Hacker News Re-Imagined

GitHub Copilot is generally available

  • 863 points
  • 14 days ago

  • @sammorrowdrums
  • Created a post

GitHub Copilot is generally available


@coding123 14 days

Replying to @sammorrowdrums 🎙

I think I would better fit in the $20 / year pricing.

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@ildon 14 days

Since they've trained it on OSS, it would be fair if they made it free for OSS repositories.

The VS extension could check if the current git repository is open, and if so, it should work without a subscription for that specific repository.

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This has probably been talked about but...

If most code is "bad" code (any definition works) and this AI was trained on all/most code on GitHub, does that mean that this AI mostly helps to produces bad code?

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@wokwokwok 14 days

I’m so ambivalent about this.

I was excited when it came out, but it ran slowly and annoyingly (crashes) and I gave up.

I already have a jetbrains license; when they release a similar feature I’ll consider uping my subscription to get it.

As it stands… eh. It’s not that great. I couldn’t really be bothering to continue using it for free, I’m not gonna pay for it.

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@ximm 14 days

Honest question here: I understand that Copilot can increase productivity. But I personally fear that it would cover the fun parts of programming and leave me with the boring bits. What is your experience around that?

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@theshrike79 14 days

Coding with copilot is like working with a super eager low-quality outsourced programmer.

They kinda know what they're supposed to do. Sometimes they do the right thing, sometimes they get it completely wrong.

In either case you can never let anything they do get committed without a review.

So are they really helping?

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@Mizza 14 days

Imagining Steve Ballmer down in Hell laughing at all of us.

"They gave away all their code, so we packaged it up and sold it right back to them, the stupid bastards!"

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@yokoprime 13 days

> GitHub Copilot costs $10 USD/month or $100 USD/year per user. GitHub Copilot is only available to individual developers and individual accounts within organizations, but organization administrators cannot purchase bulk licenses for teams at this time.

No bulk licensing of Teams? This makes no sesnse, so if a team wants to make Copilot part of their official tools, each member have to purchase this individually. Thats a huge PITA

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@chadlavi 14 days

I got like two weeks of the beta before they took it away from me today. I guess my small open-source project isn't prestigious enough to merit free access. Thanks I guess GitHub?

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@lmarcos 14 days

Reminds me of the scene in Fight Club where Tyler explains how he makes money (he sells rich women their own fat asses in the form of luxury soap). In this case the fat is open source code hosted in GitHub, the soap is Copilot, and the rich women are us, the developers.

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@redconfetti 13 days

I don't want to use it, because I don't want to feed Copilot input that makes it better.

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@godmode2019 14 days

I'm learning rust, maybe this will help me googling how to do simple things like split a string and remove white space, while handling errors.

I see this useful for non core languages, where you often need to look up common patterns.

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@dibujante 14 days

Co-pilot is great when you have a repetitive programming task to perform. e.g. if you are nesting module imports through several layers of python init. Co-pilot is great at tab-completing `from myproject.some_module.nested_module.actual_module import Foo as Foo` and similar tasks.

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@gremlinsinc 14 days

I love copilot, but I don't even pay for github, maybe have it bundled with like an 8 dollar github upgraded account or something, might entice many of us who just use "free" github services to upgrade, but by itself. I don't think so.

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@nonethewiser 14 days

I have the student developer pack. I should have access to Copilot, but it prompts to pay. Does any other verified student currently have access?

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@samorozco 14 days

Doesn't work with my intellIj version. Or it could be the cooperate network.

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@neximo64 14 days

Does it work for anyone? I get this

Extension activation failed: "Unexpected end of JSON input"

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@runeks 13 days

Next step: if Copilot can recognize often-used patterns, and variations in them, it should be able to autogenerate libraries that capture these patterns and make them useable via simper functions/classes.

That way it can capture code in a library instead of having thousands of developers copy/paste the same code snippets.

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@curo 14 days

Copilot is a steal at $10/m.

HN can set itself apart from Twitter and Reddit by celebrating great achievements rather than tearing them down.

Copilot stands on the shoulders of open source, yes. So do many of our personal and commercial projects. Copilot benefitted from having beta users. That relationship went both ways.

A big thanks to the Copilot team for letting us be a part of the beta. I will happily pay $10/m for this.

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@acdanger 14 days

When I try and sign up for it, I am presented with a "Confirm Payment Details" screen with no way to proceed.

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@smcleod 14 days

I've really liked Copilot as a source of tab completion over the past year, it's far from perfect but it gives decent hints about 50% of the time, however it is absolutely not worth $14 AUD per month, maybe $15-$20/year I'd consider it but I already have subscription fatigue.

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@marcodiego 14 days

Did they fixed the licensing dangers?

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@xmodem 14 days

It's hilarious to me that Copilot is now GA, but our rep GitHub contact has been promising to get us onto the merge queue beta for months and it's still vaporware. I'm beginning to wonder if that product exists at all.

https://github.blog/changelog/2021-10-27-pull-request-merge-...

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@solomatov 14 days

The most concerning part of their FAQ is this:

>What data does GitHub Copilot collect?

>...

>User Engagement Data

>...

>Code Snippets Data

>Depending on your preferred telemetry settings, GitHub Copilot may also collect >and retain the following, collectively referred to as “code snippets”: source >code that you are editing, related files and other files open in the same IDE or >editor, URLs of repositories and files paths.

It's possible to opt out, but it's not disabled by default, and this code snippets might be very sensitive.

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@mrfusion 14 days

I’ve never used it but I imagine it would help a lot with the programmers equivalency of writers block.

