You can use this, but why not use the IDE? I've tried coding Arduinos with MATLAB and VStudio and still think the normal IDE is the easiest when it comes to Arduino programming.
Literally what is wrong with downloading the IDE?!?
I don't have space.
You're SOL, but I still can't imagine having enough space for VS and not the Arduino IDE. That's just rediculous.
I can't use the online ide because it will not let me import a the Radiohead library from Adafruit.
If you decide you want to give the online IDE another try, I can provide you with instructions for how to import that library (and any other library that has a similar problem).
I do like having the IDE installed on my computer, but in a case where you are short on hard drive space you might prefer to let Arduino store the bulk of the software on their servers in the cloud rather than having to put it all on your computer. That said, hard drives are pretty cheap these days.
Installing the IDE is how VSCode gets access to the build system, compiler, linker, loader, and libraries. No IDE, No Arduino builds.
I don't have any experience with Visual Studio Code, but I know that Arduino's intention is that the future path for 3rd party IDEs is to use arduino-cli instead of requiring a full IDE installation and I believe that Visual Studio Code will eventually go this route:
The idea behind arduino-cli is to break out the underlying functionality of the IDE into a command line tool so that that Java IDE code is only for the GUI. This tool is much easier to integrate into any software (e.g. can be shared between the Arduino IDE, Arduino Web Editor, and Arduino Pro IDE as well as all 3rd party IDEs), and it much more lightweight than the Java IDE. This has already been done, but arduino-cli is still in beta so perhaps Microsoft is waiting for it to stabilize a bit more before proceeding with using it officially in VS Code.
It might be possible to do it already:
More information on arduino-cli:
I don't have space.
Ridiculous. Buy a new hard drive or computer.