How to make .Forms stable…?

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  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GeorgeCook:
    Thanks for your posting and - Yes!
    The "untamed monster" grows and grows and nobody seems to be able to domesticate it.
    I also think, that it is very difficult to find good staff for the Xamarin-development.
    But this has nothing to do with how the processes are (not) implemented or how customers are treated. :smirk:
    Greetings to the UK.

  • GeorgeCookGeorgeCook PEUniversity ✭✭✭

    I meant it's hard to find good people, because it's clearly growing rapidly. Anybody good is occupied - I wasn't connecting those things together.

    And you should send your greetings to Peru, which is where I reside ;)

  • codenutzcodenutz GBMember

    I'm really glad you're keeping this thread alive @FredyWenger - I think your approach here is excellent at addressing issues that are clearly frustrating the community. I've personally had to take the decision to drop forms for my current project due to bugs and a lack of clear communication regarding releases etc.

    You hit the nail on the head for me with the remarks about it being something we pay (a significant amount) for, yet we do the testing ourselves. It feels like an open source project, but its not - its a commercial one!

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mattwhetton:
    Thanks for your posting.
    It's a pity, that you had to decide to drop forms...
    I still hope, that things become better (and you know, the hope dies last...)
    Actually, I don't see a real alternative to .Forms, what - I think - is the main reason for most customers to stay with XF (for now) and take what they (we) receive....
    But as soon as there is a real alternative to XF (and I think, it will come ; maybe sooner as we can expect as you know, the "Internet-time" is running very fast) and the behavior of Xamarin has not changed until then, I think, Xamarin will loose (a lot of) paying customers :flushed::flushed:

  • RogerSchmidlinRogerSchmidlin CHUniversity ✭✭✭

    @MigueldeIcaza Everything has been already said in this thread. Thanks a lot to @FredyWenger for his constructive ideas to Xamarin.
    Myself: my app with a WebView has been running well about 5 months ago tracking a youtube website with the navigated event. I received a new Forms update and the event wouldn't fire again. I filed a bug report. It took over 4 months after absolute silence until @TheRealJasonSmith had a look at it. And believe me, I sent many messages, forum posts and changes to the bug log. He fixed something but changed the type from bug to a feature (how convenient). Now I am waiting again. And yes, this time I got an answer: There is no plan for the next feature release, I got told.
    I haven't been able to publish my app for almost 5 months now because of that. No help from Xamarin at all! They don't realize apart from my frustration, I lose money on this too by not be able to sell my product. And again, we are all paying customers. We have the right to get support and a stable product. I pay, you deliver. This is not acceptable and I will do my part to it to make myself heard.

  • adamkempadamkemp USInsider, Developer Group Leader mod

    @RogerSchmidlin, why are you unable to ship your app with the previous version of Xamarin.Forms that according to you worked fine? If you don't need an update then don't install it.

  • RogerSchmidlinRogerSchmidlin CHUniversity ✭✭✭

    @adamkemp because its 5 months old and many bugfixes have been done since. Unfortunately, there still quite a few bugs in the current forms version too. If you don't take my word, check the release threads. I don't think Xamarin has a stable product at the moment and certainly proper process to get there. I am very worried.

  • BrianRepettiBrianRepetti USUniversity ✭✭✭

    Funny that I have published a few apps and they are working great on a lot of devices. Forms is stable. Maybe you should post your issue in another thread. Possibly someone can help you.

    Post a sample of your code.

  • RogerSchmidlinRogerSchmidlin CHUniversity ✭✭✭

    @breps I am happy for you that you have a working app. I did post my stuff in other threads to and also filed bug reports. Have a look at how many bug reports are still not even started. I am happy for everyone this has been a joy ride for me it hasn't. But don't get me wrong, I think Xamarin has huge potential and is a great idea. I would love to continue developing my apps with Xamarin. But as a paying customer I also want support and a stable product.

  • ChaseFlorellChaseFlorell CAInsider, University mod
    edited August 2015

    @RogerSchmidlin I think what @breps is saying is that there should almost always be a work-around. Maybe the old version had a bug that you ended up relying on in your app. That being said, maybe there's a different thought approach that can solve your issue and allow you to ship.

  • BrianRepettiBrianRepetti USUniversity ✭✭✭

    @RogerSchmidlin , I just looked at one of your posts for the bug: https://bugzilla.xamarin.com/show_bug.cgi?id=29139

    Jason replies and tells you its javascript causing the issues. He also states a workaround.

    Are you not able to implement your own renderer for now?

  • RogerSchmidlinRogerSchmidlin CHUniversity ✭✭✭

    Yes, Jason actually solved the issue but is not going to release it just yet. And there is no plan when this is going to happen. I wish he gave me a work around for my problem in the meantime. I don't know how.

