Visual Studio Code: Microsoft has published the March 2023 release of the source code editor. In version 1.77, bug fixes and improvements have been incorporated. The update also makes the new language features of TypeScript 5 available to developers – including the Decorator Expressions. As part of a preview, VS Code gives a first look at the GitHub Copilot chat interface.
Use TypeScript 5 and the decorators concept
In the February release of the source code editor, the use of the TypeScript programming language in version 5.0 was only available as a preview feature. Since Microsoft officially released TypeScript 5 in mid-March, developers can now access all new functions with VS Code 1.77. In particular, the concept for decorators based on the plans for ECMAScript opens up new possibilities, such as replacing a method with a general method.
Microsoft also announces progress in terms of accessibility of the source code editor. Improvements include the sticky scroll navigation and the hover control that moves with the buttons up, down, home, end, page up and page down can be positioned horizontally and vertically. When accessing the contents of the terminal, users who rely on screen readers benefit from the fact that the Shift+Tab accessible buffer now remains visible and is updated until the keys Escape or Tab be pressed.
Chat-driven software development
Notable additions to the March release, but limited to the VS Code Insider builds for now, include the Data Wrangler data science extension and the preview of the Copilot chat interface. Data Wrangler is primarily designed for analysis with tabular data in Python. GitHub’s Copilot has been serving as an AI-based pair programming partner for some time, providing code suggestions to developers as they code. Microsoft also integrates the tool, which can be operated via a chat interface, into VS Code and its IDE Visual Studio. Based on the expanded multimodal capabilities of GPT-4, GitHub Copilot X should even mature into a universal software development assistant in the future, as GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke has announced.
The blog post about the release of Visual Studio Code 1.77 offers a complete overview of all other changes.