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What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code? Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured development editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.

Microsoft regularly updates Visual Studio Code. Keep track of the updates’ key features in this changelog.

Where to download Visual Studio Code

To download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, go to Microsoft’s Visual Code Studio website.

What’s new in Visual Stdio Code 1.18

The October 2017 release of Visual Studio Code, aka version 1.18, offers faster Windows startup, support for handling multiple projects via multiroot workspaces, and improvements to decorations (upon which features are built such as word highlights) that reduce slowdowns and memory usage.

Other improvements include:

  • Recommended extensions are identified by a badge to distinguish them from others in a list.
  • Auto import for JavaScript and TypeScript is available to speed up coding with imports. TypeScript 2.6 is required for this capability.
  • The source control status of a file shows up in the File Explorer.
  • The Git status in File Explorer shows modified, added, conflicting, and ignored files with different colors and badges.
  • Vertical panel layout lets developers move around the terminal and debug console, as well as switch between horizontal and vertical views. Developers also can access hidden panels when space is limited.
  • The inline pending change review capability lets developers view source code changes in the standard editor. This feature is enabled in Git repositories out of the box, but requires support from other repositories.

What’s new in Visual Code 1.17

The September 2017 release of Visual Studio Code, aka version 1.17, arrived with many improvements, including region markers to the code folding support and boosted performance of the built-in terminal.

With code folding, developers can hide away regions of source code using folding icons on the gutter between the line numbers and the start of a line of code. The region markers allow you to specify with comments exactly where your foldable blocks begin and end. Markers have been defined for TypeScript, JavaScript, C and C++, C#, F#, PowerShell, and Visual Basic.

Also new in the 1.17 release is a canvas-based rendering engine in the integrated terminal capability, improving rendering from five to 45 times, depending on the situation. “This change reduces the input latency, power usage, and increases the frame rate of the terminal significantly,” Microsoft said. The integrated terminal provides a convenience that can save developers from having to switch windows or alter an existing terminal state in order to quickly perform a command-line task.

Other improvements in the September release include enhanced debugging messages, with output messages in the debug console optionally displaying the originating source location. Clicking on this origin opens the source file. Version 1.17 now automatically shows module and path suggestions for JavaScript and TypeScript.

Visual Studio Code now has a source control providers section that provides an overview of multiple active repositories, which can be fed by multiple SCM providers. Git repositories, for example, could be maintained side-by-side with Microsoft Team Foundation Server workspaces. Users can leverage Ctrl+click or Shift-click capabilities to select multiple repositories, which appear as split views.

For Mac users, Visual Studio Code 1.17 adds support for showing actions in the MacOS Touch Bar. Actions have been added to navigate in editor history and to control the debugger. Also, extensions can be used to add commands to the Touch Bar via the touchBar menu identifier. Native window tabs support has been added for MacOS Sierra as well.

Finally, Visual Studio Code now offers new online documentation for Java developers. Java debugging recently was added to Visual Code via an extension.

This story, “What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code” was originally published by InfoWorld.

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