  • adamkempadamkemp USInsider, Developer Group Leader mod

    All I'm saying is that you claimed your app was running well until you updated. If that was the case then the solution is obvious: don't update. I know there are bugs in Forms (I've reported a bunch myself), but bugs that don't affect your app or you have worked around are irrelevant. You don't update unless you have to. That's just software engineering common sense.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @breps:

    Forms is stable

    This is a (very) moving target...
    I (fortunately) also have shipped my apps to the (all) stores, based of XF 1.4.3-pre-3, as with this version (my) app was stable (excluding, that in the WP-version ScrollView's only are scrollable, if some content is behind the finger and the false page is called from the master-detail-page, if on the main-menu without content is tapped).
    As the problem with the master-detail-page was solved with a newer XF-version, I have updated and tested my whole app on all platforms, found a new bug, that crashes my WP-App and have investigated the WP-scrolling-problem in detail.
    By my investigations, I have found a wrong Xamarin-description and (think so) a possible solution to fix for the scrolling-problem in WP (if Xamarin would change some default-settings to WP, it should be solved for all XF-users on one strike).
    I have documented all in a .pdf an uploaded it in the 1.4.4.pre3-thread:
    http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/141787/#Comment_141787
    And the result...?
    Confirmation, that the Xamarin-documentation really is false (b.t.w.: still not corrected, does somebody remember it later...?)
    No feedback to my new found WP-Bug (that brakes my WP-app)
    No feedback to my suggestion about the default-setting to WP:

    • If I'm right, this would solve the problem for all Xamarin customers on one strike
    • If I'm wrong, it would be nice, if I would receive an short feedback (takes a minute) that this - for whatever reason - can't be implemented (as it have took me more than a full day to figure it out and document it -> as customer)

    So the bottom line (for me) right now is:

    • Fortunately my app's ARE in the stores already and I actually DON'T have the pressure to update the apps (yet!)
    • I have now idea, if the new WP-bug is solved in the meantime...?
    • I have now idea, if my suggestion is investigated by Xamarin or if I have to change InputTransparent to true to ALL "visual elements" in my app MYSELF (platform-specific only to WP) to make my WP-app really servable

    I'm not able to update my app's based on the XF-version I have installed right now.
    To find out, if the latest version makes my app stable again, I have to update to the latest and check it out myself (as I have no feedback, that it is solved). And... there is (unfortunately!) a big chance, that I will have other new problems with the newest version (based on my own existing experience) .

    That's REALLY NO base to do a MEANINGFUL work AS CUSTOMER with XF, was so since I work with XF and seems not to change! :angry:
    And once again... WE are the customers and PAY for that...

  • BrianRepettiBrianRepetti USUniversity ✭✭✭

    @FredyWenger , I think I recall this issue on another forum post.

    The workaround was to set the ScrollView background color. No need to set InputTransparent at all.

    A weird bug, but not a deal breaker.

    This is the code I just tested with. it works fine with the latest pre release.

            ScrollView scrollView = new ScrollView();
                scrollView.BackgroundColor = Color.Black;
    
                StackLayout stackLayout = new StackLayout();
    
                for (int i = 0; i < 50; i++)
                {
                    stackLayout.Children.Add(new Entry()
                    {
                        Text = string.Format("Test Entry {0}", i),
                        IsEnabled = false
                    });
    
                }
    
                scrollView.Content = stackLayout;
    
    
                // The root page of your application
                MainPage = new ContentPage
                {
                    Content = scrollView
                };
    
  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @breps:
    Thanks :smile:
    I will check-it out tomorrow, but nevertheless:
    If your workaround works (only set the BackGroundColor of the ScrollView to black without to touch other "visual elements"), every developer (according to Xamarin: one million :smirk:) have to implement it.
    If I'm right with my suggestion (t.b.d.) the problem will be solved per default.
    And... I expect an answer from Xamarin, a correction of the description and a feedback to the new found WP-bug.

  • GeorgeCookGeorgeCook PEUniversity ✭✭✭

    And... I expect an answer from Xamarin, a correction of the description and a feedback to the new found WP-bug.

    hahaha I'll light a candle for you. Good luck ;p

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GeorgeCook:
    Unfortunately... I (have to) agree with you.
    Please take a very big candle :wink:
    And... greetings to... Peru!

