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 looking forward to .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI)—the evolution of Xamarin.Forms with .NET 6. Going forward, developers should have much more confidence in the technology stack and tools as .NET MAUI empowers native cross-platform solutions on mobile and desktop.
While it is a long flight until we reach the sands of MAUI, developer excitement is palpable in all the news/content as we tinker and prepare for .NET MAUI. Like the grains of sand, every piece of news/article/video/tutorial/stream contributes towards developer knowledge 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 December 6, 2021:
.NET Conf 2021 was a massive success—great .NET content from Microsoft folks and speakers from all around the world. One of the key demo apps during the .NET Conf keynotes was a modern .NET Podcast app—a showcase of .NET MAUI and Blazor working together on top of .NET 6.
James Montemagno wrote up a .NET Conf Recap post pointing to some wonderful session recordings and behold—the .NET Podcast app now open sourced. This took some coordination and is a great showcase of a full-featured .NET MAUI app with Blazor and Azure Container Apps goodness baked in—a nicely architected codebase for developers to explore.
Maddy Montaquila and David Ortinau hosted the latest .NET MAUI Community Standup with an epic beginning and with special guest THE Jonathan Dick. On the cards was pointers to .NET Conf goodness around .NET MAUI/Blazor/C# and recapping exciting community blog updates.
David and Jon dug deep into Xamarin.Forms—the present reality that isn't shabby at all with latest service release and lots of community PRs. Next up was what we're all waiting on to close out the year strong—the next .NET MAUI release, aka Preview 11, due out soon. There is much to be excited about—Multi-Window support, Layout improvements, new controls/Handlers and performance tuning.
The next wave of tooling update riding out with Visual Studio 17.2 is scheduled to bring in Visual Diagnostics—a web DOM like view/selection of UI elements within a running .NET MAUI app and changing properties on the fly. David and Jon also did a lot of honest Q/A—the future looks productive for .NET MAUI developers.
Both Xamarin.Forms and .NET MAUI provide abstraction over native UI across platforms—developers get to write C#/XAML that gets rendered as native controls on each respective platform. What if you wanted to customize the look and feel or some behavior of the native UI, perhaps on a per platform basis? This is where the evolution to .NET MAUI really makes a difference.
In Xamarin.Forms, one would have to write custom Effects or worst case, a whole custom renderer overriding a native platform implementation—this was not for the faint-hearted.
.NET MAUI makes native UI customizations easy with the new Handler architecture, which provides hooks to tap into native control behavior. Gerald Versluis produced a video on customizing .NET MAUI controls with Handlers and Mappers—an encore after some APIs changed with latest .NET MAUI Previews.
Gerald talks through how to override the Handler implementations through specific Mappers, with PrependToMapper, ModifyMapper or AppendToMapper methods—thus providing developers full flexibility as to how/when to customize control behavior.
For modern frontend apps written with Angular/React/other SPA frameworks, PWA and Electron present two lucrative ways to bring the goodness over to desktop audiences. However, Blazor gets to use the BlazorWebView on top of .NET MAUI—and shouldn't a WebView component be able to render any web content?
A curious developer tried just that—would it be possible to render a fully compiled Angular web app inside a .NET MAUI app through the BlazorWebView? Do a full build of an Angular app and you essentially get HTML, JS and CSS—BlazorWebView does not care and is happy to render.
Been hearing the buzz about .NET MAUI Community Toolkit but haven't given it a spin yet? Brandon Minnick produced a short video from .NET Conf giving you the essential rundown of .NET MAUI Community Toolkit and how to get started using it.
.NET MAUI Community Toolkit is an open source toolkit meant to augment the .NET MAUI developer experience with Extensions, Behaviors, Converters, UI Elements and more—nothing stopping you from being more productive.
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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