The emergence of the Pieces Copilot led to an evolution in development and orchestrated a whole new level of productivity in developers' workflow. Using centralized intelligence that learns from your workflow, developers can generate and manage code snippets while preserving context across their development toolchain — the browser, favorite IDE, and other collaborative environments while providing support for macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
At Pieces, enhancing developers' productivity remains a core interest, from the tiniest bit of time-saving features to the largest, which is why new and exciting features have been added to ensure developers get maximum support in development and make the best use of more interesting features like the Pieces Copilot.
In this guide, we will dive into the world of the Pieces Copilot while utilizing the new features like adding context to your conversations, persisted chats, and accessing the Pieces Copilot right from your browser. Let's dive in!
Getting Started with Pieces for Developers
If you already have Pieces OS running on your local machine and your Pieces for Developers Desktop App is up to date, then you may want to skip this section and just dive into the next section. However, If you're just hearing about Pieces for Developers for the first time and you want to try out the features of the Pieces Copilot, you can get started by following these steps:
- Download the Pieces for Developers Desktop App here and follow the onscreen installation setup.
- Install the Pieces extensions in your browser and IDE for a smoother experience.
You can then proceed to enhance your productivity by using Pieces seamlessly across your toolchain without having to worry about the data breaches of any kind — Pieces for Developers ensures utmost security for any data provided and is SOC 2 compliant.
Harnessing the Power of Context Application
A normal routine for developers seeking to use AI tools as a companion is asking for a generated code snippet (which would be generic) to use in their codebase. The developer then has to make major tweaks to the code and try to relate it in a way that fits their application's context and doing this repeatedly - especially for a large portion of a code base - can become chaotic, but that's where Pieces for Developers comes in.
The Pieces Copilot allows you to set context and then ask contextually specific questions and the Copilot will respond based on that context instead of referencing the internet first. (Don’t worry if your context does not contain the proper data, the Pieces Copilot will handle this) . Contextualize your coding experience with support for folders, files, code snippets, websites, messages, and seamless IDE integration. With the use of applied context, you can:
- have a full explanation and use case of the code provided.
- determine possibilities and limitations of code.
- ask specific questions based on the code provided.
- generate more code snippets to solve tasks using the applied context.
Here's an example of adding context to Pieces Copilot get a more tailored result for your usage:
In the short demo above, I uploaded a folder to serve as a context for my copilot conversations. The folder (named Animations) contains several animation code instances which could be confusing at first glance. I proceeded to ask the copilot how the animateBounce (a custom code instance that exists only in the context I provided) animation works and it was able to give me useful information around how that animation functions.
I also proceeded to query the animation by asking the copilot to provide a code snippet (based on the context) that changes the value of the y-axis to 30 and it provided just the right snippet for that. Come on, exactly how amazing is that?
Persisted Copilot Chats — What's that about?
Unlike the previous versions when every question in the Pieces Copilot Chat generated an entirely new conversation with no previous context, the persisted chats allow you to create several conversations with completely different topics and context, and they persist in your application even when you close the app. When you reopen the Pieces Copilot at a later time, you can choose to continue with any of the conversations you have created without losing any previous context. The persisted chats feature accelerates developers' productivity by:
- ensuring multiple conversations remain in the app for further use in the future.
- providing the ability to pin important conversations at the top of the list for easy access.
- providing the ability to generate and view summaries of each conversation on the list.
Here's an example of the usage of persisted chats in the Pieces Copilot:
In the image above, you see that there are conversations persisting on the left-hand side of the screen which acts as a history that consists of all my actions for the day. When you close your app and visit some other day, it remains there and can choose to resume without losing context in any of the conversations.
Browser Support - Right from Your Browser
Built with Dart and Flutter, the Pieces Chrome extension allows you to use the features of the Pieces Copilot from your browser so you can also make use of the Pieces Copilot and its features as you search the internet. It is particularly useful when reading internal company documentation on the web, doing research on coding concepts, taking notes on a blog post, or a daily digest of coding knowledge on the web.
Suppose you come across a blog post that explains a coding concept but not quite to your satisfaction. With a single click you can get more context on that code snippet using “Ask Copilot” then ask your own questions, or save it for later to explore further. Imagine how much time you will save when spending long hours on reading and research.
Here's an example of the usage of the Pieces Copilot on Chrome:
In the sample above, right from a code snippet on the Framer Motion documentation page,, I click on the "Ask Copilot" button that appears when I hover over a code snippet, and then the Pieces Copilot launches on the right-hand side inside the browser. Amazing, isn't it?
To enable seamless integration of snippets and transition between workflows, the conversations in your browser are also persisted and can be easily managed from the Pieces for Developers Desktop App.
Here, on launching the Pieces Copilot on the desktop app, the most recent conversation (from my browser) appears on top:
By merely asking the Pieces Copilot right from my browser, the conversation named “Animated List with Motion” persists in the desktop app — you do not have to worry about losing your conversations across different workflows.
No Code Snippets but Image Screenshots? We Got You Covered
Sometimes, reading blogs or other print materials as a form of research for developers doesn’t quite do it, an additional effort of watching visual content may just be what's missing. Suppose you're watching a tutorial on YouTube and you come across a code snippet on the screen, how hectic would it be to manually start copying the code from the screen just to be used in the Pieces Copilot?
Well, you'll never know the answer to that question because you can simply make a screenshot of the code snippet from the video, then drag and drop it right into the Pieces Copilot input box. Yes! Drag and drop.
Here's a demo of how to do that:
In this demo, I took a screenshot of a code snippet on Python Multithreading and then simply dragged the image into the Pieces Copilot. On getting a screenshot or image of a code snippet into the input box, the Pieces Copilot runs an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the image, translates it, and makes it available for further actions you may want to perform on it.
Had enough of the talk of exciting features and can't wait to dive right in and explore the endless possibilities of the Pieces Copilot? Then download the Pieces for Developers Desktop App and get started. Have fun!