  • AdamPAdamP AUUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FredyWenger - https://bugzilla.xamarin.com/show_bug.cgi?id=32698 is the confirmed bug report for that scrolling issue. At least its on their radar and have confirmed it. @breps is right in that setting the background color solves the issue for Windows Phone. I set mine to Transparent. Setting InputTransparent doesn't work and causes all kinds of issues with iOS and Android. I also noticed WP ignores InputTransparent anyway. Set any control to InputTransparent="true" and the control still picks up on the input. iOS and Android however respect the setting and will pass the input through to the control/view behind.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @breps:
    Set BackGroundColor to the ScrollView to Black (for WP) really seems to solve the problem (without change properties to the contained controls)
    So... once again - thanks for the hint :smile:
    Unfortunately, I'm not able to test the whole app, as the new found bug to WP (1.4.4-pre-3) not only is related to PopModalAsync(). My WP-app has further crashes (that weren't before update to 1.4.4-pre-3)
    => So I have to update to the latest XF-version and let me surprise, if the bug still exists or not..
    @AdamP:
    Thanks also for your posting.
    By my tests, set InputTransparent to true (only for WP) had an effect.
    I also have noted, that for iOS InputTransparent has to be set to false (like actually the default-setting is), as else, the SV is no more scrollable (therefore my suggestion was, to set it only in WP to true).

    However - thanks to you both. :smiley:
    It's nice, that the "community-support" still works (unlike the Xamarin support)

  • GeorgeCookGeorgeCook PEUniversity ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015

    +1 community support is great. I'd like to think xamarin are supporting those in the community helping everyone else.

    In my case I'v been getting assistance with my account rep and will actually get to chat to someone in xamarin about some things i want clarifying (around renderer acces and page in page)

    So from my point of view it's getting better. I hope those of you mucking in each day to support everyone and push things forward are having a similar experience too. If it wasn't for community support my app would never have been re written using xamarin forms.

  • RogerSchmidlinRogerSchmidlin CHUniversity ✭✭✭

    I would like to +1 community support too. Same as George, without you I couldn't have done my app. I had a great exchange of knowledge and some of you I have even met in person. Thanks for that.
    Also there is a big shift in customer support. I also got a opportunity to have a personal chat with Xamarin. I really appreciate this and it makes me confident, that things are changing to the good. It gives me a feeling that Xamarin cares. Thanks Xamarin :smile: I am looking forward to a strong Xamarin Forms future, the ultimative cross platform solution.

  • KITStudentKITStudent DEMember
    edited August 2015

    +1

    Especially this (Andrei Nitescu, May 19):

    I know chances are small, but the right thing to do is make Xamarin Forms open source.

  • Nadjib_BaitNadjib_Bait DZMember ✭✭✭✭

    I came here for the comments... grabs popcorn

  • DavidTavarezDavidTavarez DOMember ✭✭✭

    @FredyWenger thanks for all your contribution for this community. I have to agree with you in almost everything. In my case I have an app build with Forms on the App Store and Google Play. I must say, on Android XF really sucks, there are a lot of different devices and is almost imposible to track all bugs. But in iOS my app works pretty good.

    We're customer and we pay for all this but Xamarin resists to see things like that.

  • KITStudentKITStudent DEMember

    I must say, on Android XF really sucks, there are a lot of different devices and is almost imposible to track all bugs. But in iOS my app works pretty good.

    Exactly my experience.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @KITStudent

    Unfortunately Android is the wild West and Forms can't magic away all the platform specific nastiness of different Android manufacturer builds, API version etc. You need to invest a bit of time in making a Forms app work a bit slicker on Android from my experience but IMO it's more an Android issue than a Forms issue.

  • KITStudentKITStudent DEMember
    edited August 2015

    @NMackay

    I completely understand that, but that's exactly why XF would win the CrossPlatform Race if it would be open source.
    Keep the licensing for the standard product and delivery cycle, but just make that abstraction a collaboration project. Obviously there are too many issues with all the different devices and platforms for such a small team and on the other side there are sitting sooo many developers eagerly and desperately waiting for months for that one small bug fix, when they could just simply go ahead and extend it themselves and contribute to this awesome ambition of XF.

    Think about it, I just had an issue when I needed the stream of an ImageSource, no can do. You need to keep a redundant reference and implement some logic to workaround this missing component. This way I am investing hours to figure out the proper way of handling it, if I could extend the ImageSource it would be one simple function to retrieve my beloved byte-stream. This is just one out of thousands of examples.

    The platforms and variety of devices are just too big and growing too rapidly for a few people to handle it properly, but the community would definitely cope with it. Just think about the MvvmCross project, what those guys accomplished and how it ultimately became part of XF or at least some sort of role model. Just take a look at all the other nuget plugins for XF if you ain't seeing the potential and how we are dozing away the entire time. It's insanse how desperatly people want to push this Framework, but simply can't because it's restricted in a way that it damages itself and not just delaying its pace of progress and potential realization.

