VS 2017 Release/Preview matching to Macintosh's stable/beta/alpha confusion?

I've read the https://releases.xamarin.com/technical-bulletin-updating-xamarin-visual-studio-2017-side-by-side/ tech note, and am rather confused.

As Xamarin Studio is used on my Mac to install new versions of the stable/beta/alpha channel, I still don't have a clue as to how to match VS2017 to the Mac channel (stable/beta/alpha)?

2017 apparently only supports 'Release and Preview'. But - where do you chose Release or Preview? And how do you map Release or Preview to the 'stable/beta/alpha' on the Macintosh?

I also don't have a clue as to how to initiate an update of the chosen platform on VS2017? When the next release of the release or preview comes along, how does one choose to update to that new version?

It would be cool if Xamarin produced a short video on this topic as it's not obvious - at least to me!

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Answers

  • JohnMillerJohnMiller USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    @LesCaudle,

    To answer your questions about how to install/update to a Preview for VS 2017, take a look at the changes noted here: https://developer.xamarin.com/recipes/cross-platform/ide/change_updates_channel/

    For now, there is no difference in Xamarin tooling for the VS 2017 Previews. We do have an issue for tracking these updates here: https://bugzilla.xamarin.com/show_bug.cgi?id=53142#c2

  • LesCandleLesCandle USMember ✭✭

    @JohnMiller

    So the default install is the 'Release' - and that would map to the 'stable' channel in Xamarin Studio on the Mac?

    Does the 'Preview' map to the 'beta' on the Mac or to the 'alpha'?

    How does one update to a new version of the 'Release' in 2017?

    In your link under 'Change the Updates Channel in Visual Studio 2017', it mentions:

    "The Preview Installer screenshot below shows both Preview and Release options"

    So, I'm still a bit confused. Why would the Preview installer be used for a 'Release' if the 'Release' is the default version on VS2017? Is this for a different version of the 'Release'?

    Where in VS2017 can you see the current version of the 'Release' (which I'm guessing could be used to find the version of the 'Preview' if the Preview Installer were used)?

  • JohnMillerJohnMiller USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team Xamurai
    edited April 2017

    @LesCandle,

    So the default install is the 'Release' - and that would map to the 'stable' channel in Xamarin Studio on the Mac?

    Correct.

    Does the 'Preview' map to the 'beta' on the Mac or to the 'alpha'?

    It currently does not map to anything. The current "Preview" of Visual Studio does not have any different Xamarin tooling in it.

    How does one update to a new version of the 'Release' in 2017?

    You download the latest VS version once it's released. There isn't a concept of Channels anymore in VS 2017. Instead, the Xamarin tooling is currently being packaged into Visual Studio releases. For example, here is the announcement for 15.1: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2017/04/05/visual-studio-2017-update/. You can run the installer again it notifies you that it needs to update first. Once that is finished, the installer will be ready to install any latest versions.

    So, I'm still a bit confused. Why would the Preview installer be used for a 'Release' if the 'Release' is the default version on VS2017? Is this for a different version of the 'Release'?

    I think the phrasing "Preview Installer" is misleading here. It does not appear to be a separate installer for me. Instead, think of it as the "Visual Studio 2017 Installer". This installer contains both options to install Preview and Release versions. You run this any time you want to install or modify an installation. I'll ping the docs team to review that and see if there is anything to make more clear there.

    Where in VS2017 can you see the current version of the 'Release' (which I'm guessing could be used to find the version of the 'Preview' if the Preview Installer were used)?

    Help -> About Visual Studio.

  • LesCandleLesCandle USMember ✭✭

    @JohnMiller

    So I'll have to change my Mac Xamarin Studio from Alpha to Stable as there isn't an Alpha yet on 2017, but ... there will be shortly?

    And to find the Xamarin release, I'd just go to help->About Microsoft Visual Studio.

    And I'll have a separate shortcut for each 'Release' of Visual Studio - and be able to open my projects with any version (unless the project has features specific to a version).

    I feel a bit ignorant, kind of like Trump asking for less words and more pictures in the security briefings (we are so f***g doomed!) but ... for new concepts like this (that apparently aren't fully implemented if the Preview can't install anything different yet), a 3 minute video showing the install and usage would probably the the clearest way to go?

    BTW - you might add the version of Xamarin Forms to the 'about visual studio' dialog? I'd like some way to easily figure out which version is installed (no doubt a dumb question, I'm really just starting with this). And an easy way to determine which version of Xamarin Forms to install to match the version of Xamarin installed).

    And maybe rename the 'Preview Installer' to 'Visual Studio 2017 side-by-side Version installer' - as that sounds closer to what it will ultimately do?

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