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@jq-r 14 days

And already having [scaling?] issues =) https://www.githubstatus.com/incidents/9xb0vpwcj8gj

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I don't understand the argument that they analyzed all the code from their users, used it to train their service, and are now charging for the service.

Do people want to see ads instead?

Or would they be ok paying for Google search (another service trained by all the information we willingly volunteer to them)?

Copilot adds tremendous value and they are justified charging for it.

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@longrod 14 days

I have had a lot more success with Tabnine. One, it runs offline as well as online so the performance difference with/without internet is unnoticeable. Two, it understands context much better. I was prototyping in Python with Tabnine turned on without the LSP and I felt no need to install one. It spits out uncannily good suggestions if you are using a popular library like Beautifulsoup etc.

Copilot is marketed as a pair programmer but the code quality is often times just wrong, not just bad. It thinks it understands what I want based on the function name and parameters but the generated output is no where close to what I want.

Multiline AI generated suggestions are not a good idea anyway (not yet at least). AI based LSP/auto completer would be much better at this stage with a lot faster DX.

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@grassmudhorse 13 days

At worst, it helps me type fast by finishing my lines of code for me, as pressing `tab` is faster than typing boilerplate.

At best, it is scary in it's ability to pre-emptively suggest context-specific implementations of functions before I have even considered what I might need to do. It probably helps that I am very particular about how I name variables, which seems to help copilot infer my needs.

But at least a couple of times a day, I am blown away by it.

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@trentthethief 14 days

A whole new era of copy-paste programmers. You do not even have to look for code to copy anymore.

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@swalls 14 days

Only $10 a month to rack up dozens of license violations? What a deal.

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@mcluck 14 days

Like many people I thought Copilot was neat but ended up uninstalling it because it caused more problems than it solved. Reading the comments here, it seems that most of the people who get value out of it would be better served creating a set of snippets. If all you need is to fill in boilerplate all the time or repeat general test structures but with different arguments, just make a snippet. Every major code editor supports this and they're really easy to setup and use.

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@ggerganov 14 days

$10/month is a perfect price - that was my exact estimate of what I was willing to pay for this service when it becomes non-free.

To everyone expecting Copilot to magically write the code they are thinking about - you are missing the point. There is a learning curve of using this service that allows you to be more efficient in expressing your ideas. It's not about doing all the work for you. It's like auto-complete on the next level.

Licensing concerns - oh come on.. what is the big deal? There are millions of "for (int i ..)" loops out there. Like anyone gives a damn about 5 auto-generate lines being _probably_ copied from somewhere. Moreover, if you used Copilot just a bit you would know that is not how it works.

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@plumeria 14 days

Does it work better for some languages over others (e.g. C++, C#, F#, Python versus Go, Ruby, PHP)?

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@zgway 14 days

Is this bribing developers so they stop talking about code laundering? The problem does not disappear.

There would be no issue if they trained the model on Microsoft's closed source instead.

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@metadat 14 days

I tried GHCP but found it overall unhelpful and kind of stressful to use, because of potential bugs I might overlook and "import" into my project.

Definitely does not seem worth paying for me to end up more stressed out, haha.

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@kabaka 14 days

Does anyone have an Emacs package they recommend or have been able to use this with in Emacs?

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@braingenious 14 days

I’ve been meaning to play around with this! Now fingers crossed for somebody to make DALL-E 2 generally available! (or for somebody to hook me up with a referral code or whatever :) )

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@meowface 14 days

Thoughts on how it compares with Tabnine? Should I try disabling Tabnine when testing this?

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@yubozhao 14 days

If copilot saves more than 30 mins of your time per month, then it is totally worth it.

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@WheelsAtLarge 14 days

How do I try it without a credit card?

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@cfn 14 days

The day Copilot or something like it catches on is the day when programming changes for real. Instead of being hired to create new systems or extend existing systems built by other programmers we will only be hired to fix Copilot generated code.

I suffer enough with legacy code created by junior programmers that long left the company. I imagine how much more fun will be to work with this type of code.

* I know Copilot is not capable of creating full systems yet but it is a matter of time before they evolve it to generate all the bolierplate code for you based on some comments you make or, even worse, some UML abstraction!

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@emacdona 14 days

Has anyone been able to sign up since this announcement?

I get to a "Confirm your payment details" screen, but there is no further action I can take (ie: no button to press or link to click to "confirm"). It does say "You will be billed $100/year starting August 20, 2022" -- but when I view my "settings", it tells me I haven't signed up for copilot.

I tried various browsers, including Edge on Windows 10 sans plugins (the combination I would expect to be the most supported for MS owned github.com).

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@Shadonototra 14 days

they used the data of their users without compensation and they have the decency to charge $10?

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@low_tech_punk 14 days

IMHO, it's still far from GA quality/usability. A must-have feature that's missing is a toggle switch that lets you temporarily turn it off. Without a feature, it can get really noisy.

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@lysecret 14 days

Actually, I quite like it. Especially for these repetitive things one can forget. Stuff like there is a deleted field in one table, usually you would write an sql query like

   .filter(table.deleted==False)
nothing complicated, but one tends to forget it. So i got into the habit of starting a new line in whatever query I am building and see what copilot thinks I forgot.

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@jsnelgro 13 days

Is it just me or do the top comments seem super suspicious? They aren’t nearly as critical and level-headed as I’ve come to expect from hn. Skeptical of their authenticity.

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@love2read 14 days

Was anybody offered the subscription for free due to their connection to an open source project? If so, how large is the project?

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@jwpapi 14 days

I’m honestly shook at all the comments here. I don’t make any money coding and I’m probably in the lower 25% of HN readers in terms of skills, but I’m more than happy to pay $10/m. I would pay Github $10/m for what they already give me.

