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Real-World Experiment with .NET Core Debugging via Visual Studio Code

Microsoft calls the recent release of this VS Code debugging capability an "experimental preview," which means it's truly a work in progress.

Microsoft last week released what it's calling an "experimental preview" of a new feature of Visual Studio Code that will allow debugging of the ASP.NET Core CLI tools. It's like a prelude to a community technology preview, only since Visual Studio Code itself is a preview, it's a preview-withiin-a-preview.

The experimental preview debug window shows "breakpoints, stepping, variable inspection, and call stacks," but as of now, no IntelliSense with CLI project types, according to a blog post from Daniel Meixner, a Microsoft Developer Evangelist. Meixner notes that other features have yet to be enabled.

"Given the very early stage of .NET Core and the debugging experience there will be some features you might be used to in the Visual Studio IDE that we don't have in VS Code yet," Meixner explained. For example, he notes that to see program output in a console window while debugging takes a bit of work. As well, variable values can't be edited nor can code be modified/run during debugging sessions. And missing are TracePoints and Conditional breakpoints.

Basic debugging configuration settings, such as setting breakpoints, watches and locals, are enabled, and other debugging features can be configured via the launch.json file. A stopAtEntry flag will make the debugger break at entry of an application for immediate code stepping.

To use the experimental preview, the latest version of Visual Studio Code, version 0.10.1, should be installed. It also requires the .NET CLI tools, the C# for Visual Studio Code extension, and Mono.

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