Tabnine vs Copilot by Github

TabNine vs GitHub Copilot: Which AI Assistant is Better for Developers in 2024

AI is playing an increasingly important role in software development. Two of the most popular AI coding assistants on the market are TabNine and GitHub Copilot. But which one should developers choose in 2024? This comprehensive comparison examines the key differences and similarities between TabNine and GitHub Copilot when it comes to features, capabilities, performance, accuracy, privacy, pricing, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • TabNine currently leads in precision, speed, language support and transparency around pricing.
  • GitHub Copilot pioneered the concept of multiline code generation but has limitations still.
  • For most developers today, TabNine is the safest choice to boost productivity.
  • In the future, using both TabNine and Copilot together may be an unbeatable combination.
  • AI promises to revolutionize coding but it’s still early days.
  • Developers should keep an eye on both platforms as they rapidly evolve.

Overview of TabNine and GitHub Copilot

TabNine and GitHub Copilot are both AI-powered coding assistants designed to boost developer productivity. They offer intelligent code completions and suggestions based on deep learning algorithms trained on millions of open source code repositories.

What is TabNine?

TabNine is an AI assistant that provides intelligent code completions directly in code editors like Visual Studio Code, Jupyter Notebooks, PyCharm and others. It’s available both as a cloud powered app and as an on-premise solution.

TabNine uses a deep neural network trained on over 2 million GitHub files to suggest the best code completions based on context. It supports over 50 programming languages including Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, C++, Go, Java, C# and more.

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Overview of GitHub Copilot

GitHub Copilot is an AI pair programmer created by GitHub. It suggests entire lines and blocks of code directly in code editors like Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IDEs. Copilot is powered by the OpenAI Codex algorithm which has been trained on billions of lines of public open source code. It aims to simulate how an experienced developer might attempt to solve problems or implement features.

TabNine vs GitHub Copilot: Feature Comparison

TabNine and GitHub Copilot share some common capabilities, but also have some significant differences when it comes to features.

Code Completions

Both TabNine and GitHub Copilot provide intelligent code completion suggestions tailored to the code context. However, there are some differences:

  • TabNine focuses solely on code completions while GitHub Copilot offers more expansive multiline suggestions
  • TabNine completions tend to be more precise and targeted while Copilot’s can be overly verbose
  • TabNine shows completions in a dropdown menu while Copilot inserts suggestions directly into the editor

Code Generation

In addition to code completions, GitHub Copilot can generate entire lines and blocks of code based on comments and context. TabNine does not have this more expansive generative capability.

Supported Languages

  • TabNine supports over 50 languages including Python, JavaScript, Java, C#, C++, PHP, and more
  • GitHub Copilot currently supports just 4 languages: Python, JavaScript, TypeScript and Ruby

So TabNine has significantly broader language support as of 2024.

Editor Integrations

  • TabNine has integrations for many popular code editors like VS Code, Visual Studio, PyCharm, Jupyter Notebook, and more
  • GitHub Copilot is tightly integrated with Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IDEs

So there is some overlap in integrations, but TabNine supports more overall code editors.

Pros and Cons of Features

Here is a pros and cons comparison of TabNine vs GitHub Copilot features:

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TabNine

ProsCons
Precise, targeted code suggestionsNo multiline code generation
Broad language support (50+)Less tight editor integration
Wide editor integrationsCloud version only

GitHub Copilot

ProsCons
Multiline code generationLimited language support (4)
Tight VS Code/JetBrains integrationSuggestions can be overly verbose
Open source training dataNone yet

TabNine vs GitHub Copilot: Performance and Accuracy

In addition to features, two other key metrics for evaluating and comparing TabNine and GitHub Copilot are performance and accuracy.

Performance Benchmarks

Independent benchmark tests reveal some meaningful performance differences:

  • TabNine delivers completions in 10-30ms on average
  • GitHub Copilot’s completions latency is 100-500ms on average

So TabNine offers 3-10x faster completion speed and responsiveness based on current benchmark data.

Accuracy

Both TabNine and GitHub Copilot continue to improve accuracy over time. However, there are some observable differences:

  • For simpler completions, both have high accuracy
  • But for more complex completions:
  • TabNine tends to have greater precision
  • GitHub Copilot sometimes offers completions that are irrelevant or inaccurate

This suggests TabNine maintains an accuracy advantage for non-trivial coding scenarios that demand more precision.

TabNine vs GitHub Copilot: Privacy, Licensing and Pricing

Beyond features and performance, other key considerations are privacy, licensing, and pricing differences between TabNine and GitHub Copilot.

Privacy

  • TabNine’s cloud app requires analytics data to operate
  • GitHub Copilot prompted privacy concerns about potential IP leakage

This may favor TabNine for developers that want air tight privacy.

Open Source Usage

  • TabNine permits open source usage for free
  • GitHub Copilot does not officially support open source usage

So TabNine is more friendly for unpaid open source contributors.

Pricing Comparison

TabNine and GitHub Copilot take very different approaches when it comes to pricing models:

TabNine vs Copilot: Which Should Developers Choose?

When weighing all the comparative strengths and weaknesses, which AI coding assistant makes the most sense for developers in 2024?

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Primary Factors Favoring TabNine

  • More precise completions for complex coding
  • Significantly faster performance
  • 50+ programming languages supported
  • Clear pricing available now

Main Advantages Still Held by GitHub Copilot

  • Ability to generate multiline code suggestions
  • Tight integration with VSCode and JetBrains
  • Potential to improve over time

Verdict

For developers focused singularly on boosting immediate productivity with fast, accurate coding assistance across many languages, TabNine is the best choice entering 2024. However, GitHub Copilot may hold more potential long term if GitHub meaningfully expands language support and addresses remaining friction points around performance, privacy concerns and pricing model confusion. Ultimately the ideal solution may be blending complementary strengths from both Copilot and TabNine. But in 2024 specifically, TabNine currently retains a decisive edge for the majority of professional and enterprise development use cases.

Conclusion

TabNine and GitHub Copilot both offer innovative AI powered coding assistance. But in a 2024 head-to-head comparison across the most important decision factors, features, accuracy, speed, privacy, pricing and more TabNine comes out ahead for the widest range of developer needs.

Still, GitHub Copilot shows long term promise. And using TabNine and Copilot together may provide the perfect balance of precision and generative creativity. As both platforms progress, developers stand to benefit enormously from these breakthrough innovations in AI coding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is TabNine or GitHub Copilot better overall today?

In 2024, TabNine is currently ahead when factoring together accuracy, speed, languages supported and pricing clarity. But GitHub Copilot shows promise improving over time.

Which has more accurate code suggestions?

TabNine maintains higher precision and accuracy for non-trivial coding scenarios demanding more contextual precision.

How do they compare for productivity and speed?

Benchmarks show TabNine delivers 3-10x faster completion latency which translates directly into superior developer productivity and velocity.

What about privacy and licensing for open source?

TabNine permits unpaid OSS usage and has prompted fewer privacy concerns so far relative to GitHub Copilot.

How do pricing models compare?

TabNine offers clear personal, team, and enterprise pricing now whereas GitHub Copilot’s 2024 pricing is still undefined as of 2024.

Could using both be the ultimate solution?

Yes, combining the unique strengths like TabNine’s precision and Copilot’s code generation could potentially provide the perfect AI coding tool.

MK Usmaan