Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3 brings brace pair colorization for C++, plus external source debugging improvements
Visual Studio now has a built-in accessibility checker that detects many common accessibility issues for XAML-based desktop applications. The Accessibility Checker uses the same axis-windows engine as Accessibility Insights, which is the same accessibility testing tool that the Visual Studio team uses for its own accessibility testing. Accessibility Checker supports WPF, UWP, WinUI and MAUI (via WinUI). To access the accessibility checker, make sure XAML Hot Reload is enabled in the options page, then press the “Check for accessibility issues” button in the XAML Live Visual Tree toolbar.
When the button Accessibility issues is clicked, the axis-windows engine will scan the running application for accessibility issues and present them in the Accessibility Checker window. The window lists the automation ID, rule, description, and a brief explanation of how to fix the particular problem for each item detected by the axis-windows engine.
Developers take pride in their code, and a misspelled word can be embarrassing. 17.5 Preview 3 has the first preview version of the spell checker for code documents which will help users identify misspelled words in comments, strings and identifiers for C#, C++ and Markdown files. The feature is enabled by default, but can be disabled by unchecking “Text spell checker” under “Manage preview features”. There is also a “Toggle Text Spell Checker” button on the main toolbar, as well as a “Toggle Text Spell Checker” in the main menu under Edit\Advanced.
When an error is found in a comment or a string, the spell checker offers to correct the given instance, but when the error is in an identifier, the correction will be refactored, ensuring that the resulting code gets the code correction in the solution. The spell checker will use the EN-US dictionary as well as the dictionary corresponding to the Windows display language you are using.
Improvements to external source debugging
Microsoft has made many updates to improve the performance of decompilation scenarios. As a result, decompiling is significantly faster in 17.5.
Microsoft took an example where an exception in a WPF application is encountered and the developer would like to decompile some framework methods on the stack for debugging. The example shows a comparison of the same decompilation in 17.4 and 17.5: As you can see, we were able to decompile several modules on the stack in 17.5 in less time than it took to decompile a single module in 17.4 , says Microsoft, presenting a video.
Markdown now available as default editor
The Markdown Editor, which Microsoft made available in 17.5 Preview 2, is now available to all users and is now enabled by default.
Intent-Based VS Suggestions
Microsoft introduced Intent-Based VS Suggestions, a new feature in Visual Studio that provides inline suggestions in the editor based on recent changes. This feature uses machine learning algorithms to understand the context of your code and suggests relevant changes based on the changes you make. This helps code more efficiently and accurately. Microsoft recommends trying it to experience the power of intent-based suggestions in your development workflow.
Connect to SQL Server using Microsoft.Data.SQL.Client data provider
With Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3, you can now connect to SQL Server databases in Server Explorer and the Data Source Configuration Wizard using the Microsoft.Data.SqlClient data provider. When adding a connection, you can use the new provider by selecting Microsoft SQL Server in the list of available data sources and Microsoft SqlClient Data Provider for SQL Server in the dialog data provider list Choose a data source.
Support for HTML code actions in Razor files
- Delete the tag (and leave the content)
- Base64 encode the image
- Insert image height and width
Razor and Roslyn performance improvements
Microsoft has had a lot of feedback from developers about performance issues and has taken steps to address several performance-related issues in the Razor and Roslyn spaces to make them more productive. Along with some minor performance improvements to Razor, some of Roslyn’s improvements include the following*:
- Change of project configuration
- Faster code analysis
- Keystroke performance improvements to reduce UI delays in Visual Studio
Build Acceleration for faster incremental builds
Build Acceleration allows you to complete incremental builds faster, which speeds up the creation of your projects, while also accelerating other actions that depend on builds, such as debugging, running unit tests and publishing applications .
The tool works by identifying situations where Visual Studio might copy files to disk rather than scheduling a build. For solutions with many project references, Microsoft claims to have seen reduced build times of up to 80*%.
Build Acceleration is currently opt-in and can be enabled by setting the AccelerateBuildsInVisualStudio property to true in your projects. It works best when enabled for all projects in your solution, which can be done by setting the property in a Directory.Build.props file.
Colorization of brace pairs for C++
You can now visually distinguish each set of opening and closing braces for your C++ code, making it easier to see the doorway of your code or find missing braces. This is currently only available for C++. Microsoft is also working on colorizing brace pairs for C#.
Open container in the terminal
Microsoft has added the ability to open your Dev Container in Visual Studio’s built-in terminal. With your project open in a development container, right-click the devcontainer.json file and select “Open container in terminal”.
This will open the integrated terminal and run the docker exec command to open an interactive shell in your Dev Container.
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