New VS Code Java Features Include Refactorings, Semantic Selection

The July update of the Java functionality for Visual Studio Code includes new refactoring capabilities, support for Semantic Selection (or Smart Selection) and more.

Microsoft has been busy updating Java in Visual Studio Code, with an extension pack and a recently introduced installer helping developers get started with the popular programming language in the popular open source, cross-platform code editor.

The latest monthly update, released today (July 22), contains the following, as detailed by Xiaokai He, senior program manager.

  • Refactoring:
    • Trigger rename after extract to variable/constant/method:
      "After performing extract to variable/constant/method refactoring, more often than not, we would like to assign the result with a meaningful name. With this feature, you won't need to perform a separate rename action anymore, all are streamlined in the single refactoring step."
    • Convert a local variable to a field:
      "Extract to field is also a very popular refactor. When selecting an expression, you can now use extract to field. When selecting a variable declaration, it will convert the variable to field."

  • Support for semantic selection:
    "Smart Selection (a.k.a. Semantic Selection) is the new feature added by VS Code and now it understands Java code as well. With that, you are able to expand or shrink the selection range corresponding to the semantic info of the caret position in your code."

  • Other enhancements to Maven, Grade and CheckStyle.

Those new features follow on last month's update, which included:

  • Enhanced generate getters and setters: "In addition to bulk generate getters and setters for all member variables, if the class has more than one field, the source action will also prompt a quick pick box which allows you to select the target fields to generate the accessor methods."
  • Generate delegate methods: "This new code action enables generating delegate methods."
  • Generate constructor: "This source action helps adding constructor from super class."
  • Assign parameter to new field: "This source action assigns parameter to new field for unused constructor parameter(s)."

Previous to that, the VS Code team brought new code actions to resolve ambiguous imports, generate toString() and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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