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JavaScript IntelliSense Disabled in Visual Studio Code 1.7.1

Just as the Visual Studio team started rolling out the October 2016 Build version 1.7 this week, the team did an about-face with an incremental "recovery build" update that disables JavaScript IntelliSense for the time being. Still, there's lots of new and enhanced productivity and debugging features to check out in this version.

Just as the Visual Studio team started rolling out Visual Studio Code 1.7 -- a.k.a the October 2016 Build -- this week, the team did an about-face with an incremental "recovery build" update dubbed version 1.7.1 that disables JavaScript IntelliSense for the time being. With that, there's quite a few new and enhanced productivity and debugging features.

The JavaScript IntelliSense disablement is worth noting, as the VS team starts integrating more VS Code productivity capabilities to help JavaScript developers get comfortable in VS Code's environment.

As explained in the October 2016 Build note, the TypeScript team developed what was called an "Automated Typings Acquisition" module that "automatically installs the typings files of all dependencies in a cache on your file system" when it spots references to them in the JSON package file and some client-side libraries. The note continues: "When you then invoke IntelliSense, the TypeScript server uses the typings files in the cache. The cache is shared between all your workspaces." Before that release, it was a manual process to employ IntelliSense while coding with JavaScript from within the VS Code environment.

For now, JavaScript IntelliSense has been disabled via recovery build 1.7.1. But there's quite a few new and enhanced productivity and debugging features across various areas of the environment:

  • Workbench: Layout of editors can be organized in vertical or horizontal groups; can set up persistent View States in user settings so they can be used on another machine; Quick Open allows opening more than one file at a time.
  • Editor: Keyboard shortcuts are available as printable references; format actions can be done on either the document or specific selected code; default formatting for JavaScript, TypeScript, JSON, and HTML can be toggled on or off, so formatting extensions can be used instead. New tab in the extension editor shows Extensions Packs extension dependencies.
  • Languages: Code completion, validation and color annotation will pop up for CSS styles while editing HTML code; improvements in TypeScript and JavaScript grammar; linter extensions "now provide settings to automatically correct fixable warnings on save."
  • Extensions, Extensions Authoring: New is a Keymaps extension in the Marketplace, with keyboard shortcut extensions for Sublime Text and Atom text editors now available; also new is a Formatters category, with all the formatters added to it. Extension disabling can be done via a right-click context menu.
  • Debugging: Simplified Node.js debugging configuration; added updated online debugging documentation; supports hit count conditions for breakpoints; introduces experimental multi-target debugging, which allows multiple debug instances within a single VS Code instance

A more comprehensive look at these and other features and changes can be viewed in the release notes.

(Side note: You can also read about the issues with the typings acquisition module in this article on ADTmag.com by David Ramel. If you do, it might introduce some confusion as to which version of VS Code is being rolled out, whether it's the September 2016 Build 1.6.1 or October Build 1.7 sans JavaScript IntelliSense. We have asked for comment from Microsoft and will update this post with information as soon as get some confirmation.

As a side note to that: It's still worth reading because Ramel references comments from the VS Code and npm teams on the work being done to correct the issues; as of this posting, the comments that Ramel references do not appear in the release note but are insightful nonetheless.)

(UPDATE: Microsoft's Wade Anderson has posted a clarification on the VS Code portal page regarding the VS Code version being rolled out to users starting today. "This morning we implemented a mitigation fix and created a new release and you should now be on VS Code 1.7.1," writes Anderson, confirming that users were indeed being rolled back to 1.6.1 prior to the mitigation fix this morning, and confirming information from David Ramel's news item on ADTmag.com. With ATA disabled, developers who upgrade to the rollback will see version 1.7.1 with the new features we discuss above and in the release note.)

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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