With a few exceptions, improvements to VS Code will improve Azure Data Studio a few months after release through the VS Code base within Azure Data Studio. The October 2019 release of VS Code, v1.40, brought in a handful of changes along with quite a bit of repository housekeeping. The housekeeping included combining duplicate issues and merging in a large number of pull requests. There are 2 changes that I wanted to highlight as notable and worth considering how they will impact Azure Data Studio in the future.
Activity Bar Indicator
As of Azure Data Studio 1.13 (with VS Code 1.38), the lefthand pane that is currently selected is indicated by the icon being a different color. In most themes, the color difference is slight.
<p> With VS Code 1.40, they’ve introduced what is, in my opinion, a welcome improvement to the user interface with a color border and background for the inactive/active items. <a href="https://code.visualstudio.com/updates/v1_40#_activity-bar-indicator">https://code.visualstudio.com/updates/v1_40#_activity-bar-indicator</a> </p> <p> For users new to the product, it is very helpful to quickly be able to see which item is selected. I’m very much looking forward to this component coming to Azure Data Studio (date unknown) and have already updated the High Color Queries theme in v0.0.5 to include this added functionality. <a href="https://github.com/dzsquared/high-color-queries/releases/tag/0.0.5">https://github.com/dzsquared/high-color-queries/releases/tag/0.0.5</a> </p>
More Functionality for the Web UI
Recently, a web UI for VS Code was announced (Visual Studio Online) and is currently available in public preview. For those familiar with the technology behind VS Code (and Azure Data Studio), it isn’t terribly surprising that Microsoft bringing electron apps into the browser.
One of the benefits of open source projects is that you can look for hints in the code to general intention. When I read that the v1.40 update to VS Code includes extension access to the UI type – it tells me that we are fast entering a time of being able to create extensions for both the desktop and web interfaces. The advent of the web interface will create both challenges and opportunities for extension development.
On top of this – this API (vscode.env.uiKind) was added in preview the previous month, in VS Code v1.39. https://code.visualstudio.com/updates/v1_40#_vscodeenvuikind This rapid rate of adoption leads me to speculate that we are going to see interesting data platform tools in the browser from (either or both) VS Code and Azure Data Studio in 2020 – exciting!
Now We Wait
The Azure Data Studio team has done an excellent job keeping us on a recent version of VS Code under the hood – so I wouldn’t be surprised to see these improvements soon. If you’re feeling antsy, check out the VS Code Online experience or check out the recent Azure Data Studio release notes. Feel free to grab the updated HCQ theme for Azure Data Studio, too.