PowerShell for Visual Studio Code Updates – February 2021
We are excited to announce that updates to our PowerShell extension and PowerShell Preview extension are now available on the Visual Studio Code marketplace. This blog will explain what is new in these releases as well as what you can expect from the extension in the coming months.
What’s new in the PowerShell Extension release
This incremental release incorporates changes from four preview releases! Some highlights of the release include:
- New semantic highlighting
- Added Pester v5 support to problem matcher. (Thanks @fflaten!)
- Updated PSScriptAnalyzer to 1.19.1. Which fixes formatting bugs! (Thanks @bergmeister!)
- Many squashed bugs
What’s new in PowerShell Preview release
This preview release contains updates to our build infrastructure, bug fixes, and updates to our language server client. For the full list of updates please refer to the changelog.
This release contains a breaking change which removes PowerShell notebook mode. This feature, which was only available on Visual Studio Code insiders in the PowerShell preview extension, was removed due to changes to the preview notebook APIs breaking the functionality of the feature. We have chosen to prioritizes fixes which we believe will improve the stability and reliability of the extension overall in the short term and hope to re-invest in PowerShell extension integration with the Visual Studio code notebook APIs once they stabilize.
A PowerShell notebook experience in Visual Studio Code insiders is still available through the .NET Interactive Notebooks extension.
What’s been happening since the last release
This is our first stable release of the PowerShell extension since June 2020. The time between these releases was longer than we anticipated and would have liked. We recognize that in the time since users have had to deal with longstanding bugs and performance deficiencies. This gap in releases reflects competing priorities across the PowerShell engineering team but does not reflect a shift in investment or commitment to Visual Studio Code as the premier free development environment for PowerShell.
In January 2021 we were also excited to welcome Andy to the PowerShell extension development team. With their support we plan to increase the cadence of improvements for the extension in the coming months.
What’s next for the extensions
Over the coming months we plan to improve the extension with the following areas of focus:
- Editor Services pipeline stability (intellisense, formatting, etc.)
- Startup reliability and speed (even in locked down environments)
- Debugging performance (even when using remoting)
- Robust build and testing infrastructure (to allow for more community contribution and more predictability with preview releases)
- Performance metrics (to better assess performance/reliability gaps)
- Accurate reference counts, variable reference links, go-to-definition, go-to-calls, and rename
We are also currently investigating new feature areas for the extension like Predictive IntelliSense integrations for the editor, GitHub Codespaces, and notebook integrations. You can track the progress on all of these projects in our GitHub repository.
Getting support and giving feedback
If you encounter any issues with the PowerShell extension in Visual Studio Code or have feature requests, the best place to get support is through our GitHub repository.
Sydney Smith, PowerShell Team