    TL;DR:
    Xamarin Forms is the perfect candidate for Open Innovation principles.
    Make it open source. Don't waste precious time by trying to fix the vast amount of issues of all the platforms yourselves as they are freshly arising on a daily basis.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @KITStudent

    I understand your arguments and agree with a lot of them but our company tends to shy away from open source stuff (although they now have no choice with WCF and PRISM), If Forms was opensource I wouldn't have been allowed to use it. We use Telerik controls, and a lot of products that have support agreements (including Xamarin). Once something is not officially supported it becomes a different consideration. Same with our ORM layer, we went for LLBLGen for several reasons, performance, flexibility and support been the main ones over other solutions.

    Hopefully as they are clearing the backlog of bugs they can refocus on adding features and improving extensibility. Also although making forms OpenSource may be better for the community, commercially it might not be currently a smart move for Xamarin as it's one of their USP's. I'm just saying I see both sides of the argument.

  • KITStudentKITStudent DEMember
    edited August 2015

    @NMackay

    I understand both sides as well. But I am struggling with the question wether it isn't even more beneficial in a long run for both sides to pursue this path.

    Let's face it, the ultimate question is who will win the race: Xamarin vs. Appcelerator vs. Cordova vs. ...

    IMHO this is the real deal breaker, reliability = "how fast can my developers realize our ambitions with this framework?" => community size will give you that

    I get the concept of USPs but I am honestly doubting that it'll be strong and solid enough to stand out. Just think of Python, Ruby, etc. how even big companies are allowing their developers to develop something using such languages and frameworks even though they now at some point they'll certainly be forced to revamp everything completely as it gets successfull (e.g. Twitter & Ruby).

    It's always just about how fast can you sell something to make it right afterwards.
    Nobody (except Google maybe) has the capacities to do it right from the beginning.

    As I mentioned earlier I really think that the principles of Open Innovation are applicable to this in a beautiful way.
    But well, this discussion won't change anything so I'll accept at this point that people have different opinions and reasons to pursue a certain path and decision. Although the optimal strategy could be a hybrid form as I stated it (attract lots of people with XF and its superiorness to grow rapidly, but charge the people with the regular licenses for the Xam framework itself, win-win. Even your company would relent in the end :smiley: ).

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @all readers of this thread

    I have posted a proposal for a "bug-tracker-page" in the thread below:
    https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/149093#Comment_149093

    As this also would help, to make .Forms stable, I post the link here...
    Cheers :sunglasses:

  • voidvoid DKBeta ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015

    Interesting audio podcast from gonemobile with Jason, which is slightly of topic but a nice insight to some of the issues discussed.

    http://gonemobile.io/blog/e0028-Behind-the-Scenes-of-Xamarin-Forms/

    Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere.

  • JohnHairJohnHair GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    +1
    I haven't commented earlier as I managed to avoid the April release fiasco (I didn't upgrade immediately and when I saw all the issues reported I remained on my current versions), but I have to say this state of affairs really is appalling.
    Xamarin, either allocate sufficient resources to produce (real!) stable releases, or just give up and pull the plug on Xamarin.Forms. If you won't open source it, consider releasing the code for the renderers at least so we can try to work around the issues we find.

  • MikeRowley403MikeRowley403 CAMember ✭✭✭

    Here is the response I received from my email to Xamarin Support. Hopefully this gets some traction and we can see some forward progress. I will continue to post any correspondence I receive from Xamarin directly.

    Dominic Nahous
    SEP 08, 2015 | 03:46PM EDT
    Hello Mike,

    Thank you very much for reaching out and for sharing both your thoughts in this email and a link to that thread. I certainly do understand your frustrations and I am in the process of bringing this directly to the attention of our VP of product.

    Regards,
    Dominic

  • MarkMadlangbayanMarkMadlangbayan USUniversity ✭✭

    +1 What they need is competition, and this will solve the following:

    • An arm and a leg price for using Visual Studio and yet not as stable as Xamarin Studio (much cheaper license), with a lot less features (missing Xamarin Profiler, hit and miss iOS experience, etc.), and tendency to get behind Xamarin Studio as far as new features. Reminds me of GSNW (Gateway Services for Netware), create a just good-enough solution for people to migrate to Xamarin Studio.

    • Xamarin.Forms recurring bugs, inconsistent API, and missing features to be up-to-par with Android, iOS and Windows Phone development. Right now, I think this should be beta.

    • Great demo and documentation, but struggles when applying on real production development. (Case in point, advertising that we can use Visual Studio but developers I know later on move to Xamarin Studio because of price, missing features found on Xamarin Studio or got frustrated with recurring bugs and issues using Visual Studio).

    I hope these will change, because I do like the Xamarin community.

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