Visual Studio Code 1.58 brings customer feedback changes

Microsoft has released Visual Studio Code 1.58, bringing with it some changes to the Workspace Trust feature introduced in the previous update, plus support for terminals in the editor area, among other enhancements.

The Workspace Trust feature was a big change that was ushered in with the 1.57 release, and described by Microsoft as extra security that allows developers to decide whether project folders should allow or restrict automatic code execution. However, the feature has met some criticism from users, prompting Microsoft to make changes.

First, there is a new “Configure your settings” action in the header of the Workspace Trust editor, aimed at helping users discover settings to customise Workspace Trust. Another new setting allows the user to configure when the banner appears indicating that the current window is in Restricted Mode. By default, this shows once per workspace and remains until dismissed, but can be changed to show the banner always or never.

Another feature in this release is support for terminals to be created in or moved to the editor area, enabling a multi-dimensional grid layout that persists and remains visible regardless of panel state, according to Microsoft. In addition, a new configuration setting terminal.integrated.defaultLocation can be set to editor to direct newly created terminals to the editor area by default.

Also new is mathematics support in Visual Studio Code’s built-in Markdown preview with the ability to render equations using KaTeX, a Javascript library that displays mathematical notation in web browsers.

For developers using GitHub, a badge can be added to the repository so visitors can open the code directly in Visual Studio Code, either using the Remote Repositories extension Microsoft launched recently, or cloning in a Dev Container.

Data Science tutorials and topics in Visual Studio Code can now be found under their own section in the table of contents, including tutorials on using Jupyter Notebooks and the Python Interactive window.

Meanwhile, Microsoft says it is working on supporting debugging in Jupyter notebooks, to enable developers to set breakpoints in notebook cells, execute cells step-by-step, and use all other VS Code debugger features. This is currently experimental, but developers wishing to try it need to have version 6 of the IPython kernel and set "jupyter.experimental.debugging": true.

Also under development is a built-in interactive window experience. If this is enabled, the Jupyter extension will open the built-in editor instead of the webview implementation, when running code from Python files or directly launching from the Command Palette.

Features that are currently in preview in this release include initial support for the upcoming TypeScript 4.4 release, and the ability to move terminals between windows by using a detach command in one window and attach in the other. The intention is that this will enable cross-window drag and drop in future.

Full details of all the changes in this release can be found on the Visual Studio Code blog, while the code itself can be found on GitHub.