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Microsoft announces Visual Studio 2022, now in a 64-bit flavor
by João Carrasqueira
Today, Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2022 along with its first public preview coming this summer. The next major release of Microsoft's flagship development toolkit will be "faster, more approachable, and more lightweight", according to Amanda Silver, who made the announcement on Microsoft's DevBlogs.
One of the big news with Visual Studio 2022 is going to be the transition to a 64-bit app. Indeed, Microsoft has been making a push towards 64-bit across the board, and now Visual Studio is joining the fray. A major advantage of 64-bit apps is that they're not limited to 4GB of memory, so this new release will have unrestricted access to all the memory on your PC. That should result in much better performance across the board and fewer out-of-memory errors.
The new version of Visual Studio will also come with updated icons that should be easier to identify and understand at a glance, support for the new Cascadia Code font that Microsoft introduced with Windows Terminal, new product themes, and integration with Accessibility Insights to help developers spot any accessibility barriers quicker. Microsoft is also making it easier to customize your experience with Visual Studio, with settings for the IDE and the ability to sync (or not) settings across devices.
As for what types of apps you can build with it, Visual Studio 2022 will be compatible with Azure resources, .NET 6, and C++ 20. That includes full support for the unified framework in .NET 6 and things like the Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) that can be used to create apps for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.
Other improvements include better performance for the core debugger, support for text chat during Live Share sessions, more capabilities for the IntelliCode engine, improvements to code search, and better asynchronous collaboration, with new logic related to making commits and reviewing pull requests from platforms like GitHub.
IntelliCode suggestions in Visual Studio Microsoft also says it's "refreshing" Visual Studio for Mac, switching to a native macOS UI to offer better performance and reliability. It will also integrate with macOS accessibility features, and Microsoft is updating the terminology across the IDE so it's more consistent between Mac and Windows versions.
As mentioned above, the first preview of Visual Studio 2022 will be available this summer, and Microsoft will likely iterate on it a few times leading up to the stable release.
Inno Setup 6.1.2
by Razvan Serea
Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability.
Inno Setup key features:
Support for every Windows release since 2000, including: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000. (No service packs are required.) Extensive support for installation of 64-bit applications on the 64-bit editions of Windows. Both the x64 and Itanium architectures are supported. (On the Itanium architecture, Service Pack 1 or later is required on Windows Server 2003 to install in 64-bit mode.) Supports creation of a single EXE to install your program for easy online distribution. Disk spanning is also supported. Standard Windows wizard interface. Customizable setup types, e.g. Full, Minimal, Custom. Complete uninstall capabilities. Installation of files: Includes integrated support for "deflate", bzip2, and 7-Zip LZMA/LZMA2 file compression. The installer has the ability to compare file version info, replace in-use files, use shared file counting, register DLL/OCX's and type libraries, and install fonts. Creation of shortcuts anywhere, including in the Start Menu and on the desktop. Creation of registry and .INI entries. Running other programs before, during or after install. Support for multilingual installs, including right-to-left language support. Support for passworded and encrypted installs. Support for digitally signed installs and uninstalls, including dual signing (SHA1 & SHA256). Silent install and uninstall. Unicode installs. Integrated preprocessor option for advanced compile-time customization. Integrated Pascal scripting engine option for advanced run-time install and uninstall customization. Full source code is available (Borland Delphi 2.0-5.0 and 2009). Inno Setup 6.1.2 changelog:
Compiler IDE change: Added new Print... (Ctrl+P) menu item to the File menu. Minor tweaks. 6.1.1-beta (2020-10-29) Various improvements have been made to the Compiler IDE:
Added new Find Previous (Shift+F3) menu item to the Edit menu. The Find Next (F3) menu item now always searches down. Added new Find in Files... (Shift+Ctrl+F) menu item to the Edit menu which shows the results in a new "Find Results" view. The Compiler IDE's New Script Wizard now offers an option to create a file assocation. Added autocomplete support for constants, event functions, flags, sections, and Inno Setup Preprocessor (ISPP) directives. Other changes
The /PORTABLE=1 command line parameter accepted by Inno Setup's own installers has been improved to allow side-by-side installations. For example, to quickly install a new version to the current user's desktop without affecting already installed versions use the following command line parameters: /portable=1 /silent /currentuser. Setup's and Uninstall's Back and Next buttons no longer display outdated "<" and ">" markers. Added new topic to the help file listing the additional Compiler IDE keyboard commands which are not listed in the menus. Added new Keyboard Commands menu item to the Compiler IDE's Help menu to open this topic. ISPP change: Added new SaveStringToFile support function. Fix: Calling DLL functions which return a 64-bit integer now gives correct result values. Minor tweaks. Download: Inno Setup 6.1.2 | 4.3 MB (Freeware)
View: Inno Setup Website | Full Release Notes
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By Hamza Jawad
Low-code updates in Power Platform for GitHub and Azure are now in preview
by Hamza Jawad
Over the past year, Microsoft has been working on closer integration of the Power Platform with Azure and Visual Studio, in keeping with "low-code" fusion projects. In September last year, the tech giant revealed how the Power Platform was benefiting from Azure AI services. In July, meanwhile, the Power BI Snowflake connector introduced a capability to enable single sign-on (SSO) based on Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication.
