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What's New for Python in VS Code

The popular Python Extension for Visual Studio Code -- more than 7.3 million installs -- received a raft of updates in the March 2019 release, touching upon collaboration, IntelliSense goodness, Test Explorer and more.

The tool has long been the leading extension in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, having been downloaded more than 35 million times.

The dev team highlighted four main improvements in the new update. Here's a look at each:

  • Live Share support in the Python Interactive Window: Live Share helps developers collaborate with others by facilitating joint code reviews, pair programming, co-editing and co-debugging while sharing audio, servers, terminals, diffs, comments, and so on. In the March update of the Python extension, this functionality has been extended to the Python Interactive window (read-evaluate-print loop (REPL) window).
  • Support installing packages with Poetry: Poetry is used for Python packaging and dependency management, helping developers manage projects "in a deterministic way." Many developers asked for Poetry support, the team said, noting its ability to help developers keep a project's development dependencies separate from production ones, for example. With some configuration tweaking, developers can install new packages using a provided Poetry path.
  • Improvements to the Python Language Server: The Python Language Server provides the IntelliSense "goodness" such as auto-completions for variables, functions and other symbols. Now f-strings have been added to that list, along with the ability to see type information when hovering over sub-expressions. Microsoft said the language server was largely re-written to boost performance, memory usage, information display and much more.
  • Improvements to the Test Explorer: The built-in Test Explorer was added in the February update to the Python extension. Enhancements in this update include support for multi-root workspaces, parametrized tests and new status icons, the latter of which helps coders quickly see tests files or suites that have failed without needing to expand the tree.

While the above list reflects the dev team's highlights, other assorted improvements include:

  • Fixed stopOnEntry not stopping on user code (#1159)
  • Support multiline comments for markdown cells (#4215)
  • Update icons and tooltip in test explorer indicating status of test files/suites (#4583)
  • Added commands translation for polish locale. (thanks pypros) (#4435)

The extension's changelog provides more details on all of the above and a host of other tweaks, bug fixes, enhancements and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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