Every year, Microsoft organises Build conference, where the company reveals its current direction in terms of software development tools. This year, the conference was mainly about artificial intelligence.
One of the noteworthy tool that will aid developers in writing better code is IntelliCode, which, at the moment, is only available as a preview and only exists as an experimental extension for Visual Studio. Just like IntelliSense that every .NET developer is familiar with, IntelliCode provides autocomplete suggestions as the code is being typed. However, it does much more than that.
IntelliSense will tell you what methods or properties an object has and which ones of them have names that match the textual pattern that has been typed. It can also reveal additional information about objects and their properties, such as documentation comments. In certain languages, such as F#, IntelliSense has additional options of matching textual patterns of the values in the data and allowing you to quickly navigate to definitions of referred objects. There are couple of other things IntelliSense can do, but its capabilities are limited.
IntelliCode, on the other hand, will order the autocomplete suggestions based on the options that are most relevant in a given context. As you carry on using it, it learns about those. Therefore, the tool gradually gets better at making the suggestions. As well as this, IntelliCode will detect if common best practices are not followed in your code structure and if your code may produce potential bugs that are difficult to detect. In both of those situations, it will help you to resolve the issues.
ML.NET is another exciting tool that was presented at the Build conference. This is a set of cross-platform machine learning tools that were originally developed for company's own artificial intelligence research. It comes with a set of features common to many .NET technologies, such as full integration with Visual Studio and the ability to scale out the software in Azure.
Of course, artificial intelligence was not the only theme discussed at the conference. The major improvements to F# language and the ability to run compiled .NET code directly in browsers via Blazor were met with a great excitement from the developers.
Microsoft, which once has been a company that people used because they had to rather than because they wanted to, is now, once again, becoming a company that software developers are enthusiastic about. By making most of its core technologies open-source and allowing the community to participate in their development, as well as by focusing on hot technical trends, the company has earned the respect it desperately craved.
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Published by Mobile Tech Tracker
Posted on 19 May 2018