.NET MAUI 'Slips the Schedule,' Won't Ship with .NET 6 in November
Microsoft said its .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) framework for client app development wont ship with .NET 6 in November as planned, but rather sometime in the second quarter of next year.
.NET MAUI is the evolution of Xamarin.Forms, differentiated mainly by the new capability to create native Windows and macOS desktop apps as well as traditional iOS and Android mobile apps targeted by Xamarin.
The dev team has been studiously working on .NET MAUI, replacing Xmarin toolkits with .NET MAUI alternatives in July, revamping the layouts in August and previewing the .NET MAUI Community Toolit in September as Xamarin.Forms sinks into the sunset.
However, that wasn't enough to make the .NET 6 shipping deadline in November.
"Unfortunately, .NET MAUI will not be ready for production with .NET 6 GA in November," said Scott Hunter, director program management, .NET, in a Sept. 14 blog post. "We want to provide the best experience, performance, and quality on day 1 to our users and to do that, we need to slip the schedule. We are now targeting early Q2 of 2022 for .NET MAUI GA."
The roadmap now shows three more previews after this week's Preview 8 release, which is detailed in the announcment, followed by a Release Candidate in Q1 2022 before GA the following quarter.
Hunter's post garnered an unusually high number of comments -- 54 and counting as this is being written -- but several developers were supportive, saying it's better to have a late release than a buggy release, though one commenter predicted it wouldn't be ready for at least two years.
The delay means that support for Xamarin.Forms, scheduled to end in November 2022, is likely to be extended to provide time for migration to .NET 6, Microsoft indidcated in the comments section of the announcement.
Hunter also discussed the brand-new Preview 8: "The September preview of .NET MAUI completes some important Visual Studio integrations, namely installing .NET MAUI as a workload in the Visual Studio 2022 installer, and folding the Windows platform inside our single, multi-targeted project," he said. "With Visual Studio 2022 Preview 4 you can now use broader Hot Reload support with C# and XAML, and the new XAML Live Preview panel for a productive, focused development environment. Within the .NET MAUI SDK itself, preview 8 includes updates to the app startup pattern, the ability to extend a handler, and miscellaneous other new control capabilities as we close on feature completeness."
You can read more about Visual Studio 2022 Preview 4 and broader Hot Reload reach here and .NET 6 RC 1 here.
.NET MAUI SDK updates include a change in how the the .NET Host Builder pattern is implemented, which requires existing apps to be migrated. Other changes, fixes and updates are also detailed, including making Android 12 (API 31) the default version for .NET 6 applications building for Android. Using Android 12 will now require that JDK 11 be installed manually.
Things to be worked on for Preview 9 next month, meanwhile, include:
- Bug fixes
- Borders, Corners, Shadows
- Essentials/Forms API reconciliation
- Font improvements
- Image source - service for loading images, iOS caching, GIF fixes, handler refactoring
- Layouts - AndExpand refactoring
- Port remaining handlers (Status)
More information can be found in the status wiki, part of which shows a feature comparison between the Android, iOS/Mac Catalyst and Windows efforts, as depicted in the graphic above. In the graphic, the ✅ symbol means Done, ⏳ means Underway and ⚠️ means Pending.
David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.