General concerns regarding the stability and reliaability of Visual Studio for Mac.

BertDegenhartDrenthBertDegenhartDrenth ✭✭NLMember ✭✭

I am not sure where to post this, but the Forum seems to be the most appropriate place..

Let me start to say that I am a fan of Xamarin and have been using Xamarin Studio for over 3 years now. We have a couple of apps in the IOS and Google Play app store and would like to continue with the product. Since we are developing in C# Xamarin seemed to be the logical choice.

So far the good news..

Recently we have started to use the more "advanced" features of Visual Studio for Mac. We needed to develop a new app for both IOS and Android and already quite early on in the process it turned out that Xamarin Forms was not the right way forward. The app did not give the IOS "feeling" on IOS and neither the "Android" feeling on "Android". Our experience is that Xamarin Forms is perhaps okay for simple applications, but anything sophisticated needs a more native approach. Apart from this experience we lost a lot of time because of bugs in Xamarin.

In the next iteration we split the app in a common part and two specific UI projects. To be a bit more "modern" than our previous apps, which uses separate XIBS for the UI we decided to go for a storyboard. With hindsight we should not have done this. The Xamarin Storyboard editor is so buggy that is is almost impossible to work with. Controls suddenly disappear, Code behind code is inconsistent, Deletion of object does not delete everything. It really feels like "developing by trial and error", something that I explicitly teach my younger colleagues not to do! On a number of occasions it was necessary to switch to Xcode Interface Builder to resolve some problems.

I understand that I cannot express this general quirkiness in a single support ticket and also that if I did a support engineer would not have a clue where to start resolving it. Being a software producer myself I also know how important this "general feeling of unreliability" is for a product, even when it is maybe only attributable to a handful of bugs.

It would be very good if Xamarin would do some user observation to see how the product is used in practice and how often Visual Studio responds in imcomprehensive ways. We would definitely volunteer to be the guinea pig ;-)

Now seriously: at this moment in time I think that Visual Studio for Mac is not suitable for professional software development and would urge Microsoft and Xamarin to do something about this. I would like to know how Microsoft would address this and also would like to see feedback from other users on this topic.

Kindest regards
Bert Degenhart Drenth
CTO Axiell Group
[email protected]

Posts

  • JohnMillerJohnMiller Xamurai USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team Xamurai
    edited July 2017

    Hi @BertDegenhartDrenth ,

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. I am concerned about your experience and the issues you mentioned and I can appreciate any frustration they caused. You're right, it's tough to make any actionable out of general feelings of unreliability so let's work through the issues you have and I will help get them filed in our bug tracker so we can get engineering eyes on them. I've pulled out these issues that I am hoping you can share more details about.

    iOS Designer

    • Controls disappearing
    • Generated code in the code-behind file is inconsistent
    • Deleting objects does not delete everything related to that object
    • Xcode was needed to resolve some issues

    To help me get bug reports filed (or find existing ones that match) I'll need some more details about these issues. Can you include any of the following information?

    • Version information from the About Visual Studio for Mac -> Show Details -> Copy menu item
    • Sample project(s) that we can take some steps to reproduce the issues you experienced
    • Any error messages you might have experienced
    • After you notice an issue, collect the logs from the Help -> Open Log Directory (zip)

    If any of the information is private, you can directly message me on the forums or file a private bug at http://bugzilla.xamarin.com in the Xamarin Studio category. Make sure to click the checkbox "Xamarin Team" when making the bug as that will make it private (Xamarin members only)

    If you have any other feedback on Visual Studio for Mac that might not be Xamarin project specific, please also feel free to create feedback items here: http://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/

  • GuyProvostGuyProvost ✭✭✭ CAMember ✭✭✭

    @BertDegenhartDrenth @JohnMiller

    I understand the feeling that BertDegenhartDrenth have. What scares me is the fact that the response JohnMiller gave seems like you guys are not aware of the abysmal lack of reliability of storyboard support in VS for Mac! One doesn't have to work with it long to notice them! Just create a viewcontroller, drop a picker and try to size it and mess with constraints a bit and you will surely see these bugs crawling in!

    Nowadays, when I need to use the Storyboard, I use XCode!

    It really feels like Microsoft is putting so much effort in XF, which doesn't rely on storyboard to build the UI, since it's XAML, that "core" tooling support is not up to par!

    Really sad, cause now, more and more I tend to learn Swift!

