Microsoft's VS Code Python programming language extension gets this new update

Microsoft brings more improvements to the most popular VS Code extension on the Visual Studio marketplace.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft has released a new version of the free Python extension for its Visual Studio Code cross-platform code-editing tool, with improvements for Jupyter notebooks and lighter configuration notifications. 

The improvements are part of the VS Code extension for Python, which is currently the most popular programming language extension on Microsoft's Visual Studio Marketplace, with 16.2 million installs.   

The February Python extension update builds on the speed improvements Microsoft delivered last month. Jupyter Notebook is a popular application that allows developers to run Python in the browser. 

Microsoft says its testing benchmarks found Jupyter started two- to three-times faster when opening the Notebook editor. Last month, it highlighted that the initial start of the Jupyter server is faster and that subsequent starts are more than twice as fast.

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Additionally, in this update, the first cell executes faster because the Jupyter server launches in the background automatically when notebooks are opened. 

This February release also pares back configuration notifications, which Microsoft says used to be fairly busy, taking up a large chunk of the screen. The cause of the notifications was that VS Code wanted users to select an interpreter for a workspace. 

"In this release, we scaled back the notification prompts for tools installation. They are now only displayed if an interpreter is selected," wrote Luciana de Melo e Abud, a program manager for the Python extension in VS Code. 

She also drew attention to a feature that's not new, but also not yet widely known, called Jump to Cursor. 

The productivity tweak is within the Python debugger, allowing users to just right-click in the top menu and select a piece of code when the debugger hits a breakpoint. The user then selects Jump to Cursor from the dropdown menu under Help, which will make the debugger continue its election from the selected line onward.

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This feature allows the user to avoid having to restart a debug session and wait for the execution to reach the breakpoint again.

There are also a total of 66 fixes in this update to the Python extension for VS Code. 

Microsoft also highlighted that the Python debugger supports the Jump to Cursor feature.

Image: Microsoft

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