[ANN] Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 RC

Dino Viehland dinov at microsoft.com
Thu Jan 26 18:17:43 CET 2012

We're pleased to announce the release of Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 RC. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) is an open-source plug-in for Visual Studio which supports programming with the Python programming language. This release includes new core IDE features, a couple of new sample libraries for interacting with Kinect and Excel, and many bug fixes for issues reported since the release of 1.0. The 1.1 release altogether contains over 150 bug fixes and new features since 1.0.

For the core IDE features we've added many new features which improve the basic editing experience. This includes a smart tag feature for automatically adding imports, a command for cleaning up unused imports, support for recognizing isinstance() calls and using them for providing improved completions. We've also updated goto definition to go to members defined in the standard library.

We've also made several improvements to the project system. Some improvements which should help just about everyone include support for linked files that live outside of the project directory. This makes it easy to keep your project file separate from your code files. For IronPython users you can now add references to .NET projects or .NET assemblies and we'll automatically reload and re-analyze the references when they're rebuilt. For CPython users you can now add a reference to a .pyd extension module and we'll analyze the extension module and provide completions. We've also improved intellisense across multiple Python projects in the same solution.

This release also includes some improvements to the interactive REPL window. This includes improvements to IPython REPL support including support for inline graphs and proper support for IPython's numbered prompts. We've added support for using IPython mode w/o PyLab - this enables out-of-line graphs and improves the startup time of the interactive window.

The debugger has also seen several small improvements in this release. There's a new option to step into the Python standard library while debugging, another option to not break on SystemExit exception with exit codes of zero. Finally we've added support for displaying Python thread name in the threads window. We've also improved the Debug->Attach support and made it easier to attach to a process which is not actively running Python code.

Another major addition to 1.1 includes the addition of two additional sample libraries available as separate downloads: PyKinect for working with the Kinect Beta SDK and Pyvot for working with Excel spreadsheets. Once downloaded and installed these plug-in to Visual Studio and provide templates; and they provide built-in support for installing into one of the recognized Python interpreters via Tools->Python Tools->Samples.

The PyKinect sample is a wrapper around the Kinect SDK and enables development with the Kinect SDK directly from Python. The sample includes a new template for quickly getting started creating games using PyGame with PyKinect. PyKinect is licensed under a license similar to the existing Kinect SDK.

Pyvot (pronounced Pivot) connects familiar data-exploration and visualization tools in Excel with the powerful data analysis and transformation capabilities of Python, with an emphasis on tabular data. It provides a simple and Pythonic interface to Excel, smoothing over the pain points in using the existing Excel object model as exposed via COM.

We'd like to thank all of the users who took the time to report issues and feedback for this release: 445363200, adv12, Andrew, AphexSA, benpmorgan, chadbr, dgkbny, drgn, holmboe, hyh, jimpeak, juanalumni, kingnaoufal, lblanchon, liuzhenhai, mahpour, MichaelBaker, po6856, pztrick44, RobertMcGinley, salerio, slide_o_mix, somini, SoonStudios, stakemura, stephenkennedy, sumitbasu, swift_dev, synergetic, teebot, tiphon, timeisaparallax, tonyandrewmeyer, xavier_grundus, and Zooba.

The Python Tools for Visual Studio Team

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