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Over the past year, the Visual Studio for Mac team updated the editors within the IDE to be faster, more fluent and more productive. We did this by building a macOS-native editor interface on top of the same editor backend as Visual Studio on Windows. In version 8.1 we introduced the new C# editor. This was followed by the new XAML editor in 8.2. And most recently, we updated our web languages to utilize the new editors in version 8.3, completing the process we set out to do a year ago. To celebrate this accomplishment, I wanted to share a bit of detail regarding the design and implementation of the new editors along with my five favorite new features in the Visual Studio for Mac code editors.
At the core of the updated editors within Visual Studio for Mac is the shared language service with Visual Studio on Windows. What this means is that the same backend that powers the Windows version of Visual Studio now powers the macOS version as well. This includes IntelliSense, Roslyn, text logic, and all the language services behind the scenes. The only portion not shared between Windows and macOS is the UI layer, which stays native for each platform. In the case of macOS, that means using macOS frameworks like Cocoa and CoreText to power the UI experience. By using a native UI, while also being able to utilize support for native input methods as well as support for right-to-left languages, font ligatures and other advanced graphical features.