Microsoft: This new VS Code update brings bunch of features plus 5,242 fixed issues

Microsoft's new VS Code 1.52 is the final release for 2020 and there won't be another until early February.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The team behind Microsoft's popular open-source Visual Studio Code (VS Code) code editor has released the November 2020 update for macOS, Windows 10, Windows 10 on Arm, and Linux systems. 

This release of VS Code is all about housekeeping as the holiday season kicks in. Microsoft has already paused all updates for Windows 10 to cater to reduced capacity at customer sites, and it's also now pausing updates for VS Code for the holiday season. 

It won't be releasing a December 2020 update for VS Code and will instead ship the January 2020 update in early February. The November 2020 release is somewhat of a record for Microsoft's VS Code team in terms of issues fixed. 

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"Across all of our VS Code repositories, we closed (either triaged or fixed) 5,242 issues, which is even more than during our last housekeeping iteration in October 2019, where we closed 4,622 issues," the VS Code team noted. 

VS Code is developed in the open via GitHub and it has a large community of fans and contributors who help shape each version's release. Recent community efforts have helped bring the code editor to Chromebooks, the Raspberry Pi and other Arm-based single-board Linux computers such as Odroid.   

Microsoft notes that users can run VS Code on low-powered Chromebooks, with a minimum of 1GB of RAM. VS Code is also available for Linux on Arm7 and Arm64, extending the editor to Arm-based Chromebooks too. 

Community-driven feature updates in this release include a word-wrapping diff editor to display changes to code, a feature to troubleshoot which extensions are causing problems in VS Code, better keyboard shortcuts, and a feature to undo and redo file operations in the Explorer. 

There are also new tools to improve version control in projects via Git commands, the option to turn off preview editors, and the ability to generate word-based suggestions from other documents. 

The feature for troubleshooting problematic VS Code extensions is called Extension Bisect. VS Code can be customized with tons of extensions to create dark and light themes, enable IntelliSense code-completion, debug code and add support for various languages like Python, Java, JavaScript, and TypeScript. 

Before this release, users needed to disable all extensions and then re-enable each extension to find the one causing problems. 

Extension Bisect "uses the binary search algorithm to quickly identify an extension that causes trouble", according to Microsoft.  

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It can be started through the Help > Start Extension Bisect command and will ask the user to check if an issue is reproducing or not. Users can also stop the process via a Stop Bisect command. 

"It disables half the extensions in a VS Code and asks you to check for the issue you were seeing. If the issue is gone, the bad extension must have been in the list of disabled extensions, not in the list of currently enabled extensions. This process is repeated until only a single extension is left," Microsoft explains. 

Another clever addition to this release of VS Code supports occasions when IntelliSense isn't available. VS Code now supports simple word-based suggestions to help out when a language service isn't available or when a language service cannot compute results. So when a user types inside comments, VS Code can draw word suggestions from other open files. 

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