What's new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code 1.17

Microsoft's September 2017 release of the open source code editor improves source code folding, terminal performance, and support for multiple source code repositories

The September 2017 release of Visual Studio Code, aka version 1.17, has arrived with a number of significant updates. Among the many improvements, the upgrade to Microsoft’s open source code editor brings region markers to the code folding support and boosts the performance of the built-in terminal.

With code folding, developers can hide away regions of source code using folding icons on the gutter between the line numbers and the start of a line of code. The region markers allow you to specify with comments exactly where your foldable blocks begin and end. Markers have been defined for TypeScript, JavaScript, C and C++, C#, F#, PowerShell, and Visual Basic.

Also new in the 1.17 release is a canvas-based rendering engine in the integrated terminal capability, improving rendering from five to 45 times, depending on the situation. “This change reduces the input latency, power usage, and increases the frame rate of the terminal significantly,” Microsoft said. The integrated terminal provides a convenience that can save developers from having to switch windows or alter an existing terminal state in order to quickly perform a command-line task.

Other improvements in the September release include enhanced debugging messages, with output messages in the debug console optionally displaying the originating source location. Clicking on this origin opens the source file. Version 1.17 now automatically shows module and path suggestions for JavaScript and TypeScript.

Visual Studio Code now has a source control providers section that provides an overview of multiple active repositories, which can be fed by multiple SCM providers. Git repositories, for example, could be maintained side-by-side with Microsoft Team Foundation Server workspaces. Users can leverage Ctrl+click or Shift-click capabilities to select multiple repositories, which appear as split views.

For Mac users, Visual Studio Code 1.17 adds support for showing actions in the MacOS Touch Bar. Actions have been added to navigate in editor history and to control the debugger. Also, extensions can be used to add commands to the Touch Bar via the touchBar menu identifier. Native window tabs support has been added for MacOS Sierra as well.

Finally, Visual Studio Code now offers new online documentation for Java developers. Java debugging recently was added to Visual Code via an extension. 

For more information on the September 2017 release, and to download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, see Microsoft’s website

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