What's On Tap for .NET 8 (Preview 1 Coming this Month)

The first preview of .NET 8 is coming in a couple of weeks or so said Microsoft's David Ortinau during a livestreamed tech event held in Stockholm.

The news came in a .NET MAUI presentation at .NET Frontend Day, a livestreamed event that is available on YouTube.

But, perhaps it wasn't supposed to.

"We will start previewing .NET 8 in a few hours, not too long from now," Ortinau said. "Actually, it'll be two weeks, I think, from now-ish. That's not public information, except for the part that I just announced it on our livestream. But I didn't give you a date. So really, it's still pretty vague. We're good."

[Click on image for larger view.] David Ortinau (source: YouTube).

What isn't vague is the release date of .NET 8, which will ship during the .NET Conf 2023 event about Nov. 10. In fact, the .NET GitHub repo shows that .NET 8 dev work is 44 percent complete, with all work due by Nov. 10. The repo shows 1,952 open issues and 1,594 closed issues at the time of this writing.

There's work to be done for the subject of Ortinau's presentation, .NET MAUI, for example, with open items ranging from "Very Poor ImageSharp Performance in MAUI Android" to "MAUI iOS sample app size regression compared to .NET7." There's also a feature request to Support Blazor Hybrid on Linux/Ubuntu."

Along with .NET MAUI, the Blazor project was a focus of today's .NET Frontend Day. The GitHub repo shows a whopping 34 issues mentioning Blazor (.NET MAUI had only five), ranging from "Blazorwasm : deployment with aot compilation and with out aot compilation" to "Blazor WebAssembly crashes on mobile devices with low RAM" to "The size of dotnet.wasm(Blazor AOT) is big and it causes the performance issues."

While the GitHub repo shows the nitty-gritty, granular details the dev team is working on, a more high-level view is provided on Microsoft's Themes of .NET site, which includes kind of a roadmap for .NET 8. There, you can see that "Native AOT in .NET 8" is 17 percent done, while "Host work in .NET 8" is 20 percent done.

Much more on Blazor is provided in the ASP.NET Core Roadmap for .NET 8, which shows 23 open issues, ranging from "Real multithreading (on supported browsers)" to "Ability to run multiple Blazor server / Web assembly apps in the same document."

The latter is interesting because it's associated with other similar issues:

  • Mixing Blazor WebAssembly and Blazor Server Pages in same application #37131
  • Blazor: Combine server and client to get the best of two worlds #35358
  • Consider a React Server Components-like Blazor hybrid #29577

And from all that came a hot new project from Steve Sanderson called Blazor United, which was unveiled in a January YouTube video as a prototype project that was soon moved to the GitHub process. (See the Visual Studio Magazine articles "Steve Sanderson Wows Web-Devs with Peek at 'Blazor United' for .NET 8."and "ASP.NET Core Dev Team Launches 'Blazor United' Push for .NET 8.")

Steve Sanderson
[Click on image for larger view.] Steve Sanderson (source: YouTube).

Sanderson explained his latest pet project: "We've started some experiments to combine the advantages of Razor Pages, Blazor Server and Blazor WebAssembly all into one thing, so this would be a way for Blazor components to be a single architecture for all your web UI scenarios -- that's for plain HTML rendering and for full interactivity either server-side or on WebAssembly -- and that's all in one project with the ability to easily switch between different rendering modes and even mix them in the same page."

So now, the ASP.NET Core roadmap contains a Blazor United section, currently with 10 issues ranging from rendering server and WebAssembly components into a page to a "Unified project system," which is currently empty but sounds wicked interesting.

Unfortunately, Blazor United didn't seem to have much of a presence at today's Stockholm event. This reporter didn't suffer through the entire eight-hour video but did find one semi-mention of Blazor United in a presentation from Progress employee Sam Basu, who spoke about "Native Apps with Blazor." There may well have been more.

Sam Basu
[Click on image for larger view.] Sam Basu (source: YouTube).

For his part, Basu said: "And going forward with .NET and Blazor, you may have seen the team working on some things, they are trying to unify these models a little bit more. So if you wanted to, you could start off server side -- so quicker loading times. But then as your app loads and works more and more, it can ship more things to the client side. And then it starts working more in WebAssembly. So good things coming with Blazor."

Besides Sanderson's January video, Microsoft has been mum on Blazor United, and there is still very little known about the high-level scheme or nuts-and-bolts details or what will happen to Razor Pages and MVC and so on.

So stay tuned for .NET Preview 1, which likely will tell us more about Blazor United and other goodies coming up in .NET 8.

Look for that preview Feb. 24 ... -ish.

(By the way, during the time this article was being written, the .NET 8 development has progressed, as the GitHub page refreshed to show 1,951 issues open and 1,595 closed, with yet one more issue checked off, making the work 45 percent complete -- the team is hard at work.)

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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