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Visual Studio 16.4 Preview 2 Boosted by Extension Tech

Microsoft today shipped Visual Studio 2019 v16.4 Preview 2, boosted with new features that come from formerly separate extensions.

One of those extensions that was available in the Visual Studio Marketplace was a container tools window.

"After great usage and reviews, we have brought the functionality into the IDE itself," said Jacqueline Widdis, program manager, Release Team. "This new tool window enables you to list, inspect, stop, start and remove Docker images and containers on a local machine. In addition, you can view folders and files in running containers and open a terminal window. Finally, you can view, stream, and search container logs."

Another extension feature is support for publishing directly to GitHub. "This developer favorite allows enables seamless interaction with GitHub repositories," Widdis said. "Publish those local repositories by simply clicking the Publish to GitHub button on the Team Explorer Synchronization page."

Other newness in preview 2 includes:

  • Vertical tabs: Instead of the traditional horizontal across-the-top tabs, developers can now configure their IDE to display tabs down a vertical strip on the left or right sides.

    Changing to Vertical Tabs in Action
    [Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Changing to Vertical Tabs in Action (source: Microsoft).

    Rather than coming from an extension, this stems from developer feedback, specifically this item on the Developer Community site, which states: "Document tabs are shown vertically, allowing you to fit more tabs than are normally visible when shown horizontally."

  • Pin Properties in Debugger: A Pinnable Properties tools lets developers "hover over a property you want to display in the debugger window of the Watch, Autos, and Locals windows, click that pin icon, and immediately see the information you are looking for at the top of your display!"

  • Terminal Window Updates: "Continuing the theme of general improvements, we've added the ability to create multiple terminal instances and automatically create profiles for the Developer Command Prompt, Developer PowerShell and any WSL distributions available on your machine."

  • Overview Pages for CMake Projects: "We have added Overview Pages for CMake projects to help you get started with cross-platform development. These pages are dynamic and help you install the Linux Workload, connect to a remote Linux system or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and add a Linux or WSL configuration to your CMake project."

  • Symbol Search Enabled for C++: "We've continued to expand our search capabilities by adding symbol search support for C++. You will now be able to search for types and members in addition files within the search control."

  • .NET Tooling: "You can now configure the severity level of a code style rule directly through the error list." Also: "We added support for provisioning Application Insights from within the dependencies section of publish profiles."

Visual Studio 2019 v16.4 Preview 2 is recommended for working with the new .NET Core 3.1 Preview 1 release, which also shipped today. In fact, because that .NET Core preview is included in VS 2019 16.4, simply updating the Visual Studio IDE will provide both releases.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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