Thoughts on Visual Studio for Mac Preview

, 3 minutes to read

Vi­sual Stu­dio for Mac is a promis­ing project, but it still needs to in­cor­po­rate sev­eral nec­es­sary func­tion­al­i­ties. The instal­la­tion is dif­fi­cult and the main ad­van­tage of the Xa­marin plat­form is still in de­vel­op­ment.

I want to shortly sum­ma­rize how dif­fer­ent is start­ing with a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment for Win­dows in com­par­i­son to iOS. First of all, with Win­dows, you can build up your own com­puter, sign up to the Win­dows In­sider pro­gram and run Win­dows 10 for free. Builds are not guar­an­teed to be sta­ble, but the trade­off is fare. You will test new OS builds and don’t have to pay a soft­ware li­cense. On the other hand, the only op­tion how to get a ma­cOS is buy­ing an Ap­ple com­puter, which is less per­for­mant, more ex­pen­sive and without a pos­si­bil­ity of a hard­ware up­grade.

When you are us­ing a Vi­sual Stu­dio, you al­ready us­ing a Vi­sual Stu­dio Team Ser­vices or your pri­vate Team Foun­da­tion Server. Plain and sim­ple you use the TFVC (Team Foun­da­tion Ver­sion Con­trol) be­cause the Git is not sup­ported in Vi­sual Stu­dio for a long time. I think you al­ready guess where I’m go­ing to. Vi­sual Stu­dio for Mac does not sup­port the TFVC yet. This means you have to cre­ate a new Team Foun­da­tion project, vote & hope & wait for sev­eral months, or do a workaround. You have to in­stall Java, then Eclipse and fi­nally Team Ex­plorer Ev­ery­where plu­gin for Eclipse. In­stalling Java is ev­ery­thing but sim­ple. I wasn’t able to in­stall an Eclipse, be­cause al­though I in­stalled the lat­est Java, I still had the 1.6.0 ver­sion and the min­i­mal re­quired is 1.7. I had to in­stall Java from a spe­cial­ized site. (By the way, why Or­a­cle is redi­rect­ing from the HTTPS pro­to­col to HTTP in this link? Does he want to make us vul­n­er­a­ble to soft­ware at­tacks?) In Eclipse, it is very sim­ple to con­nect to TFS. The lat­est de­pen­dence is the Xcode with its iOS SDK.

In the cur­rent pre­view state of the Vi­sual Stu­dio for Mac is a dis­ap­point­ment. At least TFVC should be sup­ported. Whole project will make much more sense when .NET Stan­dard 2.0 will be re­leased. On the other hand, Xa­marin.iOS Sto­ry­board de­signer is far be­yond the UWP XAML de­signer equi­va­lent on Win­dows.