UnoPlatform and WinUI, what to expect? ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ“ฒ

The UnoPlatform Team tells us about the upcoming release of WinUI 3.0 and the importance for the Uno community, do you want to know more?

We wrote a few questions to the team and they answered a lot of our concerns. This is the brand new info we can offer, enjoy!

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What are your expectations regarding the upcoming WinUI 3.0?

Overall, we are on the mission to put WinUI on every platform possible.

On the product side, this means we will ship our next major milestone in lock-step with WinUI 3.0, which will include support for WinUI 3.0 of course.

On the adoption side, we expect to see an absolute explosion in the adoption and reviewal of Windows developers who will now have one of the best UI frameworks out there. And they will be able to use the same C#/XAML Skillset.

What has been the reaction of the Uno Platform community to WinUI 3.0 release coming soon?

There has been a lot of releases, which I can classify in two main segments.

First, the excitement has been there in terms to โ€˜finallyโ€™ be able to push forward with the projects that have been pending โ€“ be it new, or modernization projects which involve the Windows stack.

Second, the excitement has been really prominent regarding Surface Neo and Duo devices. Many former Windows and Windows Phone developers see this as an opportunity to take their apps to new form factors and dual-screen experiences via WinUI TwoPaneView which we have ensured works perfectly with Uno Platform. Weโ€™ve had community contribute and help developers with guides on how to detect the hinge etc.

Do you have direct contact with the Win UI development team?

Yes. We work very closely with several people on WinUI team and even have a Microsoft Teams instance running so we can chat/collaborate in real-time as if we were all under the same roof. This has proven to be very useful. In addition, we have a weekly call with a couple of key WinUI team members.

We also like to spend face-to-face time with them. In January we went to Redmond where we spent 3 days with wider Microsoft team โ€“ WinUI, Windows Community Toolkit, Bing Teams as well as various teams under โ€˜developer divisionโ€™ including Scott Hunter. Richard Lander and others.

When do you think the cross-platform development will be fully unified?

As far as we are concerned it already is โ€“ via WinUI and Uno Platform. Whatโ€™s more, our experiments show Uno can work well and enhance developer experience when working with Blazor and Xamarin Forms.

Uno apps can currently run on mobile, desktop and the browser. We are experimenting with IoT scenarios too and it is showing quite interesting.

Do you think we will eventually see the WinUI running on other OSes like Linux or Mac?

Absolutely. WinUI will be able to run on MacOS, via Uno Platform, in the next few months in preview mode. MacOS has been one of the top-voted feature requests in our December 2019 community survey, so we are tackling that first. Linux is also possible but currently, there is no high demand for it from the community base so we will work on other top-voted issues first before tackling Linux.

Whatโ€™s the main roadblock to achieving the unification?

Assuming this is a follow-up question to: โ€œWhen do you think the cross-platform development will be fully unified?โ€

There is definitely a lot to do and getting more hands to participate in the OSS project would be great โ€“ be it via pure community contributions, like what we have seen so far. Or, to get a bigger corporation to invest in Uno โ€“ be it through dedicating developers to it, or contributing money to some of the Uno community champions.

Will the arrival of WinUI affect Uno for mobile/WASM platforms?

Yes, in positive ways. We are riding the WinUI wave and the more final it is the more adoption and usage we expect to see. We are closely monitoring any breaking changes such as i.e. namespace renaming to make sure we are compatible on day 1. In turn, these may cause some breaking changes to Uno users.

The best thing to do is to stay close to our Gitter channel blogs.

For the high-level user XAML developer, whatโ€™s the main difference between the current UWP XAML dialect and the new WinUI 3.0 XAML?

From a high-level perspective, there should be zero changes as far as XAML dialect goes. Most importantly, without tight coupling between the operating system and WinUI, developers won’t have any worries about which version of Windows their users have installed. There are some talks about namespace renaming, but we are monitoring those conversations to ensure compatibility with Uno Platform on day 1. Anyone interested in following these conversations should pay attention to these two threads on GitHub: “WinUI 3.0 roadmap” issue and “WinUI 3.0 Developer Experience and tooling comment”.

Are we seeing a DataGrid and Chart controls in the near future? Will they be included as part of WinUI or 3rd party controls?

Yes. We are working very closely with Syncfusion to make sure that their Grid and Charts work closely with ours. In addition, developers can also use the Windows Community Toolkit grid.

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This is it! We want to thank the Uno Platform Team for their time to answer our questions and let us know more about this awesome project. Remember that you can read more cool content about UnoPlatform in our blog, don’t miss it!

 

Interview by Elena Guzmรกn, part of Idiwork’s team

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2 comments

  • Tony Henrique says:

    Great interview! WinUI looks promising, because it aims to be the best Windows development experience, and also will be enabled to reuse and run a lot of the same code on Web, Mobile, IoT.

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