First Look: Visual Studio for Mac is finally here, almost

Visual Studio for Mac is something that many Microsoft developers have been looking for for over a decade. As Mac OS X got interesting in the early 2000s, coders who spent most of their days working in Visual Studio on Windows wondered why they couldn’t use the same languages, frameworks, and tools for Mac, rather than need to learn Objective-C, Cocoa, and Xcode, which were all very different from Windows development languages ​​and tools.

Many of us thought that the ECMA standards for C # and the .Net Framework, and the Mono project led by Miguel de Icaza (first at Ximian, then Novell, then Xamarin and finally at Microsoft), could pave the way for a unified development platform. For my part, I had no idea that it would take so long, although I was at least aware of some of the rather Byzantine politics going on among the various interested parties, thanks to my involvement in the series. of .Net books. I was also aware of the reputation Mono and Xamarin both had for being “a little bit hilly”.

The introduction of lightweight and portable Visual Studio code and the gradual integration of Xamarin tools in Visual Studio 2015, were in my opinion positive signs. Once Microsoft announced that it was going to acquire Xamarin (in February 2016), it became clear to me that the Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio IDEs were likely to merge on the Mac to create a single development environment, but I don’t didn’t know exactly what form it would take. take or how many features of Visual Studio for Windows could or would be implemented on the Mac.

In Visual Studio for Mac

Essentially, Visual Studio for Mac is Xamarin Studio plus a look and feel of Visual Studio, as well as Roslyn-based C # IntelliSense, refactoring, parsers, and code fixes; Package management based on NuGet; a project format compatible with Visual Studio; the MSBuild engine; integrated unit tests; and F # support.

Let’s expand on that a bit to understand what it means, in case you’re not familiar with Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio. In general terms, Visual Studio for Mac is an integrated Macintosh development environment for C # and F # applications that run on iOS, Android, and Mac targets, with a variety of application forms and technologies, including engines. Several types of applications use portable frameworks. Some support iOS and Android with Xamarin, and others support iOS and Mac games with SpriteKit (2D) and SceneKit (3D).

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