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InfoQ Homepage News .NET MAUI in .NET 8 Preview 7 with Keyboard Accelerators, Fixes and Improvements

.NET MAUI in .NET 8 Preview 7 with Keyboard Accelerators, Fixes and Improvements

.NET MAUI is now available in .NET 8 Preview 7. This version introduces keyboard accelerators and more bug fixes and enhancements. This is the final familiarisation release of .NET 8. With this announcement came further community concerns about the framework.

The keyboard accelerators allow you to assign keyboard shortcuts to menus, even hidden ones, and link them to any part of the user interface. This is demonstrated by the ability to add an accelerator using the MenuItem.Accelerator property to a window-level menu on a page. 

Keyboard accelerators (Source: Microsoft blog)

To express the accelerator in C# code instead of using the included property, it can be formulated as follows:

MenuItem.SetAccelerator(AddProductMenu, Accelerator.FromString("ctrl+a"));

The primary focus of this release centres around addressing bugs and enhancing overall quality. For a comprehensive compilation of changes, it is advisable to refer to the release notes for version 8.0.0-preview.7.8842.

In the new release memory leaks within various UI controls, including Border, Editor, and Entry, on diverse platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) have been meticulously addressed, resulting in improved memory management and application stability. User interface controls such as Border, WebView and Entry have been updated in terms of behaviour, performance and customisation options across iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Together, these enhancements enrich user interaction, providing a more user-friendly and feature-rich environment.

Moreover, Platform-specific enhancements have been implemented across the major platforms (iOS, Android, Windows). These tailored enhancements, from resolving memory leaks to optimising performance, ensure that applications run smoothly and efficiently in various environments.

In addition, data entry and user interaction have been improved with enhancements including cursor behaviour in text fields, menu key accelerator integration and permutations in InputTransparent behaviour. Together, these strategic updates enhance user engagement and improve the overall usability of the application.

As previously mentioned, this announcement prompted discussions. The same thing happened with the .NET MAUI in .NET 8 Preview 5. Developers indicate that the framework is not production-ready. Among others, Stephen Winstanley shared some thoughts there:

After months of fighting with Maui to get on Windows and Android, I spend half my time ‘fixing’ what was working before. I wonder if all the hard work has been for nothing sometimes with Maui and wish I had never heard of it and could have just kept the original fully working Xamarin applications.

The community appreciates the team's commitment and understands this tool's complexity. However, they think Microsoft should be open about it, that the framework is not yet ready for complex applications, at least not for anything more complicated than a ToDo application.

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