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Blazor Update: 'The End of the Experiment Is in Sight'

Are you ready for Blazor, for real? It's coming soon. It even has an icon.

Daniel Roth and Steve Sanderson of Microsoft's Blazor development team provided an update on the long-awaited, experimental project that boosts .NET development for the Web, stating "the end of the experiment is in sight."

The duo revealed the imminent release of the first Blazor preview during an ASP.NET Community Standup hosted by Jon Galloway of the .NET Foundation, posted to YouTube on Tuesday.

The Blazor project uses the experimental WebAssembly project to provide a low-level assembly-like language that higher-order languages can compile to for better performance. Or, as resident Blazor expert Chris Sainty explained: "The goal is to provide a single-page application (SPA)-style framework that allows developers to write C# and Razor code and have it run in the browser via WebAssembly."

The news that we should expect the first Blazor preview soon came as Roth explained a name change: The project will just be referred to as Blazor going forward, rather than the confusing scheme that dubbed server-side Blazor as "Razor Components" and the more problematic client side of the project (not quite ready for prime time) as "Blazor."

"Sorry. I'm sorry everyone. It was with good intentions but very few people can figure out when do you refer to Razor Components and when do you refer to Blazor, so we've decided to, you know, revert ... on that one. Let's go back and just start calling everything Blazor," Roth said.

"Now there is one thing that also made that decision a lot easier, which is: The end of the experiment is in sight," Roth continued. "That Blazor as just an experiment, something that we're playing around with, is pretty much done. I'm not gonna say this is the official announcement right now, but I think we're about ready -- about ready to ship our first official Blazor preview release, something that is on an actual roadmap to ship as a support product.

"And by Blazor in this context I mean Blazor on WebAssembly -- .NET in the browser running on WebAssembly -- that we are really close to doing that. So that also made the decision easier to say, 'okay Blazor's a thing, let's just call it Blazor across the board.' There's Blazor on the server and Blazor on the client."

With that name change, the Visual Studio project template formerly called Razor Components is now "Blazor (server-side)" in the latest release (though that change might not be reflected immediately everywhere as different components get updated).

The big news, though, was that Blazor now has its own icon -- the surest sign yet that Blazor is "a thing" now.

The New Blazor Icon (though shown with the old
[Click on image for larger view.] The New Blazor Icon (though shown with the old "Razor Components" name) (source: .NET Foundation).

"Did you notice the cool icon?" Roth asked. "You see it?"

"People did and they loved it," said Galloway, referring to the online audience making comments during the presentation.

"What do you people think?" Roth asked. "So I don't know exactly, it's an @ sign in there ... you know when you write Razor code you use the @ sign. So it's an @ with a purple flame ... so yeah it's pretty, it's pretty hot ... uhhh, literally." The audience did indeed like the new icon, with one viewer calling it "iconic."

A spiffy icon well received by the community could help ensure Blazor's success, as .NET coders are notoriously picky about their tooling graphics (see "Facing Developer Anger, Microsoft Reverses VS Code Icon Color Change").

With the important details out of the way, the presentation went on to explain how Blazor works in its latest iteration and other ASP.NET stuff, including an update on Razor tooling in Visual Studio Code editor.

It closed with a reiteration of the imminent Blazor preview release. When asked by Galloway what's next, Roth said: "Yes the release should be hopefully any day ... very, very soon there should be a preview for .NET Core 3.0 along with a Blazor update ... a Blazor on WebAssembly update."

Upcoming work on the project includes: support for static assets in component class libraries; support for ahead-of-time compilation for WebAssembly (in conjunction with the Mono team); authentication and authorization; client-side debugging; and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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