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InfoQ Homepage News .NET News Roundup - Week of April 5th, 2021

.NET News Roundup - Week of April 5th, 2021

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The last week was an eventful one for the .NET community, with multiple releases from Microsoft - including the third preview for .NET 6, ASP.NET Core, MAUI, and EF Core 6. InfoQ examined these and a number of smaller stories in the .NET ecosystem from the week of April 5th, 2021.

The highlight of this week was the release of .NET MAUI Preview 3 as part of the .NET 6 preview release calendar. This release is important because it follows the recent release of Project Reunion 0.5, allowing early-adoption developers to use the first stable version of WinUI 3. Other features in the new MAUI release include improved startup builder, native lifecycle events, new semantics for accessibility, and updated UI controls and layouts. The development team also released a repository with sample projects that can be used with the 16.10 preview of Visual Studio 2019 (Windows).

.NET 6 Preview 3 was also released, almost exclusively composed of low-level performance features, including faster handling of structs as Dictionary values (with the addition of a new unsafe API), faster interface checking and casting, and improvements in the RyuJIT code generation. EF Core 6 Preview 3 includes bug fixes and improvements to support upcoming features - including compiled models and temporal tables.

There were also significant improvements in ASP.NET Core in the new release. Early support for .NET Hot Reload is now available for ASP.NET Core and Blazor projects. This functionality allows you to apply code changes to your running app without restarting it and without losing any app state. Other improvements include smaller SignalR, Blazor Server, and MessagePack scripts, Radis profile sessions, and a new HTTP/3 endpoint TLS configuration. Idle TLS connections also had their memory footprint reduced, and the development team added a new functionality to the ASP.NET Core Module for IIS: support for shadow-copying your application assemblies.

Microsoft also released changes in the Surface Duo Design Kit documentation, administrator updates to Visual Studio 2017 and 2019 (available via WSUS and the Microsoft Update Catalog), and updates for .NET 5 (runtime, ASP.NET Core, EF Core, and Winforms) with non-security fixes. The new versions (v5.0.5) are available on the official .NET 5 page or via GitHub.

The Azure team officially released the Azure Communication Services (general availability). The new services allow developers to add chat, voice calling, SMS messaging, and other forms of real-time communication to their applications. Interoperability with Microsoft Teams is also supported (public preview).

Another relevant release from Microsoft was the C# language standard - now open-source on GitHub. According to Bill Wagner, senior content developer at Microsoft's .NET Core content team, the objective behind this move is to provide a public space to document the standard for the latest C# language versions:

Moving the standards work into the open, under the .NET Foundation, makes it easier for standardization work. Everything from language innovation and feature design through implementation and on to standardization now takes place in the open. It will be easier to ask questions among the language design team, the compiler implementers, and the standards committee. Even better, those conversations will be public. The end result will be a more accurate standard for the latest versions of C#.

Despite not being a software release, Jen Looper, education cloud advocate lead at Microsoft, published an interesting text on how to build a 'green' browser extension. The principles of Green Software Engineering are a core set of competencies needed to define, build and run green sustainable software applications. In the article, Looper explains what it means to be a 'green developer':

According to Asim Hussain's 8 Principles of Sustainable Software Development, one of the goals of a 'Green Developer' is to help users make decisions that can have a meaningful impact on carbon impact. In addition, a Green Developer should be mindful of the carbon impact of their software itself. A carbon extension hosted locally and only making ad-hoc API calls might be a particularly sustainable idea.




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