Visual Studio Code 1.35: Remote Development, TypeScript and (sigh) another new icon

More toys for everyone's favourite source-code editor

Microsoft has continued its rapid-fire releases by booting out another Visual Studio Code update with extra Remote Development goodness.

Visual Studio Code is very much the flavour of the month with developers, and continues to top the polls of tools preferred by source botherers. Some, of course, prefer to stick with the likes of Vim, but Microsoft's open-source, cross-platform editor has continued to win hearts and minds.

We naturally downloaded the thing, restarted it, and took it for a spin.

Visually, not much has changed aside from the icons, which look like they might have been given a daubing by the Fluent brush. Separate icons let developers know if those in the stable incarnation are braving the dangers of an Insider build.

Unsurprisingly, they don't really match the new Office icons emitted by Redmond of late, but consistency in iconography design has never really been a thing at Microsoft.

Mac icons are different again. Because Apple users are special, and Microsoft is keen to stick with a native Mac style.

However, tweaks such as showing breadcrumbs by default makes navigation easier and a buffing of the Go to Definition functionality, which can now handle multiple results rather than just showing the first result and ignoring everything else, is to be welcomed.

You need to dig a little deeper for the really good stuff.

The gang has improved the handling of merge conflicts, with the ability to open the diff view in a new editor group. The new view also shows the complete diff view of the changed file, something that will make the update worthwhile on its own for some.

The gang has also folded in the recently released TypeScript, bringing the version to 3.5.1 replete with language improvements and a de-borking from 3.4. Smart selection has been added to intelligently expanded selections for the likes of types and classes and "Extract to type alias" refactoring for TypeScript is now in the toolset. The tweak to suggestion sorting to prioritise locals over globals is also most welcome.

Most exciting, however, is the promotion of Remote Development from Insider builds to Stable (although the technology itself remains very, very preview at present). Remote Development allows coders to debug in a local VS Code instance while the actual code itself is running elsewhere – Windows Subsystem for Linux, a Docker container or on a SSH server.

The arrival of the tech in the Stable branch of VS Code means those who might shy away from the inherent dangers of the Insiders version can now give the preview a prod or two over a couple of quiet lunchtimes. ®

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