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Visual Studio "15" Improves Performance and Usability

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Oct 10, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

As the development of Visual Studio “15” has progressed, Microsoft has continued to discuss the efforts it is taking to improve both the execution speed and the size of the installed application.  The fifth technical preview has been released, bringing more examples of these improvements. 

In an announcement by Microsoft’s John Montgomery, he provides a video that compares the startup load times of the Roslyn compiler solution under VS “15” versus VS2015.  Under TP5, this solution loads in 30 seconds whereas VS2015 took 60 seconds.  Complementing this is a new configurable function that allows VS15 to only load IDE extensions when they are needed.

Another capacity issue Visual Studio has long faced is the restriction placed upon it from being a 32-bit application.  While the main process in VS”15” remains 32-bit, what is new is that key subsystems are being rewritten to become 64-bit processes.  Among the first to undergo this conversion are Git and the language services JavaScript & TypeScript.  Moving them outside the main process will free up resources for the main process while allowing these subsystems to have access to the memory that they need.

Code navigation has been improved through the introduction of the keyboard shortcuts (CTRL + , or CTRL + T)  for a feature called “Go To”.  This is designed to provide a way to find files, types, method, and similar structures across projects.  Added to this is Find All References (Shift+F12) which provides a way for the editor to list all uses of the selected source code, across the open project.  The search results can be grouped, filtered, and sorted.  This also supports searching within results.

Finally the debugging aspect of the IDE debuts a new feature called “Run to Click” which removes the need for setting temporary breakpoints.  When enabled, once you are stopped in the debugger an icon will appear as you select lines in the IDE, allowing you to indicate to which point program execution should continue.  When clicked, the debugger will run and stop on that line.  This enabled via the menu path of “Debug | Options | Show run to click button in editor while debugging”.

The installer for TP5 is available now and the full release notes are available through Microsoft.  As usual, this is pre-release software and so should not be used on production systems.  

(10-11-2016:  Corrected sentence fragment.)

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