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VS Code Improves JavaScript Editing Abilities

by Jeff Martin on Mar 30, 2016 |

Microsoft's multiplatform, open source text editor VS Code, has just released its March build.  Most web developers should find something new that will benefit their work and can try VS Code on their choice of platforms:  Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.

The VS Code project has been looking for ways to improve the JavaScript editing experience so that it would more closely follow the experience of TypeScript  users.  Since it is not always practical to completely convert an existing JavaScript project to pure TypeScript, improving VS Code’s abilities for JavaScript development could have a big impact on programmer productivity.  Developers will find that their JavaScript projects can now take advantage of IntelliSense and JSDoc comments.

In addition, editor tool tips now provide indication as to what is providing the text in the tip.  For example, so as to distinguish them from a lint program’s (ESLint and JSHint are supported) feedback, JavaScript syntax errors are prefaced [js] while the lint comments are unadorned. 

Several formatting options are present and configurable for JavaScript code.  The amount of spacing in for-loops, how braces should be placed in code blocks, and other formatting concerns can be configured to suit your personal (or corporate) coding style.  TypeScript users will find similar options have been added for their language as well.

HTML formatting is based on beautifyjs, which had has provided some formatting options that were not available under VS Code.  New items that include the ability to define line wrapping and behavior around new lines can be modified.

As usual, VS Code is offered in two distinct binaries:  one that tracks the stable releases while the other follows the more risky “Insiders”  releases (Microsoft’s term for the bleeding edge).  For either selection, you can download binaries ready to go for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.  Even better, the Linux offerings are available in both Debian (DEB) and Redhat (RPM) package formats.

Full release notes are available as is a list of all bugs that were fixed in this release.

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