Microsoft Cranks Out Weekly Visual Studio 2022 17.8 Previews as GA Nears

Microsoft is now cranking out weekly previews of Visual Studio 2022 17.8, perhaps aiming for general availability next month with the debut of .NET 8 and associated dev tooling.

The company last blogged about a preview for the upcoming release on Oct. 10 -- Preview 3 -- but has since shipped two more previews with no fanfare as they mostly fix bugs and polish things up. One notable feature discussed in Preview 3 was a new Visual Studio update notification, an overlay to the VS task bar icon to indicate when the IDE will update, appearing when an update is available and the user has enabled its "Update on Close "option.

[Click on image for larger view.] Update on Close (source: Microsoft).

Also, on the structured diagnostics front, a new Problem Details window allows C++ game devs to navigate compiler errors in a structured way, with nested information and details.

[Click on image for larger view.] Problem Details (source: Microsoft).

In the two subsequent previews, however, no features of equivalent importance were introduced. When the company doesn't issue blog post announcements about Visual Studio previews, they can be tracked at Visual Studio 2022 version 17.8 Preview Release Notes.

Preview 4 shipped Oct. 17, with Developer Community highlights (feature requests, bug report and so on) addressed including:

Preview 5 shipped Oct. 24, with Developer Community highlights addressed including:

Bug fixes, meanwhile, include:

  • Fixed an issue that may cause the following error to be reported when using .NET MAUI projects:MSB4057 The target "UpdateGeneratedFiles" does not exist in the project.
  • Fixed an issue in Open Folder Solution Explorer whereby the right-click "Add Debug Configuration" command would fail to add the selected configuration.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in an "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" error when publishing an Android app to the Google Play Store.
  • Fixed empty hot reload dialog when partially applying changes without a debugger attached.

The quickened pace of previews might mean Microsoft is aiming to debut VS 2022 v17.8 at the .NET Conf 2023 virtual online event taking place Nov. 14-16, which is when .NET 8 and associated dev tooling components will be released.

While not explicitly stating the next IDE edition will ship during the conference, Microsoft in an an earlier post about the event said the team was "excited to showcase how the latest enhancements in Visual Studio will bolster your .NET development workflow."

The latest features in Visual Studio designed to enhance a developer's .NET experience listed by the company include:

  • Create Pull Requests Inside VS: Manage GitHub and Azure DevOps pull requests right from the IDE.
  • Revamped Diff View: A new intelligent summary of file changes.
  • MAUI Live Preview and Hot Reload: Improved performance for cross-platform development.
  • NPM in ASP.NET: Manage JavaScript dependencies within ASP.NET projects.
  • Profile Your Unit Tests: The VS Profiler can now handle your unit tests.
  • Copilot Included: GitHub Copilot is now part of the installer package.

The Visual Studio 2022 Roadmap, meanwhile, notes three key themes for the IDE:

  • Personal and Team productivity: we want to empower developers and teams with incredible scale and performance, a trusted and secure toolchain, and a more accessible, personalized environment.
  • Modern Development: we are building the tools to develop modern apps faster.
  • Constant Innovation: we are investing in improved collaboration, actionable diagnostics, and code assistance.

The roadmap goes on to discuss goals for diagnostics, personalization, the editor, extensibility, IntelliCode, NuGet, setup/installation, version control, C++, .NET, container tools, WinForms, Web Tools and XAML/Xamarin.

Details on all the above will surely be fleshed out at next month's event, of which Microsoft said: "This free, three-day virtual developer conference, co-organized by the .NET community and Microsoft, is an excellent opportunity to delve into new Visual Studio features alongside a global developer community."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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