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Does Xamarin development solely for windows apps make sense?

As per the title really. We have a number of windows based winform apps that need a refresh / rethink / start from scratch.
Just looking at the options. We already have a number of DLLs that interact with various hardware, so presumably Xamarin would be able to use these, and reuse our existing c# code rather than a re-write in some of the other desktop options.
Obviously WPF is another option, but should Xamarin be discounted - obviously the whole benefit is for it to be cross platform.
Thanks :smile:

Posts

  • JoeMankeJoeManke USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Xamarin for Windows" doesn't make any sense unless you're talking about Xamarin.Forms, which is an unnecessary layer of abstraction if you're only targeting one platform. Just use WPF or UWP or whatever. If you decide later to add support for Android/iOS, then you can use Xamarin and share some of the code.

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin

    @FetchezLaVache

    If you're not planning to make the apps portable across different platforms (e.g. Mac, Android, iOS, Tizen) then avoid Xamarin.Forms. It's an extra layer of overhead, an extra layer of potential bugs, an extra layer of version management, etc. If you're only targeting Windows, then I'd go for WPF. A quick Google will bring up lots of posts etc questioning whether UWP support will continue or go the way of Silverlight. It may continue, but confidence that it will is lacking.

    You might also want to look at blogs about .Net 5 to see if they provide more information. However, when I looked a few days ago, the information was still very sketchy.

  • @JohnHardman said:

    If you're only targeting Windows, then I'd go for WPF. A quick Google will bring up lots of posts etc questioning whether UWP support will continue or go the way of Silverlight. It may continue, but confidence that it will is lacking.

    Funnily enough this is one of the reasons I'm looking into whether Xamarin is a good idea in the first place - since of all the desktop options it looks most likely to stay about!
    Many thanks.

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin
    edited February 2020

    @FetchezLaVache

    The problem is that even if Xamarin.Forms continues, for Windows support Xamarin.Forms currently supports UWP. UWP is the platform that people do not feel confident about lasting, let alone Xamarin.Forms support for it (not helped by the UWP option disappearing from the template in VS2019 briefly, as well as some new features coming to UWP support only after Android & iOS). WPF support in Xamarin.Forms is still incomplete (see https://github.com/mohachouch/forms-wpf-progress/blob/master/Status.md ). So, depending on your view re. UWP support, there may be risk in using Xamarin.Forms just to target Windows, even without the question of overhead, bugs etc.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    I think UWP's existence will be extended due to surface duo (tablet devices) making Forms an attractive choice.

    If your purely targeting desktop the WPF would be my choice, as it's ported to .NETCore it's more attractive, if you want it to run on iOS etc your'd have to look at Forms.

    I've worked on WPF apps though that would never port to mobile as they are far far to complex a UI to run on mobile devices, it really depends on your requirements.

    Microsoft's desktop strategy has been a bit of a mess for ages.

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin

    @NMackay said:
    I think UWP's existence will be extended due to surface duo (tablet devices) making Forms an attractive choice.

    I agree that Surface Duo increases the likelihood of UWP surviving. But would you use XF if only targeting UWP? I wouldn't, unless as insurance in case requirements change in future and that the app might need to run on Android, iOS, WPF etc in future (but for WPF, hoping the XF support is finally implemented of course).

    @NMackay said:
    Microsoft's desktop strategy has been a bit of a mess for ages.

    Definitely poorly communicated anyway ;-)

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin
    > @JohnHardman said:
    > (Quote)
    > I agree that Surface Duo increases the likelihood of UWP surviving. But would you use XF if only targeting UWP? I wouldn't, unless as insurance in case requirements change in future and that the app might need to run on Android, iOS, WPF etc in future (but for WPF, hoping the XF support is finally implemented of course).
    >
    > (Quote)
    > Definitely poorly communicated anyway ;-)

    Agreed, but also why target UWP if only desktop only and not use WPF which has been ported to ..netcore....hence the strategy comment.

    Let's not mention silverlight :smile:
  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin

    @NMackay said:
    Agreed, but also why target UWP if only desktop only and not use WPF which has been ported to ..netcore....hence the strategy comment.

    Agreed. Already recommended WPF at https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/403687/#Comment_403687 :-)

    @NMackay said:
    Let's not mention silverlight :smile:

    Darn, already did ;-)

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin
    :)
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