Visual Studio “15” Preview 5 is posted

Screenshot of the Visual Studio '15' Preview 5 installation page, with the 'Visual Studio core editor', 'Azure development', and 'Mobile development' components selected. Graphic: Microsoft

Get it here: Visual Studio “15” Preview 5.

VS “15” is cooking along at a good pace, and the latest preview dropped last week. It promises performance improvements especially around installation and load times. From the Visual Studio Blog:

  • Shorter solution load time with lightweight project load: Working on solutions that contain upward of 100 projects doesn’t mean you need to work with all the files or projects at a given time. VS “15” provides editing and debugging functionality without waiting for Visual Studio to load every project. You can try out this capability with managed projects in Preview 5 by turning on “Lightweight Solution Load” from Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions.
  • Faster startup with on-demand loading of extensions: The idea is simple: load extensions when they’re needed, rather than when VS starts. In Preview 5 we started this effort by moving our Python and Xamarin extensions to load on demand and are working on moving all extensions we ship with Visual Studio and extensions shipped by third party extension vendors to this model. Curious about which extensions impact startup, solution load, and typing performance? You can see this information in Help -> Manage Visual Studio Performance. Do you develop an extension? We will be publishing guidance to help extension developers move to on-demand loading.
  • Moving subsystems from the main VS process to separate processes: We moved some memory-intensive tasks such as Git Source Control, and our JavaScript and TypeScript language services to separate processes. This makes it less likely for you to experience delays caused by code running in the main Visual Studio process, or Visual Studio becoming sluggish and even crashing as the main process approaches the 4GB memory limit of 32-bit processes. We will continue to move components out-of-process in coming releases.
  • Faster project load, coding, and debugging for C++: We have made loading C++ projects faster. Check out this video showing the improvement. You can enable this by setting “Enable Faster Project Load” to True from Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> C/C++ -> Experimental. We have also made improvements to our linker and PDB loading libraries to make incremental builds and launching the debugger much faster while significantly reducing memory consumption while debugging.
  • Improved speed when using Git, Debugging, and editing XAML Code: We have improved the speed of source control operations by switching from libgit2 to git.exe. We have also improved debugging performance by optimizing initialization costs and other costs related to IntelliTrace and the Diagnostic Tools window, and removed several delays that occur when editing XAML files.

On my old Dell XPS-12, it took 37 minutes to install over wifi, with the UWP and .NET frameworks selected. I’ve loaded some big, old projects, and so far, it compiles and builds them just fine. Also, the new Git sync seems to be noticeably faster. Take it for a test drive and enjoy the new features, like the experimental Predictive IntelliSense feature in C++, IntelliSense completion for x:Bind in XAML, and the new JavaScript IntelliSense language service powered by TypeScript.

Lots more details here: Announcing Visual Studio “15” Preview 5.

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