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Visual Studio Code is slated for a UX refresh

Microsoft’s open source Visual Studio Code is slated for performance improvements and a design refresh in the coming year. The 2019 project roadmap for the code editor also includes security improvements and sought-after new features.

The builders of Visual Studio Code will also be working toward more predictable startup times, which could be accomplished by loading less code on startup and implementing a new, more-scalable tree widget for adoption across the workbench.

The team also plans to make it easier to identify extensions that negatively impact performance. Accessibility is another fundamental goal.

The roadmap drills into a number of specific areas for consideration, covering the user experience (UX), the editor, the workbench, TypeScript support, language features, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), debugging, and extensions.

UX improvements

  • Planned improvements cover continued incremental enhancements to presentation and behavior.
  • Explore the integration of the Fluent Design system, for building user interfaces for deployment on different form factors, on Windows.

Code editing

  • investigating both the isolation of the editor from misbehaving grammars and support for semantic coloring.
  • Returning localization support to the standalone Monaco editor.

Workbench capabilities

  • Exploration into detachable workbench parts, which would be a challenge to implement, due to architectural issues.
  • Filtering and fast keyboard navigation in trees.
  • Improvements for the file explorer when working in large workspaces.
  • Safe provision of richer customizability.

TypeScript support

  • Collaborate with the TypeScript team on code editing and navigation.
  • Understand experiences for both TypeScript and JavaScript.
  • Improve integration of the tslint linter by running it as a TypeScript Server plug-in.

Language support

  • Improve “Expand Selection” to better adhere to language semantics.
  • Enable language extensions to support call and type hierarchies.
  • Improve support for navigating complex error descriptions.

Windows Subsystem for Linux support

  • Investigate extensions to leverage available tools.
  • Look at what other changes are being enabled by changes needed for WSL.

Debugging improvements

  • Offer data breakpoints support.
  • Improve hovering and inline values by leveraging knowledge about the programming language.
  • Continue documenting debugging recipes for common configurations.

Extensions support

  • Support the install of an extension without reloading the workbench.
  • Improve the extension recommendation system.
  • Make extension usage more secure and improve the process for handling malicious extensions.
  • Collaborate with authors to improve extensions.

Microsoft last year published a 2018 roadmap for Visual Studio Code, citing planned improvements in areas such as TypeScript and memory usage.

Where to download Visual Studio Code

You can download Visual Studio Code from the project website.

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