Monthly updates for VS Code

VS Code version 1.38 adds debugging data breakpoints and more

Sarah Schlothauer
vs code
© Shutterstock / Kamira

The August 2019 update for Visual Studio Code is here. This month comes with plenty of improvements and upgrades, including the ability to preserve case for Search and Replace, new debugging data breakpoints, workbench improvements, some Editor enhancements, and of course, bug fixes aplenty. Take a look at some of the VS Code highlights.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code remains a fan favorite for code editing. According to the results of the Stack Overflow 2019 developer survey, it is currently the most popular development environment, beating out big names like IntelliJ and Vim. When we interviewed Erich Gamma, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer back in 2016, he stated: “Our goal is quite simple: We want VS Code to become the most popular code editor”. Achievement reached!

August 2019’s update, version 1.38 has arrived. What’s new for this month’s update? Let’s check out a few of the highlights.

Workbench improvements

  • Preserve letter case in Search and Replace: Maintain case sensitive searches.
  • New cancel search icon: The new icon better represents the action
  • Settings editor string array validation: Displays errors for array-of-string items if the current value doesn’t satisfy the specified  minItemsmaxItemsitem.enum, or item.pattern schema.
  • Top-level resource creation improvements: Now there are three different ways to create a file or folder in the root of the File Explorer. Users can scroll past the element and invoke the context menu, use a context menu on the scroll bar, or press Escape and clear both focus and selection in the Explorer.
  • Control duplicate file naming: Use the new setting  explorer.incrementalNaming
  • New prompt displayed when following outgoing links: Users can configure and set their trusted domains.

MDN Reference for HTML and CSS

From the changelog, this new improvement “displays a URL pointing to the relevant MDN Reference in completion and hover of HTML & CSS entities”.

MDN Reference for HTML and CSS in action. Source.

Data breakpoints

Meet the new debugging improvement. According to the VSCode README:

From the Variables view, it is now possible to create data breakpoints that will get hit when the value of the underlying variable changes. Just like other breakpoints, data breakpoints can be disabled/enabled and removed in the Breakpoints view.

VS Code clarifies that data breakpoints require specific support. So far, they only expect debug extensions such as C++ and C# to opt into this feature.

SEE ALSO: Jabel: All the syntax of Java 12, targeted to Java 8

In v1.38 only the Mock Debugger mocks data breakpoints. Check out the starter sample Mock Debugger in the marketplace.

Miscellaneous VSCode upgrades

  • Screencast mode improvements: Including the length limit on the screencast keybinding label, and improved keyboard shortcuts render style
  • Two new accessibility improvements for VS Code: Word navigation follows what NVDA and VoiceOver expect; Windows Magnifier Tool can follow the cursor inside the editor.
  • Less.js features support: Including root functions, map lookups, and anonymous mixins.
  • VS Code ships with TypeScript 3.6: Use some of the new TypeScript features, like stricter generators.
  • Monthly bug fixes and closed issues: No update would be complete without the list of notable fixes!

In last month’s update, we touched upon the split consensus regarding the new icons. Some people loved the new icons, some people hated it, some people suggested it was a step backward for accessibility. It looks like the icons are here to stay.

Version 1.38 introduces an icon repository with both dark and light icons, with a public Figma file.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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