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Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2019

Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2019 for Mac both hit the "general availability" stage on Tuesday, introducing new functionality for developers.

"As we've shared earlier, Visual Studio 2019 improves on Visual Studio 2017 in a few areas," said Microsoft's John Montgomery in a blog post announcing the release. "It helps you get into your code more quickly by making it simpler to clone a Git repo or to open an existing project or folder. It also introduces improvements to the template selection screen to make it easier to start a new project."

The IDE's site summarized the capabilities of the release in three main categories:

  • Productive: One-click code cleanup. Search in debug windows. Integrated pull requests.
  • Modern: .NET Core 3 Preview support. Cross-platform C++. Docker and Kubernetes support.
  • Innovative: AI-powered code completion. Real-time coding collaboration. Production debugging.

"While you're coding, you'll notice that Visual Studio 2019 improves code navigation and adds many refactorings, as well as a document health indicator and one-click code clean-up to apply multiple refactoring rules," Montgomery said. "There are also improvements to the debugging experience, including data breakpoints for .NET Core apps that help you break only on value changes you're looking for. It also includes get AI-assisted code completion with Visual Studio IntelliCode."

Included in the release is the general availability of the Live Share functionality, which enables real-time coding collaboration. "If you haven't heard of Live Share, it's a tool that enables real-time collaborative development with your teammates from the comfort of your own tools," said Jon Chu, program manager, in his own post. "You're able to share your code, and collaboratively edit and debug, without needing to clone repos or set up environments. It's easy to get started with Live Share."

Another much-anticipated feature is IntelliCode, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve upon IntelliSense. IntelliCode is available as an extension that "augments existing developer workflows with machine-learning services that provide an understanding of code and its context."

"IntelliCode saves time by putting what you're most likely to use at the top of your completion list," its site says. "IntelliCode's recommendations are based on 2,000 high-quality open source projects on GitHub -- each with over 100 stars -- so it's trained on best practices. When combined with the context of your code, the completion list is tailored to promote those practices."

Microsoft also launched Visual Studio for 2019 for Mac.

"Visual Studio 2019 for Mac focuses on improving the core of the IDE, setting a foundation for us to bring new capabilities to you more rapidly with future updates," said Unni Ravindranathan, principal group program manager, in his own post. He highlighted several new features, including a new C# code editor that borrows from Visual Studio for Windows, after numerous developer complaints about its performance. As it's still in preview, Mac-based developers need to opt in to use it.

"In addition to general improvements to the IDE, we have also introduced several improvements for developers building mobile apps using Xamarin, games using Unity, and Web applications and services using .NET Core," Ravindranathan said.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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