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NET MAUI Community Toolkit 9.0.0 Fixes Bugs, Adds CameraView

On May 3rd, 2024, Microsoft released version 9.0.0 of their open-source .NET MAUI Community Toolkit. The new version improves the usage of the CompareConverter class and adds several bug fixes, one of which is a breaking change. The version was followed by out-of-band additions to the toolkit.

.NET MAUI Community Toolkit (NMCT) is one of Microsoft’s .NET community toolkits hosted on GitHub, catering to MAUI developers. Its purpose is to let the community contribute useful code missing from official frameworks. The community toolkits are released as open-source software, and developers are encouraged to submit their contributions. Some toolkit additions can be promoted later into the official Microsoft libraries.

MAUI is an acronym that stands for Multiplatform Application UI. According to Microsoft, it’s an evolution of Xamarin and Xamarin Forms frameworks, unifying separate target libraries and projects into a single project for multiple devices. Currently, MAUI supports writing applications that run on Android 5+, iOS 11+, macOS 10.15+, Samsung Tizen, Windows 10 version 1809+, or Windows 11.

The previous major version of NMCT, 8.0.0, was launched in March 2024. The version 9.0.0 comes three months later, with a version bump due to breaking change in the iOS AlertView class, where a FrozenSet class was replaced by IReadOnlyList.

While there are no big new releases in this version, the CompareConverter class has been made generic to make it easier to use. This class allows XAML binding to an object that implements the IComparable interface and then casts two objects as a result: one for the boolean result of true and another one for the false result.

In June 2024, a small bug fix patch was released, with the version number 9.0.1. It contains fixes for crashing components like the snackbar in iOS, popup in iPhone, and a crash when switching system themes in the shell tab navigation.

Two parallel package releases on June 17th mitigate the lack of new features in NMCT. These NuGet packages are separate from the main toolkit package, allowing for faster release. The new addition is the CameraView class, which is ported over from Xamarin. It adds a slew of properties to control the camera view in MAUI. The other one is the existing MediaElement class, with several bug fixes, lock screen support, and updated guidance documents.

The .NET MAUI Community Toolkit is versioned in different releases and frequently updated. The toolkit versions evolved from 3.1.0 in January 2023 to 9.0.0 in May 2024. The reason for this multiplicity of version numbers is the presence of breaking changes, which force a major version number increase. Microsoft acknowledged the progress and the acceptance of the toolkit with a mention on their .NET developer blog.

The updated documentation for the .NET MAUI Community Toolkit is available on the Microsoft Learn website. The project repository is hosted on GitHub and currently has 135 open issues.

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