Welcome to the Sands of MAUI—newsletter-style issues dedicated to bringing together latest .NET MAUI content relevant to developers.
A particle of sand—tiny and innocuous. But put a lot of sand particles together and we have something big—a force to reckon with. It is the smallest grains of sand that often add up to form massive beaches, dunes and deserts.
Most .NET developers are excited with .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI)—the evolution of modern .NET cross-platform developer experience. Going forward, developers will be empowered with .NET MAUI technology stack and tooling to build native cross-platform apps for mobile/desktop from single shared codebase.
While it may take a long flight to reach the sands of MAUI island, developer excitement around .NET MAUI is quite palpable with all the created content. Like the grains of sand, every piece of news/article/documentation/video/tutorial/livestream contributes towards developer knowledge in .NET MAUI and we grow a community/ecosystem willing to learn and help.
Sands of MAUI is a humble attempt to collect all the .NET MAUI awesomeness in one place. Here's what is noteworthy for the week of August 7, 2023:
The next milestone in the evolution of .NET is coming up soon—.NET 8 has been cooking and is scheduled to hit prime time in November 2023. What's a beloved product launch without a big developer event? The much-awaited .NET Conf is back—a free, three-day virtual developer event that celebrates the release of .NET 8.
Co-organized by the .NET community and Microsoft, .NET Conf has been an annual tradition for the past 12 years and Mehul Harry wrote up the exciting announcement—.NET Conf 2023 is happening November 14-16.
Alongside .NET 8 hitting GA in November, .NET Conf 2023 would be the gateway to exploring the latest advancements in the world of .NET. There is a lot of goodness packed into .NET 8 and the release themes showcase the excitement—Cloud Native, Blazor Full Stack, .NET MAUI and intelligent apps with AI.
Developers can expect a lot from .NET Conf—80+ diverse array of live sessions, a 24-hour live broadcast, a live Q&A, prizes, digital swag and more. There will be big announcements and deep dive sessions by speakers from both the .NET community and Microsoft’s .NET team—there is an open call for content.
.NET Conf 2023 promises to be a lot of fun and the next big thing for .NET—plenty to look forward for developers.
.NET MAUI is the evolution of cross-platform .NET development stack reaching mobile/desktop form factors from shared codebase. While the foundational pieces are there, developers may often gawk at complex UI needs of modern mobile/desktop apps and think, "How do I build that?" Thankfully, Viktoria Grozdancheva is here with an article for some UI inspiration—creating a real-life sales dashboard with .NET MAUI from scratch.
Modern busy apps often demand dashboards—a ton of information neatly organized and presented visually to help see trends in data. Telerik UI for .NET MAUI wants to help .NET MAUI developers be more productive—an extensive suite of performance-tuned UI components that work seamlessly across mobile and desktop.
Viktoria starts the journey of building a real sales dashboard UI in .NET MAUI from scratch using fantastic five UI components—DataGrid, Chart, ComboBox, ProgressBar and TabView. Like most dashboards demand, there are sections for overview, detailed information and statistics—the right Telerik UI augments the developer experience with polished UI that is easy to data bind.
While Grids and Charts bring the wow factor to dashboards, Viktoria also shows off how to adapt the layout for various form factors—busy dashboards should present varying UX on mobile vs desktop.
Viktoria provides the source code for the entire sales dashboard—the next time our .NET MAUI apps needs a dashboard, inspiration is around the corner.
Modern mobile/desktop app developers know user expectations are high when it comes to performance—every second counts, particularly with app loading times. With .NET MAUI, developers have a framework for cross-platform native apps from a shared codebase, but UI abstractions for each platform often invite performance penalties.
Thankfully, building visual trees with XAML is nothing new and the parsing/rendering techniques have been fine-tuned for long. Trust Leomaris Reyes to come out with a hard-hitting article to fine tune the performance of .NET MAUI apps—XAML Compilation in .NET MAUI.
There are some key ingredients to understanding XAML Compilation in .NET MAUI—exploring the how, the benefits and how to turn compilation on/off.
XAML markup in .NET MAUI can be compiled directly into Intermediate Language (IL) with the XAML compiler (XAMLC)—this has obvious performance/app size benefits. Leomaris is quick to point out that XAML compilation is enabled by default in .NET MAUI, but app behavior depends on configuration—debug mode receives XAML compile-time validation, while release mode adds on the conversion of XAML to IL for fine-tuned performance.
Leomaris then dives into the XamlCompilationAttribute—the all-important class that controls the XAML compilation behavior at compile or runtime. XAML compilation can be turned on/off at app or page level—developers should reap compile time conveniences while balancing performance for apps ready to deployed to devices.
Based on an idea originally started for Xamarin by Steven Thewissen, MAUI UI July was a month-long community-driven event where anyone got to share their enthusiasm and passion for .NET MAUI. Run by Matt Goldman, MAUI UI July this year saw some fabulous community contributions—good UI is always inspiring.
Héctor starts the journey with an empty .NET MAUI app and a coffee shop app design in Dribble. Every detail matters in creating exquisite UX—like curved borders, overlapping content, soothing colors with contrast and solid imagery.
Héctor begins by defining a standard color palette for the screen and arranging content in a grid with well defined layouts—rows are a great way to organize app UI. Margins, Borders and CornerRadius properties are wonderful ways to elevate app UI and make content look modern—everything is built into .NET MAUI with full developer control of the XAML visual tree.
Custom icons and fonts can add further zing—Héctor recreates a pixel-perfect gorgeous coffee shop UI with .NET MAUI in baby steps.
Next time we see a coffee place with a fancy app, let's remember it's all doable and there is no dearth of UI inspiration—thanks Héctor.
There is big news for developers in EU—the premier developer conference in Eastern Europe is happening again this fall. Welcome to DevReach 2023, happening October 25-26 in beautiful Sofia, Bulgaria.
DevReach is going big this year—two days of awesome content, 30+ in-person sessions from world-renowned speakers, interactive livestreams, merch and swag, attendee party and more.
While there will be engaging .NET content from folks like Scott Hunter, Richard Campbell, Layla Porter, Chris Sainty, Irina Scurtu and Ed Charbeneau, .NET MAUI will shine bright pulling in big guns like David Ortinau, Maddy Montaquila and Gerald Versluis.
DevReach is delighted to be back in-person at the Sofia Event Center—a modern, tech-savvy event space for immersive experiences and central access to everything else in the city.
We can't wait to host you at DevReach in Sofia this October—come join for loads of learning and fun.
That's it for now.
We'll see you next week with more awesome content relevant to .NET MAUI.
Sam Basu is a technologist, author, speaker, Microsoft MVP, gadget-lover and Progress Developer Advocate for Telerik products. With a long developer background, he now spends much of his time advocating modern web/mobile/cloud development platforms on Microsoft/Telerik technology stacks. His spare times call for travel, fast cars, cricket and culinary adventures with the family. You can find him on the internet.
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