  • ChristianSvrdChristianSvrd ✭✭✭ SEMember ✭✭✭

    I haven't tried Visual Studio for Mac for long, but in those few moments that I used it I had these problems:

    Nuget Package management lacks some features like : downgrading a package, or maybe I don't know how to access this features.

    I had a project which compiles fine on windows but on mac it just gives error XamlCTask failed with no further helpful messages to solve the issue.

  • GuyProvostGuyProvost ✭✭✭ CAMember ✭✭✭

    @ChristianSvrd The XamlCTask failed looks like a XF particular problem. Looks like you dont compile against the right mono runtime. If it's an "old" XF project and you compile against Framework 5.0.1.1you may get this error. Just go in the Project menu (the main menu, not in the solution explorer) and click on Active Runtime if check which runtime is set. For older XF, you need to run against 4.8.1 runtime.

    If it's a brand new installation, on a new mac, you may not have this runtime installed. Just go on the mono project web site and install the 4.8.1 runtime.

  • mattwardmattward Xamurai GBMember Xamurai

    @ChristianSvrd - To downgrade a NuGet package just install the version you need. You can select a version from the Add Packages dialog on the right hand side. This is similar to how you would do it in Visual Studio on Windows.

  • AlessandroCaliaroAlessandroCaliaro ✭✭✭✭✭ ITMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChristianSvrd said:
    I haven't tried Visual Studio for Mac for long, but in those few moments that I used it I had these problems:

    Nuget Package management lacks some features like : downgrading a package, or maybe I don't know how to access this features.

    I had a project which compiles fine on windows but on mac it just gives error XamlCTask failed with no further helpful messages to solve the issue.

    To downgrade a package I use "add package" and select an older version

  • ChristianSvrdChristianSvrd ✭✭✭ SEMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017

    @GuyProvost said:
    @ChristianSvrd The XamlCTask failed looks like a XF particular problem. Looks like you dont compile against the right mono runtime. If it's an "old" XF project and you compile against Framework 5.0.1.1you may get this error. Just go in the Project menu (the main menu, not in the solution explorer) and click on Active Runtime if check which runtime is set. For older XF, you need to run against 4.8.1 runtime.

    If it's a brand new installation, on a new mac, you may not have this runtime installed. Just go on the mono project web site and install the 4.8.1 runtime.

    Thanks for the reply, but I couldn't find the option "Active Runtime" in the project menu

    @mattward said:
    @ChristianSvrd - To downgrade a NuGet package just install the version you need. You can select a version from the Add Packages dialog on the right hand side. This is similar to how you would do it in Visual Studio on Windows.

    Yeah I solved my problem in a similar way by first removing the package and adding the right version again. but its not very inituitive way, is it? In visual studio for windows I open package manager, and go to installed packages, then there is a drop down to choose the version I need to update to.

  • AlessandroCaliaroAlessandroCaliaro ✭✭✭✭✭ ITMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChristianSvrd you have not to remove and add, just add

  • ChristianSvrdChristianSvrd ✭✭✭ SEMember ✭✭✭

    That's even less intuitive IMHO

  • GuyProvostGuyProvost ✭✭✭ CAMember ✭✭✭

    @ChristianSvrd said:

    @GuyProvost said:
    @ChristianSvrd The XamlCTask failed looks like a XF particular problem. Looks like you dont compile against the right mono runtime. If it's an "old" XF project and you compile against Framework 5.0.1.1you may get this error. Just go in the Project menu (the main menu, not in the solution explorer) and click on Active Runtime if check which runtime is set. For older XF, you need to run against 4.8.1 runtime.

    If it's a brand new installation, on a new mac, you may not have this runtime installed. Just go on the mono project web site and install the 4.8.1 runtime.

    Thanks for the reply, but I couldn't find the option "Active Runtime" in the project menu

    @mattward said:
    @ChristianSvrd - To downgrade a NuGet package just install the version you need. You can select a version from the Add Packages dialog on the right hand side. This is similar to how you would do it in Visual Studio on Windows.

    Yeah I solved my problem in a similar way by first removing the package and adding the right version again. but its not very inituitive way, is it? In visual studio for windows I open package manager, and go to installed packages, then there is a drop down to choose the version I need to update to.

    If you dont see "Active Runtime" it's because you only have a single mono runtime installed, hence you can't "pick" one, it's the only one you have! If you installed an older runtime, you'll have the ability to pick it!

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