Visual Studio 2019 16.9 brings memory error detection, C++ capabilities

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Microsoft has reached two milestones with its signature Visual Studio IDE, making Visual Studio 2019 16.9 available as a production release and unveiling a preview of a planned Visual Studio 2019 16.10.  

Both were published on March 2. Visual Studio 2019 16.9 can be accessed here while the version 16.10 preview is available here. Visual Studio 2019 16.9 features general availability of Address Sanitizer (ASan) fast memory error detection, for finding runtime memory issues. With the production release, Microsoft Visual C++ now can work out which runtime libraries are needed to use ASan with a project.

Also for C++, Visual Studio 2019 16.9 implements the More constexpr containers proposal, allowing destructors and new expressions to be constexpr. And C++ IntelliSense has been improved. Other new features and improvements in Visual Studio 2019 16.9:

  • To improve .NET productivity, using directives will be added automatically when copying and pasting types to a new file. Inline type hints have been added that insert adornments for variables with inferred types and lambda parameter types. IntelliSense completion now automatically inserts a semicolon as a commit character for method completion and object creation.
  • .NET Core debugging in WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) 2 enables debugging of code in WSL 2 using the Linux distro of the developer’s choice. Only Ubuntu and Debian have been tested and are currently supported. Other distributions should work but require manually installing the .NET Core runtime and Curl.
  • XAML tools have been improved for WPF, WinUI, UWP, and Xamarin.Forms. Among the improvements, lightbulbs have been introduced in the XAML code editor to set the design DataContext to an available view-model. This enhances IntelliSense.
  • GitHub Actions tooling has been improved, with features such as a redesigned summary page and the ability to commit and push a workflow with a single click. More project types are recognized.

Visual Studio 2019 16.9 is the fourth supported servicing baseline for Visual Studio 2019. Enterprises and Professional users are advised to standardize on this version. It will be supported with fixes and security updates for one year after the release of the next servicing baseline. With the release of version 16.9, version 16.7, the last servicing baseline, will be supported until April 2022. Versions 16.0 to 16.3, 16.5, 16.6, and 16.8 are no longer supported.

In Visual Studio 16.10 Preview 1, Microsoft has introduced the following features, enhancements, and productivity improvements:

  • A Remove Unused References command cleans up unused project references and NuGet packages.
  • Refactoring for Simplify LINQ Expressions will remove an unnecessary call to the enumerable for the .Where() method to improve readability and performance.
  • A new IntelliSense mode setting sets default completion options.
  • New code style preferences have been added for new lines. For example, a developer could set preferences to report a diagnostic and offer a fix to remove extra blank lines.
  • Call stack handling has been improved for stack overflow situations. Redundant frames are filtered out from the call stack when the debugger halts on a Stack Overflow Exception.
  • IntelliCode suggestions can be applied in a more frictionless manner without breaking an editing flow.
  • A new Auto Analyzer inspects threads in a memory dump to determine if an unresponsive situation is due to a deadlock in threads.

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