Visual Studio Code enhances diff editor, GitHub interop

With VS Code 1.81, the diff editor includes several new features and bug fixes, and the new diff algorithm is enabled by default.

Conceptual image of an individual user working with an extruded virtual display.
Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

Visual Studio Code 1.81, the latest release of Microsoft’s extensible open source code editor, introduces improvements in the diff editor and GitHub pull request creation. Partial profiles also are supported.

Visual Studio Code 1.81, also called the July 2023 release, continues work on the new diff editor, which is to be gradually rolled out to Stable users. The diff editor includes several features and bug fixes, such as the ability to hide unchanged regions, which is useful when reviewing large diffs with many unchanged lines. The diff editor also now aligns text within diff regions, making it easier to review diffs where indentation has changed and lines have been inserted. The new diff algorithm, which produces better diffs in many cases but may be slower for some documents, now is enabled by default. Heuristics have been added to the algorithm to reduce the probability of matching unrelated words.

For the GitHub Pull Requests and Issues extension, used to manage GitHub pull requests and issues, the Create view has been updated to make it cleaner and more useful. The view tries to detect the best possible base branch for a pull request instead of always using the default branch. Also, view performance is much faster.

Support for partial profiles allows developers to create a profile in which only a subset of configurations, such as settings and keyboard shortcuts, is customized. Other configurations are applied from the Default Profile when the profile is active.

Visual Studio Code 1.81 can be downloaded for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Other new features and improvements in Visual Studio Code 1.81:

  • For source control, support is offered for GitHub repositories that have symbolic links on their path, by using the --path-format option, added to the rev-parse Git command in Git 2.31.
  • The JavaScript debugger now supports the Fast Node Manager (fnm) in its runtime version. Users of fnm now can set the runtimeVersion property of launch.json to select the Node.js version.
  • The Quick Chat experience for GitHub Copilot has been revamped. The experience now shows full conversations while still keeping the latest question and answer in focus. Also, there are completions for slash commands when typing /.
  • For Python, the Test Explorer panel now supports error-tolerant pytest discovery, as part of a new testing architecture. This is an experimental feature that is part of the new testing rewrite. Additionally, a new Debugpy extension provides a Python File with Arguments launch.json configuration, useful when developers want to provide different input values in a Python file without modifying code or the debugger configuration.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

InfoWorld Technology of the Year Awards 2023. Now open for entries!