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Visual Studio Code v1.41 Continues Remote Development Push

The November 2019 release of Visual Studio Code, version 1.41, is out with a number of improvements including more work to improve remote development functionality.

As the lightweight, open-source, cross-platform code editor has taken the development world by storm, remote development functionality has been top of mind among team developers and major organizations such as Facebook, which recently announced it was going all in on VS Code for its sprawling internal development teams and is even partnering up with Microsoft and the open source community to enhance remote development capabilities.

"We are excited to share not just our usage of their remote development extensions, but our involvement in helping Microsoft further improve remote development extensions, with a lens on enabling engineers to do remote development at scale with Visual Studio Code," Facebook said.

In announcing the VS Code 1.41 (November) edition this week, Microsoft provided an update on the remote development effort.

"Work continues 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," Microsoft said, listing v1.41 remote development functionality such as:

  • Remote - Containers: Easier to try out sample repositories (for example vscode-remote-try-python) in a container.
  • Remote - Containers: Improved performance when creating a container and new options for devcontainer.json.
  • Remote - WSL: Support on Windows 10 ARM-based PCs such as Surface Pro X.
  • Remote Explorer can now scope available views to specific remote types.

More information about new extension features and bug fixes is available in the Remote Development release notes.

Beyond remote development, here's a look at some other new features announced by the dev team:

  • Compact folders in Explorer - Single child folders collapsed by default. "In the File Explorer, we now render single child folders in a compact form. In such a form, single child folders will be compressed in a combined tree element. Useful for Java package structures, for example."
  • Edit left side of diff views - You can now edit both files in a difference view. "If you compare two editors that are editable (for example, from the File Explorer by comparing two files or running a global Search & Replace), the left-hand side is now also editable and can be saved (Ctrl+S)."
  • Update search results while typing - Global search results update while you type. "In full text search, results will now update as you type. This is especially helpful in scenarios like constructing complicated Regular Expression queries, where fast feedback on a query can help you to write the RegEx."
  • Problems panel improvements - Filter by problem type and limit output to the active file. "More predefined filters were added to the Problems panel. You can now filter problems by type (errors, warnings, and information) and also see problems scoped to the current active file."
  • Minimap highlights errors and content changes - Quickly locate problems and changes in your file. "Errors and warnings are now highlighted inline in the minimap (code overview). You can change the color of these decorations with the new minimap.errorHighlight and minimap.warningHighlight theme colors."
  • Terminal minimum contrast ratio - Set preferred contrast ratio for increased visibility. "The terminal can now change the foreground color of text dynamically to meet a specified contrast ratio."
  • HTML mirror cursor in tags - Automatic multi-cursor in matching HTML tags. "VS Code now adds a "mirror cursor" when you are editing HTML tags. This behavior is controlled by the setting html.mirrorCursorOnMatchingTag, which is on by default."
  • Optional chaining in JS/TS - Use the ?. operator to simplify working with nested structures. "Thanks to TypeScript 3.7, VS Code now supports option chaining out of the box for both JavaScript and TypeScript. This includes syntax highlighting and IntelliSense."
  • Extract interface refactoring - Quickly extract an inline type to a TypeScript interface. "The new Extract to interface refactoring lets you quickly extract an inline type to an interface so that it can be reused."
  • Visual Studio Online - Create and connect to cloud-based development environments. "The Visual Studio Online preview, announced at Ignite 2019, allows you to create development environments in the cloud and connect to them with Visual Studio Code, a browser-based editor, or Visual Studio IDE."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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