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InfoQ Homepage News Avalonia Reaches v11 GA Release

Avalonia Reaches v11 GA Release

Beginning this month, the Avalonia team announced the release of version 11.0 of their framework, bringing significant changes and new features. These changes include features like automated testing capabilities, improved accessibility support, the introduction of Input Method Editor (IME) support for text input, and advanced text rendering and layout options.

Furthermore, developers can now take advantage of control theme enhancements, full support for Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation and trimming for smaller application sizes, and the introduction of Template Studio for Avalonia inside of Visual Studio and a broader spectre of platforms. A few months ago, InfoQ also interviewed Mike James, the company's current CEO, which readers can read and get more insights into the Avalonia UI platform.

Regarding the broader platform support, iOS, Android, and WebAssembly are now included inside Avalonia UI. Future support for Apple's visionOS is previewed, and the community has enabled Avalonia UI on Samsung's TizenOS. Its unique architecture ensures easy integration of new platforms, as previously highlighted in a report.

Avalonia 11.0 introduces a powerful new composition renderer, elevating visual capabilities and performance. With support for implicit animations, connected animations, and render thread animations, it offers dynamic and high-performance UI experiences. Its efficiency ensures smooth operation, even on low-powered embedded devices, reaffirming Avalonia's adaptability and wide application.

Another significant advancement in text rendering capabilities, offering enhanced control over visual elements in your UI. Rich text rendering, supporting inline elements, allows for versatile variations in a single TextBlock, including font styles, hyperlinks, and embedded controls - a novel feature previously unattainable. The roadmap includes exploring full rich text editing in upcoming versions, promising an even more immersive user experience.

Furthermore, the latest version introduces Input Method Editor (IME) support, enhancing global reach and inclusivity. Users can now effortlessly enter characters and symbols not readily available on their input devices. This feature seamlessly integrates with on-screen keyboards on mobile and web platforms, ensuring compatibility with various OS-provided text functionalities.

Avalonia's latest version, v11, introduces robust accessibility support to ensure inclusivity for all users, including those with disabilities. The framework now incorporates industry-standard features for improved accessibility, such as keyboard navigation, screen reader support, and high-contrast themes. Also, version 11, introduces improved automated testing capabilities, extending support to traditional frameworks like Appium. The addition of a 'Headless' mode enables rapid testing of the entire application, enhancing efficiency in functionality validation and bug detection.

Other changes in Avalonia v11 include significant improvements to control themes, providing developers with enhanced flexibility and control over the appearance of their applications. Additionally, there is full support for Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation and trimming, resulting in reported ~60% smaller application sizes, faster downloads, quicker startup times, and reduced end-user storage usage. Moreover, developers can now take advantage of Template Studio for Avalonia, a user-friendly, wizard-based tool to simplify the creation of new Avalonia apps within Visual Studio.

Lastly, in addition to the major version release of Avalonia 11.0 in July, Avalonia provided a sneak peek of their upcoming extension for Visual Studio Code, set to significantly enhance the Avalonia development experience within the code editor. The extension offers XAML code completion and an integrated XAML previewer. Notably, the preview features the Integrated XAML Previewer, a tool that facilitates real-time visualization of XAML code, enabling efficient design and tuning of user interfaces.

To get started with Avalonia UI v11 RC, users can download the Nuget package and also interested readers can learn more about Avalonia UI and get started exploring the new and revamped official documentation, alongside quick guides and the main Avalonia GitHub repository.

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