Super-Popular VS Code Python Tool Gets Update

The Python Extension for Visual Studio Code -- installed more than 9.3 million times -- has received an update that closes some 70 issues.

Among those called out for special attention in the June 2019 release announcement is a plot viewer for the Python Interactive window.

"Plots are commonly used for data visualization," said Luciana de Melo e Abud, program manager for the Python tool. "One of the top requested features for the Python Interactive window is to enable deeper inspection of the generated plots, e.g. zooming, panning, and exporting images. The June 2019 update included a brand-new Plot Viewer that can be used to manipulate any image plots, such as the popular matplotlib plots."

When enacted by a plot double-click or a hover button click in the interactive window, developers can pan, zoom in and out, and navigate through plots, with the option to export plots to PDF, SVG or PNG image formats.

The June 2019 release also enhanced the functionality of parallel tests done with pytest, affecting the reliability of displayed statistics.

Another improvement is indentation of run selection in the terminal: "A highly requested VS Code Python feature on our GitHub repository was to dedent code selections before sending it to the terminal when running the "Run Selection/Line in Python Terminal" command. Starting in this release, the command will send to the terminal a de-indentation of the selection, based on its first non-empty line."

That GitHub repository changelog lists 20 enhancements, 40 fixes and 13 items under "code health" for the 2019.6.0 release.

Among those, items called out for special attention by the program manager include:

  • Allow password for remote authentication with jupyter. (#3624)
  • Data Viewer now properly handles large data frames and supports filtering with expressions on numeric columns (greater than, less than, equals to) (#5469)
  • Show preview of imported notebook in the Python Interactive window. (#5675)
  • Add support for sub process debugging, when debugging tests. (#4525)
  • Added support for activation of conda environments in powershell. (#668)
  • Add 'ctrl+enter' as a keyboard shortcut for run current cell. (#5673)

The Python tool, featured in the VS Code marketplace, has been downloaded nearly 57.8 million times, earning an average 4.5 rating from 253 developers who reviewed it.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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