Microsoft just has announced that they’re  aggressively working on “Visual Studio Live Share”, a new Editor which shall enable developers using Visual Studio 2017 or Visual Studio Code to collaborate in real-time! You can learn more about Live Share and the upcoming limited private preview here.

What is Live Share?

Live Share will enable your team to quickly collaborate on the same codebase without the need to synchronize code or to configure the same development tools, settings, or environment.

Co-Editing is new form of collaboration

When it comes to Live Share, the main motto is seeing is believing. When you share a collaborative session, your teammate sees the context of the workspace in their editor. This means your teammate can read the code you shared without having to clone a repo or install any dependencies your code relies on. They can use rich language features to navigate within the code; not only just opening other files as text but using semantic analysis-based navigation like Go to Definition or Peek.

When your teammate edits a file, they can get different code editor features like IntelliSense, statement completion, and suggestions. Each of you can open files, navigate, edit code, highlight, or refactor – and changes are instantly reflected. As you edit you can see your teammate’s cursor, jump to the location of your teammate’s carat, or follow their actions.

Collaborative debugging

Collaborative debugging goes further, allowing you and your teammate to independently inspect objects using debugging features like hovers, locals and watches, the stack trace or the debug console. You are both able to set breakpoints and advance the debug cursor to step through the session.

Why Live Share is Future?

While Microsoft Teams and Slack has been working on “dynamic team collaboration into a recent form, there is lot of things we can surely do to make it easier in a software- development team. The earlier form like Screen-sharing or accessing a machine remotely using Team Viewer or VNC system means that only one person is in control while the other can only observe. Chatting, email, or other tools are great for basic messages but collaborating on a body of code often requires more than a code snippet or a single file to share the necessary context. Additionally, the validity of edits can be impacted by multiple files in the workspace. If you want to replicate your teammate’s environment, it just takes a lot of time to get everything set up.

Live Share will allow you to share the context of the code, so you can get instant, bidirectional collaboration approach while writing your code. Each of you can use a tool that you’ve personalized so you’re the most productive development  you can be. You can independently investigate an issue without stepping on each other, no need to hand-off control or deal with latency. Collaborate with shared focus only when you want to.

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