Linux systems and fixed those error messages in fairly short order. The biggest source is usually a bad shebang at the top of the script. Fix that, and those error messages disappear. But the JavaScript file has no execute bit set, and it appears from the other error messages that node is being used directly instead of invoked within the script itself. The path to the file, and the filename, are all correct.

To make this even more maddening, I have the same setup on a 2012 Mac Mini Server running the same software listed above, and it works. But when it comes to running on my MacBook Pro 15″ or newer 16″, it won’t work at all.