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gopls integrator FAQ

Rebecca Stambler edited this page Aug 6, 2019 · 7 revisions

This page is meant to provide information to those who are developing LSP clients to integrate with gopls. Examples of such clients include VSCode-Go, vim-go, govim, emacs-lsp, and many others. For a more complete list, see all of the editors that support gopls here.

The best starting point for any integrator is the Language Service Protocol Specification. The same specification can be found as a markdown document on Github here. represents a Go definition of the spec.

Feel free to add additional questions and answers here as they come up. To ask a question that isn't answered here, please reach out to the gopls developers either by filing an issue in the Go issue tracker or by sending a message to the #gopls channel in the Gophers Slack.

Table of Contents

Supported features

gopls is in active development, so the set of supported features is in flux. A basic overview of supported features can be found on the gopls wiki page.

For the most current answer, see the InitializeResult response to the Initialize request. The server enumerates its capabilities in the ServerCapabilities, so it explicitly states which features it does support.

At the time of writing (2019-08-06), gopls returns the InitializeResult in the server.initialize function which can be found in All of the exported gopls server functions can be found in

UTF-8, UTF-16 and position information

The majority of LSP requests require the client to pass position information to the server. This is described in the LSP specification. Specifically, it is important to note that:

A position inside a document (see Position definition below) is expressed as a zero-based line and character offset. The offsets are based on a UTF-16 string representation. So a string of the form a𐐀b the character offset of the character a is 0, the character offset of 𐐀 is 1 and the character offset of b is 3 since 𐐀 is represented using two code units in UTF-16.

This means that integrators will need to calculate UTF-16 based column offsets.

For Go-based integrators, the will be of use. #31080 tracks making span and other useful packages non-internal.

[]TextEdit responses

At the time of writing (2019-07-15) the []TextEdit response to textDocument/formatting and the WorkspaceEdit response to textDocument/rename comprises range-based deltas. The spec is not explicit about how these deltas should be applied, instead simply stating:

If multiple inserts have the same position, the order in the array defines the order in which the inserted strings appear in the resulting text.

All []TextEdit are sorted such that applying the array of deltas received in reverse order achieves the desired result that holds with the spec.

RPC response errors

A server method can return an error if it fails. Various error codes are described in the LSP specification. We are still determining what it means for a method to return an error. That is, are errors only for low-level LSP/transport issues or can other conditions cause errors to be returned? See some of this discussion on #31526.

Here is our current approach, which is subject to change:

  • textDocument/codeAction: Return error if there was an error computing code actions.
  • textDocument/completion: Log errors, return empty result list.
  • textDocument/definition: Return error if there was an error computing the definition for the position.
  • textDocument/typeDefinition: Return error if there was an error computing the type definition for the position.
  • textDocument/formatting: Return error if there was an error formatting the file.
  • textDocument/highlight: Log errors, return empty result.
  • textDocument/hover: Return empty result.
  • textDocument/documentLink: Log errors, return nil result.
  • textDocument/publishDiagnostics: Log errors if there were any while computing diagnostics.
  • textDocument/references: Log errors, return empty result.
  • textDocument/rename: Return error if there was an error computing renames.
  • textDocument/signatureHelp: Log errors, return nil result.
  • textDocument/documentSymbols: Return error if there was an error computing document symbols.

Files that change outside of the editor

Files can change outside of the purview of gopls if they are modified in a different editor or created/modified/removed as a result of go generate. These cases will be handled by supporting the workspace/didChangeWatchedFiles. This is not yet implemented on the gopls side, but it is tracked in #31553.

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