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Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview 3 Boosts Reliability with VS Windows Internals

Microsoft's new Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview 3 continues the company's effort to boost the quality and reliability of the troublesome IDE by borrowing internals from the flagship Windows version.

Last fall, the engineering team announced the move to borrow VS Windows internals to address developer concerns: "Improving the typing performance and reliability is our single biggest focus area for Visual Studio 2019 for Mac. We plan to replace most of the internals of the Visual Studio for Mac editor with those from Visual Studio. Combined with the work to improve our integration of various language services, our aspiration is to bring similar levels of editor productivity from Visual Studio to Visual Studio for Mac."

Earlier, a program manager had listed multiple reliability fixes for issues "many of you have reported."

In the new VS for Mac Preview 3, announced yesterday (March 5), the team reported those efforts are making progress in the new release, for which "we've put all our energy toward addressing common issues raised by developers in our community."

For example, one of the listed highlights was: "Replacing the Unity debugger with the same core engine used in Visual Studio on Windows."

Furthermore, "we're excited to introduce a first preview of the new, fast, fluid, and performant C# editor, built on top of the same core editor as Visual Studio on Windows," the post said.

That editor was a major sticking point brought up in developer feedback, as last August Microsoft said, "One of the top reported bugs in previous releases has been performance issues in the editor." That bug report was titled "Editor becomes so slow it's unusable after a while."

Other highlights of the new release include:

  • Easily launching multiple instances of the IDE, right from the macOS dock.
  • Create smaller and faster Android apps with Xamarin and optimizing the Android development loop.
  • Increased stability and performance of code editor, Git tooling, .NET Core debugging, and project/solution load improvements.
  • Reliable Git support so that all file changes/adds/removes are tracked and committed.

It's the C# editor improvements that might please developers most, though, as the post continued to explain how its performance was enhanced.

"We've been working on this for a while, and we're delighted to announce the first preview of our new code editor experience," the team said. "The new editor builds on a solid foundation provided by the Visual Studio editor on Windows, with native macOS UI added to make sure it feels right at home on a Mac. Not only does this provide an enhanced experience with smooth editing and navigation, but the new editor also has all the powerful IntelliSense/code-completion and quick fix suggestions you expect from a Visual Studio Editor.

"Plus, as the editor is truly native, you get all the benefits of a modern macOS editor, including several top features such as right-to-left and bi-directional text support and full support for native macOS input sources, which makes VS for Mac an IDE that speaks your language."

The team is inviting more feedback and suggestions from developers on the editor improvements and many more tweaks and fixes in the new preview.

Preview 3 can be downloaded or obtained via the IDE's in-product update functionality.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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