Visual Studio 2019 will live with C ++, Python shared edition


Okay, so Visual Studio will always look like Visual Studio. But eagle eyes will notice some differences. There is the menu in the title bar at the top. You have the message
Extend / Okay, so Visual Studio will always look like Visual Studio. But eagle eyes will notice some differences. There is the menu in the title bar at the top. There is a "No problem found" message in the status bar, showing that the background code analysis found no problems with my code. Bottom left, to the left of the text "Ready," is the new background task status indicator that provides more information on things like code checking to create IntelliSense information. There is a tab (not visible) from GitHub in the Solution Explorer pane, which is used for the new extraction request integration. And, of course, there's the Live Share button in the upper right corner.

A new version of Microsoft's integrated development environment (IDE) goes into production today with the release of Visual Studio 2019 and its cousin Visual Studio 2019 for Mac.

Visual Studio is in a strange position, and it would be fair for developers to ask why this brand launch exists. Visual Studio 2017 has received nine point releases and numerous patch releases since its release two years ago. Each of these releases brought a combination of new features and bug fixes, and for Visual Studio users, the experience seems comparable to that of Google Chrome, where each new release brings a steady stream of incrementally improved features and fixes.

Live C ++ Encoding, with Visual Studio 2019 on the left, Visual Studio Code on the right.
Extend / Live C ++ Encoding, with Visual Studio 2019 on the left, Visual Studio Code on the right.


In fact, this incremental iterative model is one that Microsoft is using (and using) for services like AzOup DevOps and is comparable to the continuous development we see in Office 365, which is updated monthly, and in Visual Studio's free and open code, which also has monthly iterations. With this development process, we wonder why we would care about "Visual Studio 2019"; let's just take "Visual Studio" and keep updating it forever.

The reasons for maintaining the old way of releasing? There are customers who buy perpetual licenses, and a new major release provides an easy opportunity to make certain changes, such as discarding support for legacy platforms or making certain important changes to the C ++ library. To this end, Visual Studio 2019 (finally) discards Windows XP support for C ++ projects; you will have to use the old Visual Studio 2017 C ++ compiler if you want to continue directing the obsolete operating system. A new major release is also a good time to make major changes to the user interface, and in fact some of the first things that will be noticed in the Visual Studio 2019 installation are the new welcome screen, a new interface for creating projects and a new title. bar that incorporates the application menu and a reworked search feature to find features in the IDE.

Visual Studio 2019 for Windows Welcome Screen.

Visual Studio 2019 for Windows Welcome Screen.


So the new version brings some bits that were not added to 2017. What I'm most excited about is the overall availability of Live Share. Live Share is a collaborative editing system that works both in Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, allowing developer pairs to code and debug together while still viewing their own preferred editor setting. The initial Live Share preview in November 2017 supported only JavaScript (and the highly successful TypeScript variant from Microsoft) and C #.

In response to user demand, C ++ and Python have been added to the Live Share experience. Python is still new to Visual Studio; support for the scripting language was added to Visual Studio 2017 in one of its punctual releases. Visual Studio 2019 expands this with support for multiple Python runtime environments, making it easier to switch between interpreters and versions, a more capable debugger, and a smarter conclusion to IntelliSense.

C ++ developers will benefit from a compiler with a better optimizer, better support for projects built using CMake, and partial support for enforcing the C ++ lifecycle profile, a set of compile-time static rules that allow the compiler detect and warn of unsafe use of pointers and iterators.

With GitHub now as part of Microsoft, Visual Studio is getting more integration with GitHub; 2019 adds support for GitHub's Pull Request model to manage the integration of patches into a code base directly within the IDE. The IDE now also includes support for the Git stash feature, which allows a set of changes to be stored temporarily, so you can switch to a different branch without having to commit or risk losing them.

As with any new version of Visual Studio, there is also the usual set of updated compilers and language versions, such as a preview of C # 8.0 features, new refactorings, and so on.

Visual Studio for Mac, derived from the Xamarin IDE that Microsoft acquired when it bought the cross platform .NET company, is also updated today. The first iteration of Visual Studio for Mac was basically a rebranding of the Xamarin Studio application – upgraded to include the Microsoft C # compiler and the .NET libraries instead of the Xamarin clones – with little real relationship to "real" Visual Studio, .

However, Microsoft seems to be making a real effort to bring products together in areas that make sense. Visual Studio 2019 for Mac includes a preview of a new text editor based on the same Visual Studio for Windows engine, with a native UOS and MacOS features. This means that both Visual Studios have very similar features in things like IntelliSense, code completion, and quick fixes. The new editor is not enabled by default, but can be enabled for C # and XAML, with more languages ​​planned once stabilized. The welcome screen also looks a lot like your new version of Windows.

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Welcome Screen.
Extend / Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Welcome Screen.


Microsoft is unifying experiences in other areas as well; the Unity debugger is now the same between Mac and Windows, and Microsoft plans to bring parts of the Xaml Windows Xamarin Forms experience to the Mac in a future upgrade.

In addition, there are several performance and stability improvements and many accessibility enhancements to help those using assistive technologies.

With Visual Studio for Windows and for Mac, Microsoft emphasized the importance of user feedback in the development process. Punctual releases and key updates are driven by user feedback, with for example the new Python and Live Share features responding directly to users' requests. The regular stream of timely postings allows Microsoft to put functionality in front of users much sooner than it could, with only major updates, and that functionality can be rewritten and extended in response to feedback. Compared to the old days of Visual Studio, when you archived bugs on the Connect site just to disappear forever, today's experience is a welcome and refreshing improvement.


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