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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio Code: C# Dev Kit Now Generally Available

Visual Studio Code: C# Dev Kit Now Generally Available

Microsoft recently made the C# Dev Kit generally available for everyone. Microsoft introduced the extension back in June for Visual Studio Code and it aims to make coding in C# easier on multiple platforms. As reported it brings an improved editor-first C# development experience to Linux, macOS, and Windows. The kit and the C# extension use open-source technology to provide a flexible and efficient coding environment for the .NET developers.

Related to this, last month Microsoft also announced the retirement of Visual Studio for Mac, Microsoft's decision to retire Visual Studio for Mac comes as they shifted their focus towards optimizing Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for cross-platform development. This led to last week's Microsoft's announcement of the C# Dev Kit becoming generally available for everyone. While the extension is GA, it is important to mention that .NET MAUI and Unity support are still in preview.

Regarding the future of the C# Dev Kit, as reported there is a commitment to working on the kit based on user feedback and continuously improving its performance, reliability, and feature set to better support C# development in Visual Studio Code. Also, users can expect updates to the extension on a monthly basis.

For developers who are eager to get a sneak peek at upcoming features and fixes, there's an opportunity to opt into the pre-release channel. There, Microsoft will provide early access to new features and solutions as they are in the development phase of the product.

Furthermore, Microsoft encourages the C# Dev Kit community to actively participate by sharing their feedback. Users can report issues via Visual Studio Code and can also contribute by searching for existing enhancements and issues on GitHub. 

The announcement blog post received a decent amount of community comments on the Reddit post. Reading through them, the readers can find different opinions about C# Dev Kit and the future of cross-platform development,

A user called SupaMook wrote the following comment:

I’m a windows user, used VS2022 for a while, but have pretty much fully transitioned to VSCode now. I think it works great and I like that I can work from one IDE or, editor rather the correct term..

My only gripe is that it’s not as fluid to work across two monitors. Unlike VS where you can just drag a file onto another screen, in VSCode you have to like reopen the same workspace or something (I don’t really understand it and this is not really on topic, but that’s my only negative :D)

The comments also discussed a few times the licensing of the extension, so it is important to mention that C# Dev Kit aligns its licensing approach with Visual Studio, sharing the same principles. This means that it's free for individuals, academic users, and open-source developers, under the same terms as the Visual Studio community edition.

For organizations, the C# Dev Kit is bundled with Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise subscriptions, as well as GitHub Codespaces, making it accessible to a broad range of users with varying needs.

Lastly, Scott Hanselman, vice president of developer community at Microsoft, published a very insightful YouTube video, which is recommended to watch out. In the video, Hadselman showed multiple features like Solution Explorer, IntelliSense, Debugging, Licencing and a general walkthrough of the C# Dev Kit extension.

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