Are you feeling naughty? Microsoft’s release wave includes a commissioning license for .NET 6 • The Register

Microsoft has released another wave of previews for its .NET technology stack, but this time including a provisioning license for .NET 6 that allows brave users to deploy into production.

.NET 6 is significant, as it is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, the first since .NET Core 3.1 in December 2019. It is therefore the first LTS release since the company. ” unified “.NET. Microsoft predicts that each even version will be LTS, that is, one every two years (an LTS release rate that Java could be close to matching.

Although .NET 6 RC1 is supported in production, program manager Richard Lander said interested companies should email Microsoft for advice, suggesting that this should not be a common option.

Lander said there were no new features in languages ​​and compilers since the last preview, although he noted the work done with Red Hat to automatically create source archives (source files bundled into a single archive file) as part of Microsoft’s build process, to comply with the requirements of Linux distributions.

He also said that an increasing proportion of the .NET SDK is optional. In .NET 6.0, support for Multi-platform App UI (MAUI), Android, iOS, and WebAssembly is provided separately from the SDK as an “SDK workload”.

In a future release, said Lander, “one can imagine the SDK containing only MSBuild, NuGet, language compilers, and workload acquisition functionality.”

While the functionality of the runtime has not changed, the same is not true for ASP.NET. Senior Program Director Daniel Roth listed 18 major new features or updates in the new preview.

One is the ability to render a Blazor component from JavaScript, Blazor being a framework for encoding web UI and client-side code in C #, running either in the browser through WebAssembly or on the server with updates provided by WebSockets. The new capability allows integration with other JavaScript frameworks, including React and Angular.

The SignalR framework used for WebSocket communication in Blazor Server is equivalent to querying the server if WebSockets are not available, a much slower technique. In .NET 6, “we have disabled long poll transport for Blazor Server applications by default,” said Roth, implying that it may be better for users to see an error than to experience poor performance.

There are also some improvements to the ASP.NET Minimum APIs, first described here.

These APIs reduce the amount of code needed to get a working web application or API. New in this version are API additions for generating OpenAPI documents. There are also simplifications for developer exception pages and for setting configuration options.

The idea behind minimal APIs seems to be that getting started with an ASP.NET application involves too much ceremony, the code that is required by the framework just to make it work. The Startup.cs file, which was previously part of the standard template for a C # web application, has been removed. Microsoft may be aware that despite its vigorous development, .NET seems to be losing ground compared to other frameworks in terms of popularity.

According to W3techs, ASP.NET powers 8.3% of websites, compared to 78.8% for PHP. In 2010, ASP.NET held a 24.4% share and has been dropping steadily since.

Such numbers should be treated with caution as they may in part reflect the popularity of PHP-based content management systems such as WordPress, rather than the custom enterprise applications that Microsoft cares about most. Nonetheless, there are concerns about the demographics of .NET developers, which appear to be biased in favor of more experienced developers.

The Minimal API can help by making getting started easier; yet, even with these changes, .NET cannot compete with the single line of code needed for Hello World in PHP.

More liked than desired: ASP.NET's status among developers

More liked than desired: ASP.NET’s status among developers

More positively, the proof is that the ASP.NET development community loves the platform, which only came after Svelte (a JavaScript framework) as the most popular web framework in the 2021 StackOverflow survey. click on “Most Wanted” – a measure of the technologies developers want to learn – and it drops to ninth place, with one-fifth of interest shown in number one React.js.

The MAUI SDK has been updated in this preview to align with ASP.NET and Blazor for the way applications are built (the Host Builder model). There is also a new default for Android 12 for Android apps.

Visual Studio 2022 has also been updated to Preview 4. Senior Program Manager Mads Kristensen described several improvements, including “up to three times faster file search”, new debugger features, and many issues fixed for the development of Blazor.

There is new hot reload support – updated without a full recompile – in ASP.NET Core. Developers can also now color-code tabs on a per-project basis, which is “especially useful for files that share the same name,” Kristensen said.

Tabs in Visual Studio 2022 can be colored per project

Tabs in Visual Studio 2022 can be colored per project

Microsoft plans to release .NET 6 on November 9 at its .NET online conference. Before that, there will be another release candidate, still with a commissioning license, according to Lander, although likely with fewer new features than in today’s release. After that? Profile-guided optimization for custom applications will be in .NET 7, Lander said, but he also said that .NET 6 “will lay the groundwork for what’s to come.”

This release is the completion of establishing .NET Core as an open source, cross-platform system, he said, while the next one will see the platform progress in “both obvious and non-obvious ways. ».®

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