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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio 2022 - 17.10 Preview 1: Productivity, Debugging, Diagnostics and More Improvements

Visual Studio 2022 - 17.10 Preview 1: Productivity, Debugging, Diagnostics and More Improvements


Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2022 - 17.10 Preview 1. This update introduces notable enhancements across multiple areas including productivity, mostly regarding the GitHub Copilot Chat Extension and others, debugging and diagnostics improvements, C++, game development, and also the Teams and Microsoft 365 development tools.

This version of Visual Studio emphasizes productivity enhancements, especially with the GitHub Copilot Chat Extension. It simplifies coding processes by introducing features such as Contextual Understanding and Slash Commands for Common Tasks. Additionally, Inline Chat facilitates real-time collaboration among developers.

Additionally, automatically generated Git Commit Messages further accelerate development workflows. Furthermore, other productivity-focused features include linking work items to pull requests, and a modernized, unified settings experience. 

A recent InfoQ news item explains more about GitHub Copilot Chat Extension updates, which readers can explore.

From this version, Visual Studio Updates will now include recommended components. This feature gathered a couple of interesting points of view from the community voices. A user called Michael Taylor expressed disagreement with this new feature, stating the following:

Sorry but I absolutely disagree with the auto install of recommended components being on by default. This is a mistake and seems like a marketing way of getting new stuff installed to advertise MS products and not a useful feature for those who don’t care. This feature should be off by default. The most you should do for an update is let me see recommended new components

The comment section of the original announcement blog post has generated many interesting discussions between community members and the development team at Microsoft, so it is highly recommended that readers explore it.

One of the standout features in this release is the introduction of Conditional Breakpoints and Tracepoints in the debugging and diagnostics area. These features offer developers a more simplified approach to debugging by allowing them to create breakpoints and tracepoints directly from expressions.

As stated, this not only simplifies the debugging process but also significantly enhances productivity, especially when dealing with complex code expressions.

Moreover, the Memory Tool in Visual Studio 17.10 now includes a feature known as the Hot Path to Root. This feature improves memory analysis by providing developers with, as stated, a clearer path to determining an object's total size. As reported, by transforming the heap graph into a tree and prioritizing the shortest path to the root while avoiding cycling paths, developers can conduct more efficient memory investigations within the Memory Usage tool's reference graph.

(The Hot Path to Root feature, Source: Microsoft DevBlog)

In addition to debugging and diagnostics, significant enhancements have been made to the Attach to Process dialog. As stated by the team, these enhancements aim to improve functionality and user experience of debugging apps by attaching to a process, with a more compact view that optimizes vertical space usage.

(Attach to process dialog after updates in Visual Studio 17.10, Source: Microsoft DevBlog)

A couple of enhancements are available for example, users can now switch between tree and list views using tabs. Organizing processes becomes more efficient with collapsible child processes in the tree view. Code types can be selected via a simplified combo box interface.

Additionally, the Select/Track Window feature has been enhanced for easier use, enabling two-way tracking. Selecting a process now highlights its window, while clicking on a window selects its process.

Regarding the C++ and Game Development area, Visual Studio 17.10 introduces support for pinning CMake targets, providing developers with better control and organization over their projects. Additionally, insights into template instantiation information are now accessible through Build Insights, offering developers a better understanding of template usage within their projects.

Moreover, the integration of additional Unreal Engine Macros enhances the development experience, while the ability to keep the Visual Studio Integration Tool Plugin running in the background, which, as stated, reduces startup costs and improves efficiency.

In the Teams and Microsoft 365 Dev domain, developers can leverage the Teams AI Library to build intelligent Teams bots. This release also includes features for running and debugging bot apps offline, simplifying the testing process.

Furthermore, developers can extend Microsoft 365 Copilot with new project templates and features, allowing for enhanced customization options.

(New project template for Teams application, Source: Microsoft DevBlog)

Lastly, Microsoft and the development team encourage community members to provide feedback and share suggestions for new features and improvements, emphasizing their commitment to constantly enhancing the Visual Studio experience.

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