.NET MAUI in VS Code Goes GA

Visual Studio Code's .NET MAUI workload, which evolves the former Xamarin.Forms mobile-centric framework by adding support for creating desktop applications, has reached general availability.

Finally bringing the tool up to GA status was support for XAML IntelliSense and the recent addition of XAML Hot Reload, or the ability for a developer to make a coding change and it see it reflected instantly in a running application without needing a refresh or restart. Such functionality is common in modern development tooling, and Xamarin.Forms reportedly had it back in Visual Studio 2019.

[Click on image for larger view.] .NET MAUI (source: Microsoft).

The Hot Reload update to the VS Code tool was announced a couple weeks ago -- it still involves a configuration tweak to enable -- and the main tool shipped soon after.

'.NET MAUI XAML Productivity Boost in VS Code is HERE!!! Hot Reload & IntelliSense!!!'
[Click on image for larger view.] '.NET MAUI XAML Productivity Boost in VS Code is HERE!!! Hot Reload & IntelliSense!!!' (source: YouTube).

"Being able to edit your code without restarting your app is one of the most powerful productivity features that .NET developers have," Microsoft's dev team said in an announcement yesterday (June 12)". "With the latest release, you can now Hot Reload edits to your C# and XAML files in Visual Studio Code. XAML Hot Reload is already enabled -- simply edit your XAML while the app is running, and watch the changes automatically reflect in your UI!"

C# Hot Reload is still experimental though, so developers need to turn it on by opening VS Code Settings (CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + ,), searching "hot reload" and checking the box for "[Experimental] Enables Hot Reload while debugging."

The IntelliSense and Hot Reload functionality are mostly provided by two other mainstay Visual Studio Code extensions that supply bedrock capabilities, the primary C# tool (28.2 million installs) and the accompanying C# Dev Kit (4.3 million installs). The VS Code .NET MAUI extension has about 118,000 installs at the time of this writing.

Along with IntelliSense, which provides rudimentary AI coce-completion assistance of a sort, the dev team also made note of more advanced AI in the form of the ever-present "Copilot" moniker that's de rigueur these days.

"The Preview version of the .NET MAUI extension shipped with basic XAML syntax highlighting and completions, but it was far from the full experience we wanted to deliver," Microsoft said. "Over the past year, we've modernized the existing XAML Language Service in Visual Studio, packaged it up, and brought it over to VS Code for your .NET MAUI development. This addition, which also works with Copilot, gives you intelligent autocomplete, helpful tooltips, and seamless code navigation while you create your UIs."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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