🕓 6 MIN It has been nearly …
As we step into 2024 with the enthusiasm of someone who just found last year’s forgotten holiday presents, we wanted to take a moment to rewind the clock and appreciate the incredible journey Uno Platform had in 2023. From template wizardry to handoff magic, and our biggest launch yet with Uno 5.0, it’s been a year worth revisiting. So, join us as we rewind and unwrap the top 10 things Uno Platform brought to .NET in 2023.
In 2023, Uno Platform stayed dedicated to being the most efficient platform for developing multi-platform applications in .NET. These progressions and features enabled us to surpass the 2 million lines in our GitHub Repo and achieve over 60 million combined NuGet package downloads. Underlining our ongoing commitment to the growth and support of open-source software (OSS).
This year, the Uno Platform achieved remarkable milestones:
The crowning achievement of the year was the launch of Uno Platform 5.0, representing a major step forward from version 4. This update introduced pivotal features, including C# Markup and the innovative Figma to C# Markup plugin, significantly streamlining the design-to-development process. Improvements were not just limited to new features; in addition to an improved Hot Reload experience for C# Markup and XAML, we refined our MVUX architecture, broadening the architectural choices for .NET developers. Lastly, we’ve developed comprehensive workshops designed to help users effectively learn and utilize these tools, libraries, and patterns at a comfortable pace.
VS Code has transformed from being the last kid picked on the playground to becoming a frequently chosen favorite among its full IDE counterparts. We’ve dedicated substantial effort to enhance our VS Code extension, striving to make it the best it can be. We rolled out two significant updates throughout the year, each bringing substantial improvements. The first update introduced advancements in mobile targets and debugging. Just in time for the holidays, we recently announced another update. This update includes support for the C# dev kit, allowing you to utilize tools such as the new solution view, Test Explorer capabilities, AI-powered C# development, and more.
Uno Platform answered the call for a way to build native applications using only one language by introducing C# Markup for Uno Platform applications. C# Markup allows you to define your application’s layout and logic seamlessly in a unified language. Utilizing the same foundational object model as XAML, C# Markup offers all the equivalent functionalities, including data binding, converters, and resource access. It enables you to work with all built-in controls, custom-designed controls, and any third-party controls, all directly within C# Markup.
The community spoke up and asked for .NET MAUI Controls support to lend a hand in their Xamarin Forms migration.— We heard you and made it happen in our 4.10 release! Now, Uno developers can use .NET MAUI Embedding for third-party control libraries within an Uno Platform application. This provides access to a vast library of UI controls from top vendors and for enhanced app development. You can see a list of vendors with accompanying samples in our repo.
We know it’s easy to get bogged down in extensive planning at the onset of a project. That’s why, early in the year, we brewed up the Uno Platform Template Wizard to help streamline and reduce the complexity of initial project structures—allowing developers to focus more on actual coding and problem-solving leading to quicker project kick-off and faster development cycles.
Documentation is a cornerstone for any technology and vital to its success, which is why 2023 saw us pouring a ton of effort into making our docs better all around. This involved refining our internal processes for crafting new documentation, strengthening the content, enhancing readability, and introducing features such as Code Copy, improved search capabilities, and the addition of new tutorials. The improvement to our docs continues into the upcoming year, as we are devoted to expanding our documentation resources and implementing additional improvements and features.
Regardless of your preferred platform – PC, Mac, or Linux – or your choice of language and environment – XAML, C#, or C# Markup in Visual Studio or VS Code – Hot Reload uniformly enhances productivity across all these configurations. By enabling faster iteration on UI or code changes, Hot Reload optimizes your workflow, accelerating the inner development loop. Learn more
If you’re a developer navigating the intricacies of design files for implementation, you’ve likely told yourself there must be a better way.
Well, this year, we decided to make your life as a .NET developer easier and further simplify the design-developer handoff. With the rollout of our Figma to C# Markup plugin—a first of its kind, you can now export your Figma designs as C# code or, if you prefer, XAML for use in your Uno Platform projects. And because we believe in the productivity improvements that come with it, we didn’t stop there. We also added features like custom fonts, custom colors, and new controls like vertical TabBar, PipsPagers, and ItemsRepeater; we also introduced Hierarchical Views and a refreshed plugin UI.
As an open-source project, we understand the challenges of sustainability. In August, we launched our own GitHub Sponsorship Matching program to continue supporting the open-source community, especially within the .NET ecosystem.
As May 2024th approaches and the end of Xamarin support looms in the not-so-distant future, Your next steps hinge on the role your apps play. If an app holds critical business functions or requires ongoing updates, it’s imperative to migrate to a new framework promptly. We’ve been compiling resources and documentation for those considering Uno Platform as their migration choice. If you’re still unsure about what to do with your app, don’t just take our word for it—look at Toyota’s migration of the Xamarin Forms application to Uno Platform.
Sometimes, we forget that behind the screens are fellow developers working towards a common goal: creating quality software with a positive impact. As we close the door on 2023, we’re reminded that at the helm of this project is an incredible team, community, and supporters that continue to positively influence the overall state of Uno Platform and the .NET ecosystem.
Looking ahead to 2024, We remain committed to delivering productivity tools and a development experience that complements .NET developers. We are excited by the bold plans and exciting vision in store and can’t wait to see the beautiful apps you create with Uno Platform.
Cheers to belated celebrations and a year well spent.