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Xamarin Bugs

WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

I first looked at Xamarin maybe 18-24 months ago. After my team evaluated it, we decided not to use it because it was so bug ridden - after a whole week of messing around with it nobody had even got it working.

I have since tried to play with it a few times after updates, and after the move to Visual Studio, and have been greeted with an error message every time...

I have just installed VS 2017, and thought I would try again as Xamarin comes bundled. Surprisingly it loaded this time - but it's still unusable. I try to edit XAML and every time I press a key visual studio freezes for 80 seconds.

I know it's not just me - everyone I know has had the same issues. But... there seems to be a community out here working with it.

So my questions is - what magic button do you need to press to actually get Xamarin working? Am I missing something? Are you all using Cray Supercomputers, or is there a witch doctor who comes round and does something to your PC's to make it work???

Posts

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, I have been using Xamarin since before it was Xamarin, so about 5 years or so, and I have a very successful relationship with the software. But then I primarily use a mac (Xamarin Studio) for iOS development and VS2015 for Droid.
    I also pick and choose what version to install, I never stay on the bleeding edge of stable releases due to a number of stable releases that really aren't stable at all.
    My point is, if you treat the software with kid gloves, the benefits are fantastic.
    It would be helpful if you describe the platforms you are targeting, what version of Visual Studio (sp?), etc.

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    Thanks for the reply John. Possibly my mistake in the past has been to get the bleeding edge every time, but in this case I am using VS 2017 SP2, which comes with Xamarin packaged, so I don't think I have any choice in what version I install. I am using a new i7 16Gb Dell laptop.

    I have just created a default new Xamarin solution which has automatically created a project for Android, iOS, and UWP - which specific API levels it has defaulted to I don't know.

    The solution builds ok, but as soon as I try to edit the XAML everything hangs. I even had visual studio showing me a dialog telling me the Xamarin Forms plugin was causing VS to hang and asking me if I want to disable it....

    The thing that pains me is that I really want Xamarin to work because it has huge potential, but we are already at the stage where we gave up on it and decided to do native development. I'm seeing nothing new that makes me think it's any closer to being a viable tool which I can trust and switch away from native dev for...

  • GVxGVx USMember ✭✭✭

    Yes it has gotten worse over the last few months.. I have no idea if it's because of the MS purchase, or it just isnt compatible with VS 2017, but it isn't as stable as it was last year...

    Yes, many times you need to just need to re-start Visual Studio to get it to compile. And thats from creating a brand new project. Then you get hangs when trying to run on Android, where if you cancel the build and re-run it then it runs fine... Xamarin Forms previewer just gives random errors (yes ok its preview, STILL)... Android UI designer sometimes loads, most times it hangs on a never ending progress bar... Windows iOS Simulator is another that just randomly hangs too...

    Life as a Xamarin programmer has become very frustrating these last couple of months, unfortunately....

  • GVxGVx USMember ✭✭✭

    @JohnHair said:
    I never stay on the bleeding edge of stable releases due to a number of stable releases that really aren't stable at all.

    I think this is the real issue with Xamarin at the moment, stable releases are in no way stable or tested enough.. I shudder to think what the Beta and Alpha channels are like....

    I should possibly follow your lead and roll back to previous versions... from last year.. ;)

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    Thanks for the reply @GVx . It's reassuring to hear that among the sea of voices from the Xamarin evangelists, that the cold hard fact remains that it's a bug ridden and unreliable product! Why do I have a feeling this is going to be like the WPF fiasco?? Microsoft will take it so far, then get bored with it and decide to drop it.

  • DirkWilhelmDirkWilhelm USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    ...but as soon as I try to edit the XAML everything hangs.

    This sounds very strange. I use VS2017 with Xamarin.Forms and never experienced such a slowdown when i edit my xaml files.

    When you right-click a xaml file in the solution explorer and select "Open with..." what is the default?

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WilliamBuchanan > @WilliamBuchanan said:

    Why do I have a feeling this is going to be like the WPF fiasco?? Microsoft will take it so far, then get bored with it and decide to drop it.

    I am surprised you have jumped to the worst possible conclusion with so little information to back up your assertions. I certainly don't feel the same. I am happy with the version I am using, and once the next service pack or 2 are out and the general opinion of that version is that it is stable, I will upgrade. That it what I do for all my tools, and for my sanity!
    The issue you describe sounds like it might be a problem with the forms previewer? I don't use that. Disable it (close the previewer window or however you need to disable it) and try again. I also see there is a newer bugfix version of Xamarin released to the VS2017 channel. Maybe try that too.

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    @JohnHair said:
    I am surprised you have jumped to the worst possible conclusion with so little information to back up your assertions.

    Little information?? Try 9 years of experience with WPF (which in my opinion is still a 1/2 finished project), and 2 years of experience repeatedly trying to get Xamarin to work. If something doesn't 'just work' then there is a problem. If, after all these years it still doesn't work then there is a big problem, and it tells me the developers aren't taking it seriously.

    As I said, I want it to work - it's just that nothing I have seen so far gives me any confidence that it will.

    I don't have the form previewer open. I opened it once, got an error message, so closed it straight away.

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    @DirkWilhelm said:

    When you right-click a xaml file in the solution explorer and select "Open with..." what is the default?

    Hi @DirkWilhelm
    The default is "Automatic Editor Selection (XML)"

  • JoeProJoePro CAUniversity ✭✭✭

    I've been using Xamarin (and MonoTouch) for the past 5-6 years.
    I was never really able to get the VS integration to work properly, so I decided to stick to the XS on the Mac.
    I also never had much luck with Forms, so I stuck with Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

    I never upgrade, unless I don't have a choice and I usually only upgrade to the last known stable version of the previous release.

    This strategy seems to have worked very well for me.

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    Thanks @JoePro .

    It's interesting that the common theme among the replies is that once you get a working version/combination you stick with it. Maybe that's what I need to look for....

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WilliamBuchanan I meant no offense, your WPF experience might give a specific perspective but you mentioned you and your team spent a week on Xamarin and couldn't get it to work 18 months ago or so. A week on Xamarin and trying it every once in a while isn't, in my opinion, very much information to base your assumptions on. There are many, many companies that are successfully using Xamarin and I work with a few as well. All of them taking advantage of C# and code reuse on multiple platforms.
    I agree with @joePro. If you check the forums there are threads referring to the best version to use at the moment.

  • Ron999Ron999 USMember ✭✭

    after upgrading to the latest stable version, I got 2 bugs in as many days- spent a lot of time researching the forums for answers to my errors and at last found they were reported as bugs - which had fixes already in place. Both bugs were recorded in Bugzilla. Wish these forums were better organized and bug fixes were more prominently displayed.

    Seems the Android platform is the buggiest.

  • WilliamBuchananWilliamBuchanan AUUniversity ✭✭

    @JohnHair no offence taken.
    In fact, I might need to eat some humble pie, as I think you may be right about your form preview theory.... After reboot everything seemed to work again. I decided to open the form previewer and the same problem came back. Strangely though, closing the form previewer doesn't make the problem go away. Need to reboot to fix it.

    Another question I have is, are people using the VS version or the standalone version? Looks like most people are avoiding the VS version from what I can make out...?

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