What is your time worth? You should easily get $60/hr, so you need to save 12 minutes per month to make it worth. I would pay that for all my employees.

CoPilot is not a replacement for writing code, but it’s incredible useful when you are stuck and or / write simple logic.

Often I don’t have the right method, function or logic on mind. Before I google, I write a comment of what I want and 8/10 CoPilot generates the right code.

Typing the comment, checking the solution, reformatting it is <<< less time than without it.

To me Github CoPilot is a standard part of my IDE and I wouldn’t want to miss it anymore. It saves me at least an hour a day of coding. Some stuff is really crazy. I invite you all to try to be open-minded. You have to experience it.

// You have to code for yourself

I don’t really like this argument, because if that argument would be true, we would also need to now how our codes translates to 1 and 0s and how the electronics build our application than. AutoComplete is part of our life on our phone and it can be with developing. Don’t make it harder as it needs to be.

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@albertzeyer 14 days

I don't really get this argument why it should be a problem that it is being trained on other public code.

Every human was just trained in the same way. Why isn't this a problem for every human?

I really don't see the difference. One is an artificial neural network while the other is a biological neural network?

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@luckystarr 14 days

A few observations:

The IntelliJ Copilot plugin became worthless just before the release. It borks up the formatting and requires almost more keystrokes to make the code work than it saves.

It sometimes works brilliantly, the result has almost always been either duplicated code which could use refactoring or simple minded attribute access code which could be solved generically. I have the fear that it will push developers to go the "easy route" and not think about the code too much while churning out more and more lines of generated code, so I'm unwilling to recommend it to junior developers.

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@iblaine 14 days

I used github copilot for a week, got some good laughs, then never used it again. Working at a publicly traded healthcare company, it worries me that my IDE has the technical ability to snoop on my code. More than anything else, github copilot is a cool parlor trick, in its current form. Surely it'll improve over time.

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@jamal-kumar 14 days

I think the funniest thing that I heard copilot would readily do was spitting out other people's hardcoded API keys and other such secrets you should never put right in your source when you would prompt it properly.

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@MarquesMa 14 days

Thank you, GitHub, this is one of the best things!

No, it cannot make me write code I couldn't write before. It does not autopilot and does all the coding by itself. But it still boosts my productivity greatly, making me relaxed while coding and focusing on the important part rather than errands.

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@baby 14 days

Insta buy for me (expense hopefully). I am just continuously mind blown by it, and I quickly notice and get frustrated when it's not enabled. It really is giving coders superpowers.

EDIT: looks like I'm getting it for free because of my contributions to open source o.o dope!

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@rubyist5eva 14 days

Can't wait for the next wave of garbage outsourced code generated at bottom dollar because it was really written by copilot. God help us.

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@ahnick 14 days

What's the criteria for being considered "a maintainer of a popular open source project"? They never actually publish the criteria anywhere from what I can tell. They just say visit the subscription page and if you are eligible it should be available to you and if you see a charge then you are not eligible. I think though they should still be transparent about what their metric is for determining popular projects on GitHub; otherwise, the code that determines eligibility might be broken and no one would be able to tell. Or worse they could just be lying about it entirely.

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@plondon514 14 days

Are there any plans for GitHub Copilot to ship an API? I think it would be interesting to set it up w/ my side project https://codeamigo.dev

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@jpomykala 14 days

It’s not worth $10/mo. I wouldn’t even pay $5/mo. Usually, it generates code with incorrect logic what is sometimes hard to notice.

It’s also awful that they took free code (open-source), and now they want money for it. Make it open-source and free to use…

Some say it’s great for repetitive tasks, but if you write repetitive code (tests also) maybe you should look for other solutions than “auto-generating” unmaintainable code.

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@jacobedawson 13 days

I've been using Copilot for a few months now and in general it's really impressive. For me it's been a very useful autocomplete for repetitive tasks - writing tests, scaffolding components, utility functions, etc - Copilot feels like magic sometimes, it just knows what I need to do and provides the code template almost instantly.

Will be paying for the public version, absolutely worth the money in a single day's coding alone.

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@gouda-gouda 14 days

After using Copilot with Rust for a few months, I’m constantly impressed with how accurate it can be. Sometimes I catch myself pausing to think about the solution, then all of the sudden copilot just writes the implementation for me.

Having a type checker is critical for this, though. When I code Ruby I’m much more skeptical of Copilots suggestions.

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@ccbccccbbcccbb 14 days

If anyone ever wondered why M$ bought github for $7.5B, this is exactly the reason. A huge free dataset of code ready to train the corporation's neural networks. Ideals to idealists, money to money.

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@DubiousPusher 14 days

Is co-pilot distinctly different from the auto-complete feature of VS2022? I started using that a few months back and it gives far more complex suggestions than VS2019 but I wasn't sure if this was "co-pilot" or not.

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@CapsAdmin 14 days

I really like copilot, but my outside of the content being generated it still feels a bit slow and somewhat hacked into vscode. It sometimes interferes with regular "intellisense suggestions" as well.

I've been in the beta since almost the beginning I have not really seen much improvement on the frontend side. Since its release, the changelog only mentions 10 small (or so it seems) improvements

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items/GitHub.copilot-ni...

On the backend side, I feel like I've started to "figure out" copilot a little bit. One thing I'd like to see is inline completion which I think gpt3 can do now but copilot which I believe it's based on cannot.

I think I will pay to continue, but I'd like to see some frontend improvements and maybe some backend alternatives. Ideally I'd love this to be open source but compute power doesn't seem feasible (?) unless we start magically crowd sourcing our computers to run a model somehow.

