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What's New in Visual Studio 2017 15.8 Preview 3

Microsoft shipped the latest preview for Visual Studio 15.8 with the usual bevy of enhancements for productivity and performance, tooling and improvements to cloud and mobile functionality and more.

Preview 3 of VS 15.8 is said to be more responsive and usable, with faster project loads and better application profiling among a host of highlights.

Tooling for JavaScript and TypeScript also was improved, with default support for the latest TypeScript v2.9 and better Vue.js support.

ESLint support has also been reimplemented in this preview release. "Rather than only linting saved files, Visual Studio will now lint JavaScript files while they’re opened and being edited," Microsoft said. "Additionally, results will be reported for all JS files in your project, not just open files. If there are parts of your project you do not want to be linted, an .eslintignore file can now be used to specify directories and files that should be ignored. ESLint has been updated to use ESLint 4 by default, but if your project has a local installation of ESLint, it will use that version instead."

Several C++ development boosts were introduced, including IntelliSense for templates, quick fixes via the lightbulb icon for macro refactoring and more.

Further, mobile development sees improvements to the incremental build process for Xamarin.Android and the addition of Xamarin.Essentials cross-platform development APIs to VS 2017 Xamarin templates, targeting native iOS and Android apps.

On the cloud front, functionality has been increased for Azure Function projects, Azure Key Vault security and the Azure publishing process.

Web development and even Visual Basic development also received some attention. For example, now available is a single project Docker container experience for ASP.NET Core Web projects, along with help for managing client-side Web project libraries with the previously announced Library Manager.

A bunch of community-supplied issues were addressed, 29 to be specific.

To see the details on these and many other improvements, see the release blog and notes.

Microsoft's release notes highlights for Preview 3 include:

  • Visual Studio now offers .NET Framework 4.7.2 development tools to supported platforms with 4.7.2 runtime included.
  • We improved performance during project unload/reload and branch switching.
  • With added support for Azure Functions, you now have a new target host in the Configure Continuous Delivery to Azure dialog.
  • Git and TFS status now updates properly for external file changes in .NET Core projects.
  • We added new productivity features, such as code cleanup, invert-if refactoring, Go to Enclosing Block, Multi-Caret support, and new keyboard profiles.
  • C++ enhancements include Template IntelliSense, convert macro to constexpr lightbulbs, and experimental in-editor code analysis squiggles.
  • You can now use cross-language debugging with Python 3.7.0rc1.
  • Performance Profiling now offers the ability to pause/resume data collection and adds a new .NET Object Allocation Tracking tool.
  • We included improvements for Android incremental builds in the Xamarin support for Xcode 9.4.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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