What is .NET Standard and why it matters?
.NET Standard is a formal specification of .NET APIs intended to be available on all .NET runtimes. It’s the evolution of our beloved Portable Class Libraries.
It makes it easier to share code across desktop and mobile apps, games, and cloud services, by bringing identical APIs to the different platforms.
When combined, .NET Standard and Xamarin.Forms are great for maximizing the amount of code we can share across platforms, both in our business logic and our UI layer.
At UXDivers we work hard to deliver great products to our customers. .NET Standard 2.0 support in Grial was among the most requested features, so we decided to make it happen.
It looked challenging, because support for .NET standard in Xamarin.Forms was relatively new.
No pain, no gain
A few platform updates from Visual Studio, as well as some difference between Mac and Windows versions delayed the process of moving to .NET Standard.
On top of that, we had to update all Grial UI Kit nuget dependencies to their latest versions, so they would target .NET Standard. This implied testing everything again, of course.
The only package used in Grial UI Kit, which does not yet include support for .NET is Lottie Animations. However, other than giving you a compile-time warning, it works perfectly!
With the release of Grial UI Kit with .NET Standard support, we aim to deliver the same polished experience we had with PCLs from day 1, including its awesome integration with Gorilla Player.
Until now, Gorilla Player didn’t support .NET Standard projects. But, because the community was actively requesting it, we got down to it and were able to release .NET Standard support for both products at the same time. You can read more about Gorilla Player release here.
There’s just one small problem…
XAMLC in the latest Xamarin Forms stable version (184.108.40.206934) fails to process XAML code using OnPlatform or OnIdiom.
More details here:
There is no workaround for this bug, so this new Grial UI Kit version (2.6) comes with XAMLC disabled.
The good news is that the fix will be included in the next service release of Xamarin.Forms 2.5:
Grial UI Kit 2.6 is released as RC
UXDivers.Artina.Shared* nuget packages are released as fully flagged RTM targeting .NET Standard 1.0 to maximize the platforms they can run on.
Meanwhile, the Grial UI Kit demo app will be released as RC. We chose to label it as Release Candidate due to the XAMLC bug, which requires us to disable it, degrading performance, especially in Android.
As soon as Xamarin.Forms latest stable version includes a fix for XAMLC Grial 2.6 will be promoted to RTM. Note that enabling XAMLC is as easy as uncommenting a line so don’t hesitate to start using Grial UI Kit 2.6 now! :)
How do I base my app on Grial 2.6 RC?
As Grial UI Kit 2.6 is labeled RC, apps created from the Grial Admin won’t use it by default. To base your app in Grial 2.6 follow these steps:
- Open your app details page on Grial Admin
- Choose Grial Settings tab
- Uncheck the “Stick to latest stable version” checkbox
- Select version 220.127.116.11 Release Candidate
- Press “Save Changes” button
That’s all we wanted to share with you today. Don’t hesitate to try out Grial UI Kit – .NET Standard 2.0 support now and take your Xamarin.Forms apps to the next level!
Update Apr 2020: See what’s new in Grial UI Kit 3