VS Code June 2019 Release Bolsters Remote Development

One of the more popular recent features added to Visual Studio Code is a preview of remote development functionality, getting a boost in the June release, version 1.36.

As we detailed in May, Microsoft is developing the Visual Studio Code Remote Development Extension Pack -- with more than 124,000 installations to date -- comprising three individual preview extensions:

  • Remote - SSH: Work with source code in any location by opening folders on a remote machine/VM using SSH.
  • Remote - Containers: Work with a sandboxed toolchain or container based application by opening any folder inside (or mounted into) a container.
  • Remote - WSL: Get a Linux-powered development experience from the comfort of Windows by opening any folder in the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

They were developed based on developer feedback, with Microsoft previously saying: "We convinced ourselves that what we needed was a way to run VS Code in two places at once, to run the developer tools locally and connect to a set of development services running remotely in the context of a physical or virtual machine (for example, a container or VM). This gives you a rich local development experience in the context of what is in the remote environment."

In the new June release, improvements to the scheme head our list of highlights as detailed by Microsoft:

  • Remote Development (Preview) improvements: This release builds on the popular remote development functionality recently introduced, adding the ability to save to local file system, drag and drop files to remotes, and more. "Work has continued on the Remote Development extensions, which allow you to use a container, remote machine, or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as a full-featured development environment. You can learn about new extension features and bug fixes in the Remote Development release notes."
  • Hide/show status bar items: A new context for the status bar lets developers display only preferred status bar items.
  • Indent guides in explorers: The tree widget now supports indent guides in the File Explorer, Search view, Debug views to help developers highlight a project's folder structure.
  • Better terminal shell selector: This builds on last month's release that added the Windows Select Default Shell command to the Integrated Terminal dropdown menu to easily select the default shell to use in the terminal Now the command is also available on macOS and Linux, reading the /etc/shells file in order to expose the shells registered on the system.
  • Sequential task execution: This helps developers control the order of task and subtask execution. "The dependsOn task attribute still defaults to running all dependencies in parallel, but now you can specify "dependsOrder': 'sequence' and have your task dependencies executed in the order they are listed in dependsOn. Any background/watch tasks used in dependsOn must have a problem matcher that tracks when they are 'done.'"
  • Jump to cursor debugging: Developers can skip code execution when jumping to a new location with the new debug command Jump to Cursor. "If Jump to Cursor is supported by a debugger, the new command appears in the editor context menu and Command Palette while debugging."
  • Disable debug console word wrap: A new setting called debug.console.wordWrap controls word wrap enablement in the Debug Console, helping developers keep debugging output to one line.
  • JavaScript/TypeScript nightly builds: A new extension called JavaScript and TypeScript Nightly integrates JS/TS nightly builds, helping developers test the latest TypeScript features and provide feedback on them.
  • New Java installer: This new installer, which we reported on last month, installs VS Code, the Java extension pack and required Java dependencies in order to help developers new to using Java in VS Code set up their environment.

All of the above and more new features, fixes and functionality are detailed in last week's announcement post and list of GitHub issues.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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