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VS Code Python Tool Offers Insiders Program

The August 2019 update of the super-popular Python extension for Visual Studio Code comes with an easy opt-in to the Insiders program (pre-release feature access), along with several tweaks, fixes and improvements.

With a quick command from the palette, developers can choose to become an Insider, which enables them to try out new features and fixes before they're officially released via automatic installations of the newest Insiders builds, either daily or weekly.

Other highlights of the new update to the VS Code Python extension -- the most-popular item in the Marketplace with more than 10 million installations and 57 million downloads -- include:

  • Jupyter Notebook cell debugging: "Now you'll be able to set up breakpoints and click on the "Debug Cell" option that is displayed at the cell definition. This will initiate a debugging session and you'll be able to step into, step out and step over your code, inspect variables and set up watches, just like you normally would when debugging Python files or applications."
  • Auto-indentation improvements: "This release also includes automatic one level dedent and indentation for a series of statements on enter such as else, elif, except, finally, break, continue, pass and raise. This was another highly requested feature from our users."
  • Improvements to the Python Language Server: "We've added new functionality to "go to definition" with the Python Language Server, which now takes you to the place in code where a variable (as an example) is actually defined. To match the previous behavior of "go to definition", we added "go to declaration"."
  • A/B feature testing: "We also started A/B testing new features. If you see something different that was not announced by the team, you may be part of the experiment! To see if you are part of an experiment, you can check the first lines in the Python extension output channel. If you wish to opt-out from A/B testing, disable telemetry in Visual Studio Code."

All of the above and much more is detailed in the changelog, which sees 76 issues closed. More information is available in the announcement post and VS Code Python documentation.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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