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NGD Seattle’s chief architect Harry Pierson has released preview versions of Neo Express and the Neo Smart Contract Debugger, introducing initial support for Neo3 Preview2 private network operation and preliminary contract debugging.

The addition of Neo3 Preview2 to Neo Express provides users with a quick and easy way to get started with the Neo3 blockchain. Users can quickly spin up a Neo3 Preview2 private network, create wallets, perform transactions, and deploy/invoke Neo3 smart contracts through the command line.

To enable developers to install both the production (currently Neo2 only) and preview tool releases simultaneously, the Neo Express preview release for Neo3 has been packaged separately as Neo.Express3. Commands can be accessed under a temporary tool name, nxp3.

Two commands to create and run a Neo3 private network

The insider release for the Neo3 version of the Neo Smart Contract Debugger has also been provided as a standalone VSIX file for installation in VS Code. Future versions will be distributed through the marketplace directly.

To use the Neo Smart Contract Debugger, developers must also install a forked version of the Neo3 Neon C# compiler, which has been updated to emit the debug info file used by the Debugger. Future releases of Neon with support for the debugger will be included in the official neo-devpack-dotnet repository.

As with Neo Express, this version of the compiler has also been packaged separately as Neo.Neon3, used through the tool name neon3. It should also be noted that contract debugging in the Neo3 preview release is not at parity with the Neo2 version at this time; some syscalls and features such as multi-contract testing are not currently supported.

The addition of time-travel debugging and support for Neo3 in the Visual DevTracker are expected to follow after the release of Neo3 Preview3, slated to occur in early July. According to NGD Seattle, updated versions of the Neo Debugger and Neo Express for Preview3 will also be shipped after Preview3 is published.