Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Hollywood for Visual Studio Code (hw4vsc)

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official product by Airsoft Softwair.

This extension adds support for Hollywood version 9 to Visual Studio Code (Windows, macOS, Linux). Hollywood is a multimedia-oriented programming language designed to create applications and games and is available for AmigaOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Hollywood (and therefore this extension) is capable of compiling to the following target plattforms:

  • AmigaOS
  • Android
  • AROS
  • iOS
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • MophOS
  • WarpOS
  • Windows

Example of this extension (Dark Theme)

In order to make use of the extension you need to buy a copy of Hollywood here:

More information about Hollywood is available here:

You can find the Hollywood documentation here:

NOTICE: The version number of this plugin correspondes with the version number of Hollywood. Therefore the first release version of this extension was 8.0.1.

Table of Contents


First of all you can use the great inbuilt editing features of Visual Studio Code like quick file navigation including fuzzy search (press Ctrl + P), Multi-Cursor, easy code editing (like line cloning, deletion, and swapping), project/workspace support, bracket matching and so forth. Please consult the Visual Studio Code documentation for more infos.

Additionally this extension supports:

  • Hollywood specific syntax highlighting including a Light and Dark Theme
  • Hollywood specific Code Snippets
  • Go to definition functionallity for variables, constants, and functions
  • Document Symbols for showing your variables, constants, and functions in the Outline and Breadcrump view and for easy code navigation
  • Code indention
  • Code folding


There are several ways to install this extension:

  1. Install and open Visual Studio Code.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+X or Cmd+Shift+X to open the Extensions pane or click on the corresponding button in the side bar.
  3. Find the Hollywood extension (look for "Hollywood MAL") and click Install.

Alternatively you can use this direct link:


  1. Download the latest release in the form of a .vsix file in this extensions GitHub releases tab
  2. Open a command prompt (like cmd or PowerShell on Windows), navigate to the downloaded extension and enter code --install-extension hollywood-mal-9.0.0.vsix, where hollywood-mal-9.0.0.vsix has to be the name of the downloaded file.


Download/check out the content of the GitHub repo and copy it to your extension folder:

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\.vscode\extensions
  • macOS: ~/.vscode/extensions
  • Linux: ~/.vscode/extensions

Now create or open a .hws file. The extension is activated now.


Open User or Workspace Settings by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P and enter settings or open the extension pane, click the manage icon on the Hollywood extension and select Extension Settings.

There are two types of settings supported by this extensions: User Settings and Workspace Settings. While the first ones are globally set for all Visual Studio Code instances the latter ones are set just in a workspace which you can imagine as a project.

In order to create a workspace for your code, create a folder for your project, open it in Visual Studio Code, select File -> Save Workspace As... in the menu and set a name for your workspace file.

For a detailed description, please consult the docs User and Workspace settings

Path to Hollywood executeable

Setting: hollywood.exePath

In order to run and compile your Hollywood scripts you have to define the location of the Hollywood main program on your computer. Although you could use the standard Hollywood.exe it makes more sense to use Hollywood_Console.exe which resists in the same folder. In the context of this extension the advantage of the Console version is that output like debug statements (DebugPrint()) or error messages (with console argument -printerror, see the tasks.json example file) are send to the Terminal panel of Visual Studio Code - which increases the integrated experience - and not opened in a separate window or modal dialog.

Normally this should be a User Setting (and not a Workspace Setting), so the executeable is defined globally for all your Hollywood projects.

Configuration of hollywood.exePath in Settings

Example settings.json: "hollywood.exePath": "C:\\Program Files\\Hollywood\\Hollywood_Console.exe"

Define main file

Setting: hollywood.mainFile

Whether your Hollywood project consists of one or more files, you should define the main Hollywood file of your project. This will help you compiling and running your project via Tasks (see below).

This is a setting that should be defined as a Workspace Setting (so create a Worspace first if you haven't down it yet (File -> Save Workspace as ...)).

Configuration of hollywood.mainFile in Settings

Example in YOUR_PROJECT.code-workspace: "hollywood.mainFile": "mainApp.hws"

Define standard executable output format

Setting: hollywood.outputExeType

This setting specifies the output format of the executable that the Hollywood compiler shall create.

The best approach is to define this in the user settings (so it is defined globally for all your projects) and override it in workspace settings if needed, so you can have different output formats for different workspaces/projects.

Configuration of hollywood.outputExeType in Settings

Example in YOUR_PROJECT.code-workspace: "hollywood.outputExeType": "classic"

In order to define multiple targets, e.g. win64|classic|morphos, you have to create a separate Task (see description below or have a look for the example file.

For a complete list of all output formats check the -exetype console argument under

Run and compile

You have to create Tasks in Visual Studio Code in order to run or compile a Hollywood file/project. For a deeper dive into Tasks it is recommended to read the official Visual Studio Code documentation for Tasks.

Create Tasks

For every project you have to create the task definitions. There are two ways to achieve this:

  1. Create a new tasks.json file
    1. Press Ctrl+Shift+X or Cmd+Shift+X and enter Configure Task
    2. Select Create tasks.json file from template
    3. Select Others
    4. The freshly created tasks.json file is opened in Visual Studio Code. For later reference: This file is created in the .vscode folder of your project/workspace.
    5. Add new tasks or copy tasks from the example file.
  2. Clone an exisiting tasks.json file
    1. Look for an exisiting tasks.json file in .vscode folder of another Hollywood project or download the example file to your .vscode folder.
    2. Open the file and edit those defined tasks or add new ones.

