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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio “15” Preview 3 Available

Visual Studio “15” Preview 3 Available

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Microsoft has released the 3rd preview of Visual Studio “15” (VS15), the successor to Visual Studio 2015.  Continuing the iterative nature of the development process so far, this preview provides updates for the IDE functionality, user modifiable formatting rules for C#, and a new exception helper.

The IntelliSense pop-up dialog has been modified to include a filter that allows developers to filter what choices appear.  The default shows all of the choices, but filters now exist to limit matches by type—such as method, properties, or classes.  The behavior of this pop-up can be set via Tools | Options | Text | Editor | C# (or Visual Basic) | IntelliSense under filtering and highlighting.

Style analyzers were previously introduced in past previews, and now three new capabilities have been added for this preview:

  • Long strings can be split by the editor into multiple concatenated strings when positioning the editor’s cursor in the string and pressing Enter.
  • A property can be converted to a method through a new code action.
  • NavigateTo search results now use fuzzy matching

Incorporating a feature from VS2015 Update 3, there is a new quick fix option to add a reference to a NuGet package.

In an effort to simplify debugging, a new Exception Helper has been added which provides a popup dialog box that includes information about an exception being highlighted in the editor.  This dialog also includes information on inner exceptions for this dialog when applicable.

Generally speaking the IDE sees some more changes.  A new external process provides a new service host that will appear in the task manager as ServiceHub.Host.CLR.*.exe and node.exe.  Microsoft says this change will eliminate the local http traffic used by the former system. 

The Reload All Projects command has been replaced by Reload Solution.  In theory this will improve performance in conjunction with switching branches in Git.  Best practice in use will be to use Reload Solution after switching branches in Git.  Similarly, performance for toggling between Folder View and Solution View has improved.

The use of user profiles in VS15 is growing.  Upon signing in to VS15, a new Roaming Extension Manager uses the cloud to maintain a list of the extensions that you are using.  You can think of the Roaming List as a sort of personalized gallery of extensions that you have chosen to use on one or more of your systems.  Selected extensions will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Roamed – An extension part of your Roaming List, but not installed locally.  You may choose to install it locally if desired.
  • Roamed & Installed – An extension that is part of your Roamed List and installed locally.  You may choose to stop having it Roam if desired.
  • Installed – An extension that is installed locally but not part of your Roamed List.  It may be added to your Roaming List at any time.
  • Not Installed – Available for use in the extension gallery but not installed locally or part of your Roaming List.

Icons are used to denote the state of the first three categories—so one should easily be able to see the current state of the extension and how it is being used.

Microsoft has provided the full release notes for VS15 (note that this includes the cumulative list of all features provided by VS15).

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