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Visual Studio for Mac Now Fully Supports Xamarin.Forms Development with .NET Standard

It's goodbye to Portable Class Library projects and hello to .NET Standard Library projects for Xamarin.Forms development in the new Visual Studio for Mac version 7.5 Preview 1.

.NET Standard formally specifies .NET APIs that should be available on all .NET implementations in order to ensure greater uniformity across the .NET ecosystem.

Formerly, cross-platform development was accomplished via Portable Class Library (PCL) projects, which have been subsumed by .NET Standard. Xamarin's documentation says of .NET Standard: "You can think of it as a simplified, next generation of Portable Class Library. It is a single library with a uniform API for all .NET Platforms including .NET Core. You just create a single .NET Standard Library and use it from any runtime that supports .NET Standard Platform."

In the first VS for Mac 7.5 preview -- an IDE for developers on macOS who are building mobile, Web and cloud apps -- .NET Standard officially replaces PCLs.

"Mobile developers will be happy to see that .NET Standard Library projects are now a fully supported option for sharing code between platforms when building Xamarin.Forms solutions," Xamarin chief Miguel de Icaza said in a blog post today (March 21). "This release brings numerous bug fixes to improve the .NET Standard developer experience (see the release notes) and we've updated the Xamarin.Forms project templates to all use these library projects by default, instead of Portable Class Library projects."

Other highlights cited by de Icaza include:

  • Adding new editor support for Razor, JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Improving Azure Functions development with support for the .NET Core Preview SDK and with the introduction of new Azure Functions templates.
  • Adding support for the latest releases of .NET Core and C#, with .NET Core 2.1 Preview and C# version 7.2.
  • Continuing to improve IDE performance and stability.

Regarding the latter, de Icaza said "We continue our push to improve performance and reliability in the IDE. This release focuses on improving IDE startup time, which has decreased by as much as 50 percent for some users. We're also fixing top issues and crashes as they come into the Developer Community site -- please keep the feedback coming!"

That feedback can be sumbitted on the Developer Community site.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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