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None of this works out of the box

mmikmmik USMember

I have spent last couple of weeks evaluating different mobile development environments.

Close to none of them work "out of the box" and Xamarin is not different in this sense.

I tried with couple of windows machines + one virtual Azure server ("Visual Studio" image), but always even the most basic "hello world" example runs into issues.

Does anyone know of any virtual machine image that just works? I think that nobody wants to see his developers spending days in setting up their environment before single line of code can be written.

This is not only a rant: this is about wasted business opportunities in really basic level.

All advertising for development environments is about "the ease of use and speed". None of those claims hold water.

AND it would be pretty easy to make it work reliably for anyone wanting to try:

1) Click here to start your virtual server (using virtual server with already installed stuff)
2) When people still run into issues (update hell), keep on track of the issues = give them place in support (forum, whatever) that covers issues on THAT SPESIFIC IMAGE
3) keep on fixing those issues; there should not be error messages that do not actually give anything else than a place to start Google searches (usually those error messages are on the level of Amiga "Guru meditation" in how easy it is to do something just by reading them). And then notice that at least hundreds of people have had the same issue, but it is still largely the work of volunteer internet angels to help, instead that someone would actually really understand how their fancy developing environment opens to beginners.

I am a beginner in mobile development. However I have > 20 years in development and my own company, and it is kind of sad to see that "easy and speedy" on mobile development are still just marketing hype. On the other hand there clearly is a business opportunity still for someone who implements those 3 steps..


  • GuyProvostGuyProvost CAMember ✭✭✭

    Developing on a stack like xamarin involves a lot... And I mean a lot of moving parts. If you add Xamarin Forms on top of it it's another layer of abstraction added to the pile.

    So when you start with the image (I dont really know what image you refer to though), the image itself must be up to date for all it's moving parts. JDK, SDK, Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio for VS, XF itself, the binding of your external calls.

    If all of these are aligned... Your cool.

  • mmikmmik USMember

    Yes, I understand that there is a LOT of things going on. That's however not goo excuse for providing installation packages that after installation are broken right away in the sense, that it is impossible to do anything without starting to go through exotic error messages about libraries etc.

    What is kind of telling is that when one selects in the beginning from Xamarin download site that he has not yet Visual Studio installed, the Xamarin installation doesn't go even through, but the user is taken to the next page that assumes that the user now wants to start learning Xamarin. So it seems that not one (1) person tested that option - either that or my installation went otherwise strangely.

    I was suggesting that someone should make a virtual machine image where things "just work" without hours of installation (and maybe much more hours of problem solving after installation). I for one would have been happy to even pay something for that option, but couldn't find any image where Xamarin would be already installed. Then I could have used any low power laptop on the move to continue working on Xamarin and not worry about update-hell..

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