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Visual F# Tools, TypeScript: A Tale of Two Releases

The Microsoft development teams responsible for Visual F# and TypeScript recently provided their respective communities with some insight into their development efforts moving forward, now that the Visual Studio 2017 release hubbub has cleared. The goal with the insights via two recent blog posts, it seems, is toward more transparency.

A few weeks ago, the Visual F# team posted a blog announcing that it would be releasing nightly builds of its IDE tools for F#. That release schedule had already been anticipated just a week earlier in another blog (the May 7th post) leading up to the VS 2017 release, which is worth reading, since it contains a nice, succinct outline of new features in Visual F# 4.1 that's part of VS 2017 as well.

To be clear, the team is making nightly builds of the F# Tools only. As noted in the blog, the nightly builds will "not install nightly versions of the F# compiler, FSI, or FSharp.Core." Developers who want to work with the latest and greatest while in the VS 2017 environment -- particularly if working with the RTW version -- should heed the nightly builds, since they'll always contain that day's bug fixes and other enhancements.

The blog has guidance for automating the F# Tools nightly build installation, as well as performing the install manually. There's also guidance for reverting to a previously installed release build.

(Not to add to the confusion, but there's also the Visual F# Power Tools, available via the Visual Studio Marketplace here. It's almost the same thing as the Visual F# Tools, but if you want to ignore the nightly builds and install those tools manually, just understand that the Marketplace extension isn't updated with the latest and greatest that F# Tools has to offer via the nightly builds.)

As for TypeScript, Microsoft Program Manager Daniel Rosenwasser blogs about "increasing the velocity and consistency of TypeScript releases so that you can get your hands on the latest features even more quickly and predictably," and tries to clear up a few things in the process, particularly around which version of TypeScript you might be using.

Rosenwasser writes that the recent release of VS 2017 didn't include TypeScript 2.2, which was made available weeks earlier. "Given some key changes that have gone into the new setup authoring process for Visual Studio 2017," he explained, "we need to do additional work to ensure that TypeScript releases can be applied to Visual Studio 2017 at a faster cadence as users might be used to in Visual Studio 2015 and VS Code." The explanation seemed necessary, as he said that the team did get some feedback about the exclusion of version 2.2 from the final VS 2017 drop. (It currently supports version 2.1.5.)

Once the issues are cleared out, Rosenwasser said that the goal is to adhere to a patch or feature release every month via an nmp update, and a full feature release every other month.

Here are ten more links I've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

Piotr Gankiewicz: Why you should care about DevOps

git-tower blog: An Illustrated History of Microsoft Windows

Michael Crump: Day 3 - Exploring Docker for Windows - Removing Containers and Images

ASP.NET Monsters: Creating a RabbitMQ Windows Container

Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog: Around The World With MVPs: Dozens Of Developers In Istanbul Go Deep Into Microsoft Technologies

Scott Hanselman: Command Line: Using dotnet watch test for continuous testing with .NET Core 1.0 and XUnit.net

kemitchell: Open Source License Business Perception Report

Redmond Magazine: Microsoft Emboldens EMS as Partners and Rivals Explore Its APIs

ADTmag.com: Visual Studio 2017: What Features Didn't Make It, What Are Planned

Redmond Channel Partner: How To Speak Microsoft, Vol. 2: Even More Acronyms You Need To Know

AWSInsider.net: Migrate a Microsoft Azure VM to AWS, Part 1

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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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