Configure Tasks

Several working tasks are shown in the example file, so be sure to consult the file.

A minimal task confguration consists of 4 or 5 properties.

  1. "label": This is the label you will see in the task list when you run a task.
  2. "type": Defines whether the task is run as a process or as a command inside a shell. Normally you set it to "shell".
  3. "group": Defines to which execution group this task belongs. This is optional, but if you want to define a standard task (like building or running your project) which is easily accessable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B you have to define such a group (see the example file).
  4. "command": This is the actual command that is executed. Normally you will only use the configured path to the Hollywood executeable here, which is ${config:hollywood.exePath} (see here).
  5. "args": This is an array which contains arguments passed to the command when the task is invoked. Besides several inbuilt Visual Studio Code variables like ${workspaceFolder}, ${file} and ${fileBasenameNoExtension} and Hollywood's command line arguments (like -printerror to print syntax errors into the Terminal panel) you can use the following extension specific variables:
    1. ${config:hollywood.mainFile}: The configured main project file
    2. ${config:hollywood.outputExeTypes}: The configured standard output exe format

NOTICE: By default the current working directory is the current workspace root. If you ever need to change this for your task because your source code that has to be compiled is in a different folder you can change the current working directoy by using the "cwd" option (see this link for details).

This is a complete example of a task definition:

    "label": "Compile Hollywood Main script to default target",
    "type": "shell",
    "command": "${config:hollywood.exePath}",
    "args": [
    "group": {
        "kind": "build",
        "isDefault": true

Run a Task

If you have set default task simple press Ctrl+Shift+B to run that specific task.

For all other tasks you have to follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+P to show the Command Palette
  2. Enter Run Task
  3. Pick the task you want to run
  4. Select Continue without scanning the task output or Never scan the task output for this task if you want to ignore this message in the future

Task picker

Run a script with F5

If you have already worked with the official Hollywood IDE you may be used to press F5 to run the current script. You can adopt the same behaviour with this extension through overriding the keybinding. In this example we will run the project's main script by starting the corresponding task we created above and you can see in the task.json example.

In order to override the setting you have to follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+P to show the Command Palette
  2. Enter Open Keyboard Shortcuts (JSON)
  3. The file keybindings.json which may be nearly empty is opened. Please copy the following code between [ and ] and save the file:
   "key": "f5",
   "command": "workbench.action.tasks.runTask",
   "args": "Run Hollywood Main script",
   "when": "resourceLangId == hollywood"

It is important to set the "args" parameter exactely like the corresponding tasks "label" you configured in your tasks.json. Of course it is possible to start another task and/or use other keys (see the "key" parameter).

"when": "resourceLangId == hollywood" ensures that F5 is just overriden for Hollywood files, so if you additionally code in other languages like JavaScript or TypeScript you don't override the default behaviour for those languages.

Dark and Light Theme

Dark Theme

Dark Theme

Light Theme

Light Theme

There are two ways to activate or switch the theme:

  1. Via Extension Pane
    1. Go to the Extension pane and look for the Hollywood extension
    2. Click on the Manage icon and chosse Set Color Theme
    3. Now select Hollywood (Dark) or Hollywood (Light)
  2. Via Command Palette
    1. Press Ctrl+Shift+P to show the Command Palette
    2. Enter Color Theme
    3. Pick Hollywood (Dark) or Hollywood (Light) from the list

Go to definition

This feature lets you jump to variable, constant, or function definitions/declarations by pressing F12 when on a proper symbol. This is also possible with Ctrl+Click on a symbol. If your files are organized in a workspace, all workspace files are used.

If you hover over a symbol and press Ctrl you see a preview of the declaration.

Go to definition

For additonal information see the official Visual Studio Code documentation

Document Symbols/Go to Symbol

All defined/declared document symbols (variables, constants, functions) are shown in the Outline view and Breadcrump view which can also be used for code navigation.

Keep in mind that only variables introduced by Local or Global are taken into account.

Outline view

Each symbol is represented by its own icon:

Global variable

Local variable


You can also show a list of all symbols (also for navigating) by Ctrl+Shift+O (alternatively: Ctrl+P followed by the @ sign). Then, if you type :, the symbols will be grouped.

Go to symbol

For additonal information see the official Visual Studio Code documentation

Code Snippets

You can use code snippets to quickly generate code patterns you regularly need, like function definitions, loops and so on. Please have a look at the Snippets section for a list of all supported snippets.

Thank you

I would like to thank the following people for their help and support:


If this extension is helpful to you and you want to support me feel free to buy me a coffee or send a tip via PayPal.

If you find a bug or want to see a feature added, please fill an Issue on the GitHub page. I try my best to improve this extension.

TODOs / Future

This extension is far from complete or bug free. The overall goal is: Provide nearly or the same feature subset as the official Hollywood IDE for Windows and hw4cubic for Amiga.

This includes and adds:

  • Proper code completion, also for # and @
  • inline help here and here
  • more snippets
  • Commands (Contribution point)
  • Menus (Contribution point)
  • Help (press F1 or similar and help file gets loaded with word under cursor)
  • Quick Help
  • ...