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Fun cross-platform stuff from Microsoft Connect 2017

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:06 pm

I get the feeling I'm one of a very few people around here working in Windows and Microsfot tech exclusively, and almost certainly I'm the only one who cares about what's coming for Xamarin, but some of this stuff is exciting.

There's a ton of new tech to get one vendor's crap running on another vendor's crap. Just what everybody didn't ask for: you can now embed C# libraries in your various Xamarin-targetted platform apps. I'm not going to use this, but I'm sure somebody wanted it. Weird that you have to use Objective-C on Apple platforms. There's no support for Swift yet. Xamarin Native Forms is another example of weird cross-seeding, but in this case it's adding Xamarin Forms to Xamarin native implementations in places where it makes sense.

Something I'll actually use is the Xamarin Player. Live previews of XAML-based layouts in the Android Emulator and iOS Simulator. I know I'm tired of building and logging into an app just to find out that, nope, I screwed up the layout again. I'm moving as much as I can into XAML as it is, so this will help. The most important thing is the promised speed improvements, though. It's a bad experience on Android to open an app and get a white screen for ~5 seconds before ANY actual work begins. The app has a splash screen but the tell-tale "I'm loading all the DLLs" white screen has to show up first.

It'll also be nice to try out the Xamarin Forms preview that (if I'm reading it right) will finally bring feature parity between Xamarin Forms and WPF/UWP. There are things you can do in UWP or native iOS and Android that you just can't do in Forms (radio groups are a great example) and it would be nice to ditch custom renderers because my custom renderers invariably don't look as good as the stock stuff or even XLabs.Forms.

I still have high hopes of turning the "started out as a prototype that gained too much steam to start over" Xamarin Forms app I've built into native implementations on both platforms with all the business logic in the PCL but that's a long ways off. :o

edit: wrong conference in teh title.
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