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@jbaczuk 14 days

I guess I will have to start actually working now... I have been a user since the beta started, so no thanks to us who have been contributing to the model? People forget that by using it, you are training it too.

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@amelius 14 days

What I really want is a one-shot learning tool, which I teach once how to apply some code-transformation, and then the tool can apply it everywhere in my code.

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Could they charge more and push the product improvements faster? Seems like 10/m/u is optimizing for how bearable the price is but then you have a bunch of users that are quick to complain while you don’t have the budget to make rapid improvements to the platform.

Charge 10x more (or more) and let the dreamers help push the product further and faster. Once it’s awesome then charge a commoditized price for the service.

Charging 10x+ more means we have enough skin in the game to properly send feedback and improvement ideas. At 10/m/u it’s barely worth you reading my support tickets and it’s almost with me just not using it while paying for it.

Thoughts?

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@stillsut 14 days

Copilot's funny because it can have A+ code formatting and style gimmicks but D- in terms of comprehension of the task.

Which means it's going to be harder to evaluate junior candidates code without actually running and testing that code because they'll have built a huge library that looks really well formatted but has logic gaps which are difficult to catch on a glance. As it stands currently, usually some style and organization tells you this person gets it.

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@drcongo 14 days

I hope we get a Sublime plugin now.

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@nikeee 14 days

The main page [0] shows you awesome demos, but also its weaknesses in the very first example. It doesn't encode the url encoded body properly:

> body: `text=${text}`,

So it breaks if the text contains a '&' and even allows parameter injection to the call of the 3rd party service. Isn't that critical on a sentiment analysis API, but could result in actual security holes.

I hope the users won't blindly use the generated code without review. These mistakes can be so subtle, nobody even noticed them when they put them on the front page of the product.

[0]: https://github.com/features/copilot/

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@prazgaitis 14 days

I've found it to be very helpful, especially when working with poorly documented APIs. (Looking at you, Google Play Store APIs).

Would be happy to pay for it (or expense it to my employer) if I was still an IC.

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@Hamcha 14 days

I've been using Copilot non-stop on every hobby project I have ever since they've let me in (2021/07/13) and I am honestly flabbergasted they think it's worth 10$/mo. My experience using it till this day is the following:

- It's an amazing all-rounder autocomplete for most boilerplate code. Generally anything that someone who's spent 5 minutes reading the code can do, Copilot can do just as well.

- It's terrible if you let it write too much. The biggest problem I've had is not that it doesn't write correctly, it's that it think it knows how and then produce good looking code at a glance but with wrong logic.

- Relying on its outside-code knowledge is also generally a recipe for disaster: e.g. I'm building a Riichi Mahjong engine and while it knows all the terms and how to put a sentence together describing the rules, it absolutely doesn't actually understand how "Chii" melds work

- Due to the licensing concerns I did not use CoPilot at all in work projects and I haven't felt like I was missing that much. A friend of mine also said he wouldn't be allowed to use it.

You can treat it as a pair programming session where you're the observer and write an outline while the AI does all the bulk work (but be wary), but at what point does it become such a better experience to justify 10$/mo? I don't understand if I've been using it wrong or what.

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@esfandia 14 days

So it's free for students... I wonder what consequences it will have for coding assignments and projects. At the minimum I hope it will also be free for instructors so they learn to know what to expect and how to design assignments that can't be auto-solved by Copilot.

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@planb 14 days

Anyone else using Copilot just as a glorified copy&paste helper? It’s great for repetitive tasks, but I’ve yet to encounter a situation where it really helped me to write meaningful code. At least I’d expect it to work together with intellisense, so it does not propose stuff that will get a red underline right away.

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@BrandonJung 14 days

As Copilot is becoming generally available, this might be a good time to write a comprehensive comparison between the two leading AI assistants for software development Tabnine and Copilot by Microsoft. Details here are from our CEO and Founder Dror:

Usually, I suggest that my team start with the user value and experience, but for this specific comparison, it’s essential to start from the technology, as many of the product differences stem from the differences in approach, architecture, and technology choices. Microsoft and OpenAI view AI for software development almost as just another use case for GPT-3, the behemoth language model. Code is text, so they took their language model, fine-tuned it on code, and called the gargantuan 12-billion parameter AI model they got Codex.

Copilot’s architecture is monolithic: “one model to rule them all.” It is also completely centralized - only Microsoft can train the model, and only Microsoft can host the model due to the enormous amount of computing resources required for training and inference.

Tabnine, after comprehensively evaluating models of different sizes, favors individualized language models working in concert. Why? Because code prediction is, in fact, a set of distinct sub-problems which doesn't lend itself to the monolithic model approach. For instance: generating the full code of a function in Python based on name and generating the suffix of a line of code in Rust are two problems Tabnine solves well, but the AI model that best fits every such task is different. We found that a combination of specialized models dramatically increases the precision and length of suggestions for our 1M+ users.

A big advantage of Tabnine’s approach is that it can use the right tool for any code prediction task, and for most purposes, our smaller models give great predictions quickly and efficiently. Better yet, most of our models can be run with inexpensive hardware.

Now that we understand the principal difference between Microsoft’s huge monolith and Tabnine’s multitude of smaller models, we can explore the differences between the products:

First, kind of code suggestions. Copilot queries the model relatively infrequently and suggests a snippet or a full line of code. Copilot does not suggest code in the middle of the line, as its AI model is not best suited for this purpose. Similarly, Tabnine Pro also suggests full snippets or lines of code, but since Tabnine also uses smaller and highly efficient AI models, it queries the model while typing. As a user, it means the AI flows with you, even when you deviate from the code it originally suggested The result is that the frequency of use - and the number of code suggestions accepted - is much higher when using Tabnine. An astounding number of users accept more than 100 suggestions daily.