At its digital Ignite conference today, Microsoft announced updates for the Power Platform that directly link with GitHub and Azure services.
For starters, Azure API Management connectors are now available, allowing developers to utilize API Management and Azure Functions to build Power Platform connectors. Citizen developers can even distribute Power Apps services through Microsoft Teams, without having to purchase any stand-alone Power Apps license requirements.
Moving on, Power Platform has now been brought to GitHub, enabling professional developers to create software development lifecycle (SDLC) workflows using GitHub actions in the marketplace. The GitHub connector for the Power Platform can be used to manage various solutions with ease, through "self-service continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)" for citizen devs.
And finally, the Power Virtual Agents (PWA) service will now work in conjunction with the Azure Bot Framework to allow the creation of bots with virtually no coding. Azure development tools like Bot Framework Composer will be utilizable in terms of adding custom dialogues to PWA bots, that can be saved, hosted, and executed with other bot content. The feature will become generally available in October.
In related news, Power Automate Desktop is now in public preview, expanding on the robotic process automation (RPA) capability that was announced for Power Automate at last year's Ignite event. The desktop variant of the service allows for the automation of Windows-based tasks for both citizen developers and business users. The visual design especially caters to non-coders, though higher levels of control are also provided for more advanced users.
By Usama Jawad96
C++ extension for Visual Studio Code hits version 1.0
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is a free code editor for Windows, Linux, and macOS that is used by a lot of developers because of its small disk footprint and customization options. The C++ extension for Visual Studio Code is particularly popular because it packs a number of features such as debugging and IntelliSense code completion, and its agnosticism to various platforms and architectures.
Now, Microsoft has announced the first generally available release of this extension.
The C++ extension already includes a number of developer-friendly features such as IntelliSense, code navigation, support for refactoring, semantic colorization, and debugging capabilities such as breakpoints, watch variables, and "step" functionality, among others.
With version 1.0, Microsoft is bringing support for Linux on ARM and ARM64, which includes remote build and debug capabilities. To make the configuration of IntelliSense easier, the company has released a video tutorial which you can view here. The update also features new rich formatting settings for C++, with all formatting configurations that are available in Visual Studio IDE being ported over to Visual Studio Code. Performance in this release has been improved as well.
Lastly, the firm has created a C++ Extension Pack so developers can take full advantage of Visual Studio Code. It includes the following:
If you're interested in trying out version 1.0 of the C++ extension for Visual Studio Code, you can do so by following Microsoft's instructions here.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft is retiring Visual Studio Codespaces, users being migrated to GitHub Codespaces
by Usama Jawad
Recently, Microsoft renamed Visual Studio Online to Visual Studio Codespaces, and a public preview for it was announced at the company's Ignite 2019 conference. The service, which has gone through several iterations and rebranding over the past few years, allows developers to code from anywhere by offering them cloud-hosted environments directly within the browser. It also offers support for GitHub repositories and a command line interface (CLI) for efficient workflows and robust development capabilities.
Now, Microsoft has announced that it is retiring the service and users are being transitioned to GitHub Codespaces.
In a blog post, Microsoft has stated that Visual Studio Codespaces is being consolidated into GitHub Codespaces based on user feedback it received during the preview phase. The company says that:
Moving forward, users of the service's public preview are being encouraged to transition to GitHub Codespaces, which is also in limited public beta right now. Azure subscribers with a Visual Studio Codespaces plan will also be sent emails asking about their preferred GitHub account. Meanwhile, developers utilizing Visual Studio 2019 and its support of Codespaces will also be onboarded to the private preview on GitHub as soon as it becomes available.
The Redmond firm has released the following timeline detailing how it plans to retire Visual Studio Codespaces:
Microsoft has stated that it is currently evaluating which features from the Visual Studio service should be migrated to GitHub under General Availability (GA). New users have been encouraged to request access to the GitHub Codespaces limited public beta.
Source: Microsoft via MSPoweruser