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VS Code Python Tool Adds Variable Explorer, Data Viewer

The latest monthly update to the Python extension for Visual Studio Code makes it easier for developers to keep track of variables and their data when working with the ever-popular programming language in the ever-popular open source code editor.

The Python extension, available in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, just passed 8 million installations, making it by far the most popular extension for the cross-platform VS Code editor that has come to be named the most popular dev tool in at least one major survey.

The open source extension project gets new functionality on a monthly cadence, with the April 2019 edition seeing several improvements and closing 84 issues.

Among the improvements, Luciana de Melo e Abud, program manager, highlighted the new variable explorer functionality in an announcement post.

"The Python Interactive experience now comes with a built-in variable explorer along with a data viewer, a highly requested feature from our users," de Melo e Abud said. "Now you can easily view, inspect and filter the variables in your application, including lists, NumPy arrays, pandas data frames, and more!

"A variables section will now be shown when running code and cells in the Python Interactive window. Once you expand it, you'll see the list of the variables in the current Jupyter session. More variables will show up automatically as they get used in the code. Clicking on each column header will sort the variables in the table."

Inspecting the data being held by a variable can be done with a double-click on a row of the variable list, or by clicking a "Show variable in data viewer" button.

Another tweak simplifies the process of configuring the debugger for individual workspaces.

The new release also features improvements to the Python Language Server, which implements the Language Server Protocol in order to serve up language-specific features such as auto completion, go to definition, find all references and so on.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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