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Visual Assist 2024.3 release post

Another Visual Assist update?! VA 2024.3 is headlined by a dramatic improvement to the performance of Find References. This release also features both a fix and an improvement related to Move Implementation. We also have some key features exiting their beta phase (try them out!). Lastly, performance for C# should be better than ever with key fixes rolling out in this release.

Download the release now from our website.

Better find references results in multiple faster features

If you’ve updated to at least Visual Assist 2024.1, you may have been enjoying the benefits of the significantly improved parser performance that cut initial parsing time fifteenfold. In this release, we’ve added something even bigger: performance improvements not at startup, but all the time

Find references, the feature that looks for symbol usage within the current project or solution, has been greatly improved for performance and speed. But the Find References engine is used for many other common and key features in Visual Assist! Renaming finds references in order to rename them; implement methods finds methods in order to know which ones do and do not exist; and so forth. That means that this performance improvement applies to many key features and navigations; Rename, Change Signature, Implement Methods and more.

Visual Assist’s Find references window. Takes significantly less time to find all references in 2024.3.

Test Results

The development team ran a few tests to compare the performance of find references between the new Visual Assist version versus an older version of the same plugin. Furthermore, they also tested it against the performance of Visual Studio’s default Find References. 

The test was done on Unreal Engine 5.3 source code using Lyra game examples with two symbols: TOptional and MakeBox as the basis for which references are to be searched. The test was done using Visual Studio 2022 17.8 and Visual Assist 2024.3 & 2024.2. Time was measured from the start of Find References to all references found.

The result of the tests are as follows:

Setup 1 – TOptional:

Run 1Run 2Run 3Average
Visual Assist 2024.35:114:254:174:37
Visual Assist 2024.214:2718:0213:1215:13
Visual Studio 202238:26**38:26
Setup Specs:AMD Ryzen 7, 7800X3D processor, Team T-Force Delta 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM, Crucial T700 Gen5 NVME M.2 SSD
* Test timeout. 


Setup 2 – MakeBox:

Run 1Run 2Run 3Average
Visual Assist 2024.30:420:450:430:43
Visual Assist 2024.21:411:401:341:38
Visual Studio 20222:342:222:272:27
Setup Specs:AMD Ryzen 7, 7800X3D processor, Team T-Force Delta 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM, Crucial T700 Gen5 NVME M.2 SSD

As one can surmise from the results, the latest update brings Visual Assist’s symbol finding performance well above that of default Visual Studio’s and other similar plugins. Further testing on other platforms will be undertaken. Please refer back to this page later for more testing.

Exiting Beta: CUDA core development support & Move Class feature

Two VA features enter their stable phase and are now on general availability. If you have not tried these yet, we highly recommend trying them out as it provides a lot of usefulness that might not be readily apparent.

  • CUDA support
    First added in 2023.4, CUDA support allowed Visual Assist to recognize CUDA files and parse and highlight them like regular C/C++ files. This feature now enters full supported status and you can reliably use Intellisense-like features for CUDA files.
  • Move Class feature
    Refactoring and moving entire classes can sometimes be a hassle. This feature moves from beta to supported status and allows you to easily choose an entire class and port it over to file/s of your choosing.

Create File: specify a directory + auto implementation.

This is a tiny but useful quality of life change for creating files. Prior to this change, Visual Assist would sometimes display a failure error and ask you if you wanted to Create File or to stop if a target was not found. Now, it runs create file automatically and you can hit Cancel instead.

Furthermore, a bug fix for when using create file: Visual Assist will consistently move the implementation afterwards. (In the past, it sometimes failed to do so.) 

These two changes will hopefully make your experience more seamless and intuitive.

Discord link and feedback options in the Help menu

Introducing our newly opened Discord server for all Visual Assist users. We’re hoping for this hub to function like our forums wherein users can request for changes, report bugs, and share useful information and tips around the plugin.

As it’s a WIP, anyone who is interested in helping us manage and build the community is welcome to do so. Send us a message here if you’re interested.

Furthermore, we’ve added new feedback channels in one of our menus. Navigate to Help and browse new feedback options and let us know what you think!

Bug fixes and improvements

Apart from the above major fixes, we have a couple of minor bug fixes and QoL changes. The complete list is below: 

  • Fixed issue where Move Implementation would not move the implementation if a new file needed to be created.
  • Improved editor performance when editing C#.
  • Fixed Add Include issue where C headers would sometimes be added instead of their C++ counterparts.
  • Fixed issue where Move Class to New File would sometimes not be offered near macros.

Send us a message or start a thread on the user forums for bug reports or suggestions.

Visit our download page to update to the latest release manually. Happy coding!

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