Visual Assist build 2302 is available

Honestly, the title of this post should be “Visual Assist build 2302 has been available for a long time”. I have been lax in writing.

Fortunately, if you enable notifications of new builds in the options dialog of Visual Assist, you would have discovered build 2302 not long after it was released. And if you clicked through a what’s-new link, you would have learned what improved with the build. I write today primarily for those who do not get in-product notifications of new builds yet follow these build announcements.

Build 2302, released mid-December, is a follow-on to build 2301—a build that did not reach the threshold of in-product notifications. Hence, this post describes what’s new in builds 2302 and 2301.

If you are one to “access the future of Visual Studio” and are already experimenting with Visual Studio 2019, build 2302 has preliminary support for the preview build of the IDE. See our release notes for known issues.

For those of you who have debugged multi-threaded applications, you have undoubtedly been annoyed by the debugger’s switching to a thread you are *not* debugging only because another thread hit a breakpoint. You lose context and have no easy way to return to debugging of the first thread.

Build 2301 introduces a command, Bind Breakpoints to the Current Thread, that does what its name implies. When enabled, other threads that hit breakpoints are automatically continued, and you can debug in peace. Toggle the command via icon in the Visual Assist toolbar, or entry in the VAssistX menu (Alt+X, B, T).

Build 2301 introduces another command, Skip All Breakpoints, to improve the debugging experience in Visual Studio. Until the build, switching between the debugging of different parts of an application was cumbersome. One could not tell the debugger to honor only breakpoints in a single part of an application; one had to skip unrelated breakpoints individually, or disable and lose them all. With Skip All Breakpoints, you can effectively toggle all unrelated breakpoints so they are skipped automatically. To debug one part of an application, Skip All Breakpoints, then return breakpoints in the one part to their default state. Get to the command via icon in the Visual Assist toolbar, or entry in the VAssistX menu (Alt+X, B, B).

For those who use Source Links to connect substrings in comment blocks to external applications and websites, you will be pleased to know that Visual Assist [finally] supports sharing of link definitions. When a solution is open, create a shared solution definition via the Add-button drop-down.

Shared solution definitions are created in a subdirectory of the solution directory, .va\shared\SourceLinks, that can be checked into source control that, in turn, makes the shared definition available in read-only mode to all users of Visual Assist.

Builds 2302 and 2301 also improve support for Unicode and UTF-8, and improve code generation for users of Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).

Build 2302 requires software maintenance through 2018.12.13.

Check out the complete list of what’s new in build 2302; learn more about the debugging features in Visual Assist, or download the installer for build 2302.