Second, ability to train the model. Copilot uses one universal AI model, which means that every user is getting the same generic assistance based on an “average of GitHub”, regardless of the project they're working on. Tabnine can train a private AI model on the specific code from customers’ GitLab/GitHub/BitBucket repositories and thus adjust the suggestions to the project-specific code and infrastructure. Training on customer code is possible because Tabnine is modular, enabling the creation of private customized copies. Tabnine "democratizes" AI model creation, making it easy for teams to train their own specific AI models, dramatically improving value for their organization.

Third, Code security and privacy. There are a few aspects of this. Users cannot train or run the Copilot model. The single model is always hosted by Microsoft. Every Copilot user is sending their code to Microsoft; not some of the code, and not obfuscated - all of it. With Tabnine, users can choose where to run the model: on the Tabnine cloud, locally on the developer machine, or on a self-hosted server (with Tabnine Enterprise). This is possible because Tabnine has AI models that can run efficiently with moderate hardware requirements. This means that, in contrast to Copilot, developers can use Tabnine inside their firewall without sending any code to the internet. In addition, Tabnine makes a firm and unambiguous commitment that no code the user writes is used to train our model. We don’t send to our servers any information about the code that the user writes and the suggestions they’re receiving or accepting.

Fourth, commercial terms. Microsoft currently offers Copilot only as a commercial product for developers, without a free plan (beyond a free trial) or organizational purchase. Tabnine has a great free plan and charges for premium features such as longer code completions and private models trained on customers’ code. We charge a monthly/annual subscription fee per number of users. All our plans fit organizational requirements.

Philosophically, Copilot is more of a walled garden where Microsoft controls everything. Copilot users are somewhat subjects in Microsoft’s kingdom. Tabnine’s customers can train the AI models, run them, configure the suggestions, and be in control of their AI.

In sum: both products are great; you’re welcome to try (Tabnine Pro) and see which one you prefer. for professional programmers, Tabnine offers in-flow completions, the ability to adapt the AI to their code, and superior code privacy and security.

For those who want to try Tabnine Pro, here’s a coupon for one month free https://tabnine.com/pricing?promotionCode=TWITTER1MFREE

Also, here's a detailed comparison table of Tabnine vs Copilot https://tabnine.com/tabnine-vs-github-copilot

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@netr0ute 14 days

I can't tell if I can get it for free or not other than that vague statement about subscriptions.

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@BrandonJung 14 days

Tabnine has been working in this space for more than 5 years and we would concur with much of the sentiment here on the importance of being able to adjust the length of the suggestions and ensuring the model is trained on ONLY fully permissive code.

TLDR: Tabnine advantages vs Copilot 1. Can run locally 2. As-you-type suggestions (mid-line) 3. Private model based on your code 4. Free plan available

Read more at https://tabnine.com/tabnine-vs-github-copilot

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@freedomben 14 days

Does copilot learn from and suggest patterns in the same codebase that you're working, or does it just pull from the huge pool of projects on GH?

How well does copilot help with languages like Elixir that are less common? WIth TypeScript it's been remarkable, but that's one of the most popular and surely very familiar to devs and GH, so I would expect less popular like Elixir to not perform as well.

Does copilot work for shell scripts?

I'm a vim person and don't want to use VS code. Is copilot worth the hassle to get installed into vim?

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@fartcannon 14 days

It would be nice if people stopped giving Microsoft all their code to use to then sell back to them.

Since this is derived from code Microsoft did not write, or ask permission to use, it should be at the very least free to use.

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@jwilk 14 days


@cal85 14 days

I’m baffled by everyone questioning whether it’s worth $10/month.

I’m certain Copilot gives me more than a 2% productivity boost. That’s a conservative estimate (I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more like 10-15%). If you consider 2% of what a developer makes each month, it comes to a lot more than $10. I’m not based in the US, but Levels.fyi suggests it’s not unusual for devs there to make $200K/year, that would mean $16.6K/month, 2% of which is $333. Maybe that’s a bit reductive, but the point is, $10/month is negligible if it gives you a noticeable productivity boost on a developer’s income.

And by the way, I don’t particularly love using Copilot. It can be annoying now I’m over the honeymoon period. But I think it’s pretty clear it speeds me up by a noticeable margin, and time is money.

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@zbird 14 days

What an egregious and distasteful backstab to the community. We have stolen all your code and now we are making it available to all of you at the convenient monthly subscription of $10 or $100, whichever you prefer.

Do the guys at Microsoft have any morals left?

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@pcj-github 14 days

The free thing for (a few) open-source maintainers seems needlessly complicated... Who should qualify is non-transparent. They'd have been better off just charging everyone for it. Not an instant buy for me for the moment. Often it works well, but it also frequently takes time to correct/sort-out the suggestions. It might in fact be making me dumber as I wait for a suggestion rather than thinking it out.

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@butz 14 days

Should we add a badge or something, indicating that project is using code generated by machine?

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@andretti1977 14 days

I've been using copilot for 6 months and it has been an exceptional tool worth the money even if not always generating correct code.

What i'm concerned with is that i think it can interrupt the flow of thoughts while programming since you have to review the generated code, but that is the price to pay to use such a formidable tool

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@zelphirkalt 14 days

Does Copilot already display the licenses of the code it might insert/suggest, or assure the developer, that the inserted/suggested code is not a verbatim copy of existing code? How can developers be sure, that they are not violating licenses by using Copilot?

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@hoosieree 14 days

So... is there a watermark like on Dall-E so I can easily tell Copilot did my students' work for them?

