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Visual Studio Debuts Improved C/C++ Support

| by Jeff Martin Follow 5 Followers on Jun 03, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

The Visual Studio Code team recently released an extension which added C/C++ awareness to Visual Studio Code so that the tool can go beyond the syntax highlighting to provide a more complete editing experience.  Since that initial release, a new second iteration brings a broader C/C++ toolset that adds support for clang-format, auto-complete, Cygin/MinGW debugging on Windows, and using GDB with Mac console applications.

Of course Microsoft would appreciate it if everyone used Visual Studio but that is not an option for Linux and Mac OS X users.  There are other situations (licensing, application startup time, etc.) where even Windows users may want an alternative to the traditional Visual Studio editor.  But until recently C/C++ users may have felt left behind by Visual Studio Code due to the limited language specific functionality provided to them.

This extension provides several features familiar to Visual Studio users including Go to Definition and Peek Definition as well as debugging tools including conditional and function breakpoints.  The source code formatting tool clang-format is now supported, which allows developers to format the file currently in their editor according to the style options of their preference.  The current default is LLVM, but this is configurable.

C/C++ users can also use a new fuzzy Auto-Complete option.  It does not use semantic analysis but rather is based on a tag-parser approach so it is not as quite as advanced as IntelliSense.  Joining this addition is the ability to debug Cygwin/MinGW applications under Visual Studio Code.  Finally, Mac users can now debug console applications with GDB.

More details on all of these features as well as known issues is provided in the project release page.  This extension currently supports all 3 Visual Studio Code platforms (Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux).  Do note that the Linux debugging support is currently only officially supported on Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit.

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