Microsoft: Try VS Code's new Python, C++ programming language tutorials, Docker updates

Microsoft brings lots of new features and improvements to its popular open-source code editor, Visual Studio Code.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released the March 2020 update for its Visual Studio Code (VS Code) open-source code editor for Windows 10, macOS, and Linux systems with bug fixes, accessibility improvements, better remote development tools, and new tutorials for creating Python containers and data-science programs. 

The March VS Code version 1.44 update is packed with improvements and new features to help developers be more productive and speed up development. 

For developers keen on using programming language Python, there's a new tutorial that shows how to build a Python application in a Docker container using VS Code and Microsoft's VS Code Docker extension, which has also been updated and has now reached version 1.0. 

The tutorial covers how to build, run, and verify a Django, Flask or general Python app, as well as debug the app running in a container. 

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The new data-science tutorial offers tips on using VS Code and the Microsoft Python extension with popular libraries to do tasks like training and evaluating a model, and using TensorFlow to create a neural network to increase a model's accuracy.    

Microsoft has also rewritten the C++ extension tutorials and provided a new tutorial for using C++ on Linux machines. 

The new Azure extensions in this release include an Azure virtual machines (VMs) extension for creating Ubuntu VMs with preconfigured secure shell (SSH) access for connecting to them with the VS Code Remote – SSH extension. There's also a new azure Resource Groups preview extension that lets users manage Azure resources within VS Code. 

Microsoft is now using GitHub Actions in the latest VS Code version, offering developers GitHub tools to automate software development workflows. 

The company believes this move should boost development speed and has included a new automation Action that notifies issue authors when an issue is pulled, so the author can check whether a fix worked. 

VS Code 1.44 also brings the latest work Microsoft has been doing to improve remote development via its Remote Development extension pack, which allows users to open folders and set up a full development environment in a container, a remote machine or in WSL while using VS Code. 

This update enables remote users to check out a pull request directly into a container and attach VS Code to a container in Kubernetes. It also includes experimental support for the WSL2 Docker engine.  

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Microsoft has also made some improvements to its new JavaScript debugger, which is included with VS Code Insiders edition or can be installed from Microsoft's extension Marketplace in VS Code stable. 

The company promises that this release should offer a more polished flexible layout experience when moving views around within the Side Bar. 

The new drag-and-drop experience aims to address ambiguities about what might happen when users drop Activity Bar icons, panels and views into place. Microsoft has also enabled multiple views on a single panel to use horizontal space more effectively.  Users can now drag the terminal into the Problems view to see them concurrently. 

Users can also now move views to new Side Bar groups to create a new icon entry in the Activity Bar. Built-in panels can also be moved into existing Side Bar entries or their own entries.  

The new JavaScript debugger now handles links to start debugging the browser with a Cmd/Ctrl+Click on links with no configuration needed.

Image: Microsoft

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