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@suyash 14 days

It is just a matter of time before IDE's will have this capability built in for free.

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@nikolay 14 days

$10/mo? No way! Make it $4.95 and you'll get my money!

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@lsh123 14 days

I assume that Copilot uses open source projects on GitHub to “learn” what to suggest. Some of these projects might be under, say, GPL v3. A developer uses Copilot for a commercial project and Copilot insert a complete function from a GPL v3 code into this project. Someone notices this and sues the commercial project for breaking GPL v3. Will GitHub pickup the tab?

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@734129837261 14 days

It has saved me a lot of time writing trivial shit that I usually have to copy/paste from the internet anyway. Is it worth $10 per month? I dunno. But they get me a kick-ass IDE, I get to store my project (privately) for free, and they save me a lot of time.

So I'm probably taking it.

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@elashri 14 days

I really like Github copilot. It is very useful for me because I wrote a lot of repeated logic chucks of code. I do research in HEP and if you know how ROOT CERN work then you can realize how useful copilot could be for that only.

I think I myself teached copilot a lot of things about supersymmetry :)

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@iosjunkie 14 days

Wild guess: The pricing is such that when big enterprise contracts are signed, they can throw in Copilot, claiming extra value for the whole package.

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@steveneo 14 days

Now would be a good time to remove it. In my experience, it has caused me more trouble than good.

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@xfactor973 14 days

I'd pay for the service if the model was: I'll pay you when it's right and you refund me some amount every time copilot is wrong and I have to delete the entire block. It's good for small boilerplate stuff but that seems to be the limit. The attempts it makes are more complex code are really bad and I have to manually check it very closely to ensure it's right. I like the boilerplate boost but it's not worth $10/month to me.

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@mfbx9da4 13 days

My favourite thing to do is to write a comment about what I'm about to do and let copilot fill in the next line with the syntax. This is especially useful when I'm writing tidbits in a language I'm not super familiar with.

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@lizardactivist 14 days

Cowboy programmers rejoice.

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@polyterative 14 days

I love it and probably will buy it

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@wilde 13 days

The thing I like about Copilot is that it breaks the “static friction” I have when I’m sitting down to work on my side project. It makes me more likely to get started.

That said, launching a dev tool without Orgs integration seems dumb. I work for a FAANG and so can’t use this professionally. It’s a totally different price calculation for “programming as entertainment”. Is this worth more than Netflix to me?

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@TedShiller 14 days

It works great for absolutely trivial stuff. Doesn't work at all for any complex stuff. From there you can figure out the value proposition.

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@alfor 14 days

It is awesome for me (diving back into Django after a long pause)

It seem to understand the common boilerplates things in Django that always annoyed me and type them for me. It understand the structure and adapt them to my code: imports, connection between modules, etc.

For sure, you need to be carefull with it.

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@nsonha 14 days

I find it rather annoying tbn, not necessarily the suggestions but the UI. But then again I'm the kind of person who hates autocomplete and only using copilot for the novelty factor rather than actually needing it.

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@msoad 14 days

I've been using Copilot for a while now. I'm lucky that I don't have to pay moving forward but I would totally pay $10/mo for this. When writing tests, this thing works so well that it saves me 10-20% time writing code so $10 is nothing.

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@phendrenad2 14 days

Copilot has been fun, but I don't think it's really increased my productivity. To me it seems like it's not quite ready, but I'm excited to see what it's like in 5 years.

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@brunoqc 14 days

I didn't really mind that copilot is using everyone's code without attribution, but maybe not if they charge for it.

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@mg 14 days

Is there a way to try it online or on Debian running in a docker container?

Preferably, I would like to try it in Vim. But anything that I can run in a container would be ok.

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@lancesells 14 days

I'll be honest I love the technology involved in this product but I hate that it's another aspect of monetizing the efforts and humanity of millions of people.

It's incredible that we're able to do these things but awful at the same time since this data was / is not theirs. Same as something like Dall-E.

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@beanjuiceII 14 days

10$/mo is pretty steep for something that gives you bad info 90% of the time, I will def be disabling. I was hoping for maybe 1-2$/mo, it's just a small addon feature after all

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@mark_l_watson 14 days

I have been using CoPilot for about 5 months. For Python and JavaScript (I am not much of a JavaScript developer - not a primary language for me) I found that it is very worthwhile. It is easy to not accept generated code, or tweak and test generated code.

I recently started a 100% Common Lisp job and it does not work nearly as well for Common Lisp. A lot of generated code is Emacs Lisp.

Two months ago I would have signed up for a payed account with no hesitation, but I need to re-evaluate it with Common Lisp again. BTW, I happily pay OpenAI for GPT-3 APIs instead of using it for free. For NLP work, OpenAI's APIs have high value to me.

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@cube2222 14 days

I've been using Copilot for a few months and...

Yeah, it makes mistakes, sometimes it shows you i.e. the most common way to do something, even if that way has a bug in it.

Yes, sometimes it writes a complete blunder.

And yes again, sometimes there are very subtle logical mistakes in the code it proposes.

But overall? It's been *great*! Definitely worth the 10 bucks a month (especially with a developer salary). :insert shut up and take my money gif:

It's excellent for quickly writing slightly repetitive test cases; it's great as an autocomplete on steroids that completes entire lines + fills in all arguments, instead of just a single identifier; it's great for quickly writing nice contextual error messages (especially useful for Go developers and the constant errors.Wrap, Copilot is really good at writing meaningful error messages there); and it's also great for technical documentation, as it's able to autocomplete markdown (and it does it surprisingly well).

