Friday, 15 March 2019

Announcing: vscode-map-preview 0.4.6

A kind user alerted me to the fact that my Map Preview extension for Visual Studio Code was using APIs that have long been deprecated and could be removed any moment in a future release, breaking this extension in the process.

Although I haven't touched this code in a while (not intentional btw. One person can only tend to so many different open source projects), getting back into VSCode extension development was a very comfortable affair:

  • Update a few packages here and there. 
  • Update TypeScript. 
  • Read up on the new Webview API, which is what our extension should be using now.
  • Replace usages of vscode.previewHtml with the new Webview API.
  • Verify the extension still works
  • Get re-acquainted with how to publish VSCode extensions
And ... voila! A new version of the Map Preview extension is available for your VSCode installation to auto-update to.

In terms of changes, beyond some updates to OpenLayers and a small bug fix or two, there isn't really much to write home about, it should still be the same extension as before. This release was driven primarily by the need to move away from their old vscode.previewHtml API over to their new Webview API.

Once things have settled down on my other projects, I'd like to give this project some more attention. There's still some cool ideas I want to explore with this extension. I don't know if I still want to go down the Cesium route as previously hinted as there have been many more data viz players that have arrived on the scene since then and I also sort of do not want to detract from the original goal and purpose of this extension: An easy way to preview on a Map textual content that you are already editing or viewing in VSCode.

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