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 an editor and writer for Converge360.

comments powered by Disqus


  • How to Create a Machine Learning Decision Tree Classifier Using C#

    After earlier explaining how to compute disorder and split data in his exploration of machine learning decision tree classifiers, resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey of Microsoft Research now shows how to use the splitting and disorder code to create a working decision tree classifier.

  • Microsoft: Move from Traditional ASP.NET to 'Core' Requires 'Heavy Lifting'

    There are plenty of reasons to move traditional ASP.NET web apps -- part of the old .NET Framework -- to the new cross-platform direction, ASP.NET Core, but beware it will require some "heavy lifting," Microsoft says.

  • Purple Blue Nebula Graphic

    How to Compute Disorder for Machine Learning Decision Trees Using C#

    Using a decision tree classifier from a machine learning library is often awkward because it usually must be customized and library decision trees have many complex supporting functions, says resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey, so when he needs a decision tree classifier, he always creates one from scratch. Here's how.

  • Blazor's Future: gRPC Is Key

    Blazor guru Steve Sanderson detailed what Microsoft is thinking about the future of the revolutionary project that enables .NET-based web development using C# instead of JavaScript, explaining how gRPC is key, along with a new way of testing and a scheme for installable desktop apps.

  • Don't Do It All Yourself: Exploiting gRPC Well Known Types in .NET Core

    If you're creating business services that send dates and decimal data then you may be concerned that gRPC services don't support the relevant data types. Don't Panic! There are solutions. Here's how to use them.

.NET Insight

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Upcoming Events