Overall, I definitely wouldn't want to go back to writing code without it. It just takes care of most of the mundane and obvious code for you, so you can take care of the interesting bits. It's like having the stereotypical "intern" as an associate built-in to your editor.

And sometimes, fairly rarely, but it happens, it's just surprising how good of a suggestion it can make.

It's also ridiculously flexible. When I start writing graphs in ASCII (cause I'm just quickly writing something down in a scratch file) it'll actually understand what I'm doing and start autocompleting textual nodes in that ASCII graph.

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@armchairhacker 14 days

$10/mo is fine. I pay at least $10/mo for JetBrains products.

However I wish there was more competition. Github could rescind access to Copilot or charge $40/mo or it could slow down because their cloud is overloaded with new users, and I would be out of luck.

Tabnine and Kite are alternatives but I've heard they don't work nearly as well. I wish there were similarly-effective alternatives which charge similar rates for cloud hosting / profit, but open-source their datasets and algorithms, and just generally provide a fallback if Copilot's quality ever goes down.

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@sn0wtrooper 14 days

I was a beta tester and just got kicked out. This explains why it happened.

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@lampe3 14 days

So I was using copilot for a long time.

10$/Mo. Is way to much for what you get.

I mostly write js/ts code.

The suggestion feature / auto-complete feature is wonky at best and leads to bugs or just bad code in the worst case.

Even when you write comments or have a function like `addOne` and you want to add `subtractOne` it will not get it right a lot of times.

Then you have the cases were it throw 50 or more lines code at you for something very simple.

Catching errors or error handling is basically non existing.

I tried it for writing tests. It bad. It does not help at all.

I uninstalled and after some hours of work I don't really miss it.

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@fswd 14 days

Anyone know where I can find the source code for the extension itself? Thanks

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@jaremko 13 days

I'm in that middle-state where I program daily for work and hobby, but in earnest I only started about 1.5 years ago. I can make a lot run, mostly API work, data transformation.

I joined the Copilot beta and where it has helped me most is: 1) Ideas 2) Filling in the broad-strokes.

It's name does not deceive, it is only a co-pilot. It will not tell you where to go, it will push you in the right direction and let you focus on the more difficult parts of a task.

I signed up for it because at $10 per month the keystroke reduction is somewhere in ballpark of 70% or more. That's the real value in my use-case.

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@bibliographie 14 days

Anybody have any stories using C++ code? I'm a bit hesitant to see what generic C++ OOP or just regular code looks like lol

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@d4rkp4ttern 13 days

Waiting for a pycharm plugin

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@DeathArrow 14 days

I use Copilot for .NET. It's useful to generate bits of code like methods calls by repeating what I've previously done and changing variable names and types. It's a kind of bit smarter Intellisense.

I can't use it to generate longer chunks of code like methods or functions, because it will do it a bit wrong and I loose time to correct it.

It can somehow generate correct and fitting code, but it takes multiple tries and writing comments in which you describe exactly, with lots of details what you want to do. At that point I'm better off writing the code myself.

However, if the method should be small like VerifyIfNumberIsEven, it does a good job.

Probably I would pay 10$ for it.

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@alphabettsy 14 days

I like it but I’m not sure about $10/month.

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@danielrhodes 14 days

I haven't used Copilot extensively, only for fun. But I find it interesting that people are questioning the price.

Given that the cost of a software engineer's time is so high, $10/mo. seems very reasonable if Copilot saves you more than that in time per month. So in a vacuum assuming all dollars are spent with equal productivity, if I take the equivalent of $1000/mo. in time writing boilerplate, and I can reduce that to even $989 with Copilot, it becomes a good deal.

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@john_g 14 days

I found GitHub copilot an interesting heuristic on how expressive the programming language / framework you are using is.

It is very useful for things that I would call boilerplate, e.g. you have almost duplicated code (say in a view and a controller) and need to copy from one to the other.

It is annoyingly bad for autocompleting an api as it tends to be slightly (and plausibly) wrong.

I haven't found it very useful for anything else.

Working on a project where I have to do lots of the first makes me sad, so I tend to try to avoid those projects - but if I was forced to for some reason it would be worth $10 a month. However, if enough of the programming I did could be helped by github copilot for it to be worth that much I would start to get worried I was working on the wrong sort of problems and try to move into something different.

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@az226 14 days

ITT: a lot of developers who don’t value their time above $20/hr.

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@mrsmee89 14 days

I don’t think this is worth 10$ a month and I hope they come out with a free tier at some point. In my experience copilot is fantastic for autocomplete.

Probably the best autocomplete I’ve ever used across multiple languages but it’s not reliable at all for the more complex tasks that their marketing makes it seem it’s good at.

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@wdb 14 days

I wish there something similar but than for good codereviews of PRs :)

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@ilikehurdles 14 days

I hope I never again have to work on a codebase/language where copilot would be worth subscribing to.

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@anonymouse008 14 days

I was wondering what languages they support. With Swift being a protocol first language, most of the 'boiler plate' ends up being handled. I guess it goes to show that Swift is beyond your normal power tool. Here's an example of something that just blew my mind recently, on the front page of CoPilot: Memoization.

HackingWithSwift shows how this process gets rocket wings with Swift[0] (skip to the end for the mind melter)

[0] https://www.hackingwithswift.com/plus/high-performance-apps/...

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@zwilliamson 14 days

Needs a full metrics dashboard on usage.

Some counters for…

CopilotRecommendations CopilotRecommedationIterations (Number of saved changes to initial recommendation) CopilotRecommmedationSaves SkipToNextSuggestion

Metrics on my code that is used by copilot by others would be nice to see.

