This is a limitation of the VS Code treeview API, inline buttons only show when the item is selected. We can force focus but that would hijack keyboard focus which would be very annoying for the user. I'm not sure what else I could do
I can see about selecting it just once, but since users are generally clicking a lot of the time anyway I'm not sure they would even notice the selection (since it would be lost as soon as they click).
Gotcha. Then lets not do this. Hopefully with it opening up, that will be sufficient. When it is open, is possible for the entire tree line be extended as well? (showing the the projects icon, and the click here to create...)?
I'd have to see this in action to get a better idea of context, but if we want to show how a project is connecting, able to be used locally, and then disconnected, then I think that @thisguy-1's suggestion works.