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Visual Studio '15' Takes Shape with Preview 2

Another preview of the next VS IDE adds debug improvements, including Edit and Continue capability while building XAML apps, as well as latest TACO Update 9.

Head over to the Visual Studio home page to view the latest Visual Studio that's in the works. It's there that the team has made available two versions of the second preview of Visual Studio '15' that adds debugging improvements, Edit and Continue capability while building XAML apps, and the latest version of the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova, a.k.a. TACO, Update 9, among others.

Microsoft's John Montgomery summarizes the features in these previews in a blog post, which includes, "making the account settings dialog more accessible to screen readers, diagnostics improvements to help track down focus related issues, Edit and Continue for XAML apps, and simplified debug configuration in Folder view. Preview 2 also includes the latest Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova Update 9 which supports Cordova 6.1.1."

Edit and Continue support is now extended to XAML apps, which means developers are able to edit code while seeing WPF or UWP apps run. "In the code editor, you can make a change to the markup and the change will be reflected in the running app without having to recompile the application," according to the release note. To use Edit and Continue with UWP apps does require the Windows 10 Insider release and SDK.

The TACO Update 9 support means support extends to projects running on Cordova versions up to 6.1.1. More on that update are here.

He notes a significant breaking change with this release as well, which affects anyone who creates new project templates. "The change is in how Visual Studio consumes templates and requires that you define templates in template manifest files," he writes. "This change will not impact anyone in this release, but it is a heads up that templates not defined in template manifest files will stop working in the next Visual Studio "15" release."

The release comes in two versions, one with and another without the lightweight installer that the team previewed in the first preview. The version with the lightweight installer comes with a smaller set of features, and Montgomery emphasizes that it's because the installer doesn't quite support every component in the full version of Preview 2. Developers looking to test out the full set of features are directed to install the version without the lightweight installer.

Other new features includes the ability to add conditions for exceptions thrown in specific modules while debugging, support for JavaScript language service, and the latest versions of the SQL Server Data Tools and Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio. Montgomery's blog links to the full release notes and known issues, which offers a nice list of features not covered on the Visual Studio download page or in his blog. As it's a preview, he emphasizes that developers should use these versions only for testing purposes.

About the Author

You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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