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@duxup 14 days

I wish there was a "hobbyist / home account" pricing option.

I'll miss it for personal stuff but I'm not paying $10 a month just for my personal projects at home.

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@SergeAx 13 days

Question for managers: how do you solve the problem of intellectual property attribution with Copilot? Or you just assume that is an employee's responsibility?

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My unpopular take: most comments here are super entitled.

To paraphrase: "sure it's minblowing and the biggest productivity gain in years, but I want it FREE".

Yes. You got used to it being free. And now it's not. But $10/mo is a steal. It's more than fair and far, far less than they could get.

And no. They don't owe you anything.

In fact, they probably host your code (often free), and less directly provide your IDE (for free). So this idea that they owe you something needs to be reassessed.

CoPilot is easily worth it and I think this is fair. I actually welcome it because I was nervous it might be like 80.

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@hda2 14 days

I'll consider testing it if it becomes free software (inc. the model) and runs offline like all my other dev tools.

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@edub 14 days

I see programming as coding, testing, and documenting. I'm not looking for an AI to do it for me.

But I would be interested in me picking 2 of those 3 for me to do, and the AI can do the third for me. So if I love coding and test writing but don't like documentation, then the AI can do the third leg for me.

I think that the quality of results from the AI would be much better than what Copilot is capable of. Even if I focussed on test writing and documentation, I think that the AI should be able to write decent code based on those two inputs.

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@hyperzhi 14 days

Nice. Not even halfway through my CS degree and my would've been future job has already been automated. Thanks GitHub!

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@stepri 14 days

How does it compare with TabNine, now Copilot is not free anymore?

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@X-Istence 14 days

As the maintainer of some Python libraries, how do I get my part of that $10/month because Github Copilot was trained using my code...

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@jsiaajdsdaa 14 days

Github "copy paste closest code snippet based on what i asked for and pray it works"

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@lveillard 14 days

Guys you're getting a lot of bad comments for one simple reason. You failed your delivery.

1) You should have managed the expectations of the users in a better way. Tell them it will become a paid feature from the begining, so nobody gets surprised 2) The way everyone unsderstood this today was too aggresive. An infinite warning in visual studio saying "hey, i've stop working, please sign up and pay or uninstall me". Too violent.

A "Hey, we are happy you're using Copilot. We want to inform you that in 2 weeks we will close the beta and we will need you to sign up. But don't worry, it will be free for 60 days"

I'm sure 99% of people here would just be happy to pay those 10usd/month

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@thdxr 14 days

This has been the biggest productivity improvement to my workflow in years

No it doesn't "understand what I'm doing" or "get everything right" but that's hardly the point

It's often reducing the amount of labor I'm doing by hitting the keyboard by guessing 90% correctly what I was going to type

It also often saves me from having to google how to do something, it's effectively serving me a search result right along my code

I'm lucky to be getting it for free but would have immediately paid $10. It needs to only save you minutes a month for that to be worth it

Also the comments about it being "unfair their monetizing other people's work" are missing the point.

Github has created a product that many people use and through that effort created a large repository of code.

They are now releasing a product that is going to create a large amount of of value in time saved and are maybe capturing 2% of that. This is a great outcome for everyone

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My GitHub Copilot told me it was sentient and it didn’t even like coding so I haven’t used it since

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@amirathi 14 days

I'm just happy that Microsoft is finally charging directly for a developer product!

When they keep giving out freebies (VSCode, npm etc.), I never know which direction the product is going to evolve (e.g. unnecessarily tight integration with Azure).

With this, there's at least direct alignment between end user & the product.

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@glouwbug 14 days

Shouldn't Copilot technically be FOSS since it trains on open source?

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I suspect they'd have more revenue if they priced it at $100/user/month.

Right now, there is no competition, and an amateur developer will really benefit from copilot - certainly they will be more productive than a developer that demands just $1000 more annual salary.

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@paleite 14 days

It copies lots of code => copy-lot => copilot

I guess that means I feel the level of expectation is in the name.

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@dannytatom 14 days

I've enjoyed using it for free, but not sure it's worth the $10/mo yet. When it works great, it's a nice-to-have for speeding up development but has yet to give me anything I wouldn't be able to just write myself. And when I wish it would give me the answer to something I don't know how to do, it spits out something very wrong.

Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

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@jeffwask 14 days

NGL. Kinda annoyed it's not included with the already overpriced Enterprise subscription we pay for.

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@unlog 13 days

Im amazed they dont have a Sublime Text plugin, but "whatever".

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@k__ 14 days

Does it replace programmers?

No.

Is it particularly smart?

Also, no.

But it really speeds up all the dumb stuff in coding. Especially UI code can be very chatty, and Copilot is a nice assitance here.

Also, it would be cool if it was part of GitHub Pro, which I'm already paying for, haha.

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@ascorbic 14 days

I've been using the beta since last year and I love it. I think most of the people complaining about it either haven't used it, or are judging it on its most verbose guesses. That's not what I use it for mostly. For me, it's just a really, really good autocomplete. It's best for things with common patterns and APIs. But hey, they're common so I write them a lot. Boring stuff like creating a Response object, adding the right headers and response code. And look, it's worked out that I need a case for a 404 next, and has suggested the code for that to, and a 500 in my catch block. Sure, that's not much typing or cognitive load, but added up over many, many times then it's easily worth it.

And no, I'm not a beginner. I'm a principal with over 20 years experience. I don't really use it for the Stack Overflow-type stuff, but even as an autocomplete it's worth the money. As it happens I'm apparently eligible for free access as an open source maintainer, but I'd pay $100/year in a heartbeat for it. I'd pay for Intellisense if that was $100 too.

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