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Visual Studio Code 1.8 Adds Hot Exit, Zen Mode, More Debugging Options

by Sergio De Simone on Dec 16, 2016 |

The newly released Visual Studio 1.8 brings many improvements and new features, including Hot Exit to prevent losing any edits, Zen Mode to make focusing on code easier, new debugging features, more accessible settings, etc.

Hot Exit is a new feature aimed to prevent the loss any unsaved changes, e.g. when the app crashes or when quitting it. In short, upon relaunch after a Hot Exit, all workspaces/files that are backed up will be restored, including unsaved changes.

Zen Mode is aimed to help developers better focus on their source code by hiding the Activity and Status Bar, the Sidebar, and the Panel. The Activity Bar has also got new customization options by allowing views to be reordered or removed using drag and drop.

Support for debugging is an area where a lot of work has been done for version 1.8. New features include:

  • Multitarget debugging, a feature which is now considered stable and allows you to start multiple debugging sessions.
  • Easily adding multiple launch configurations to the launch.json file.
  • Better support for Node.js debugging.

Almost all Visual Studio Code features can be configured by defining a simple settings.json file. According to feedback provided by users, the problem with this model is the discoverability of available settings. Therefore, version 1.8 adds a few enhancements to makes it easier for developers to discover and configure settings by:

  • Searching for settings based on their names and descriptions.
  • Grouping settings so it is easier to browse them.
  • Making it possible to easily add a setting to the settings.json file from the navigation view.

Additional changes in Visual Studio 1.8 worth mentioning are the following:

  • support for latest TypeScript update to version 2.1, which includes global support for async/await, and a more streamlined toolchain.
  • support for JavaScript Object Rest/Spread makes it possible to keep JavaScript validation on when using Object Spread/Rest with React.
  • Improved keyboard shortcuts.

There is a lot more to Visual Studio Code 1.8. You can read the full list of improvements in the official announcement.

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