Blazor, .NET In The Browser, Reaches 0.3
Written by Mike James   
Thursday, 31 May 2018

History has some strange twists and turns for those willing to see them. Blazor is one of the oddest. Take .NET compile it to Web Assembly and run it in the browser. Sounds like fun? Now we can all try it out as it reaches version 0.3.


Blazor isn't a completely silly idea, but it almost is.

The crazy idea is compiling the Mono runtime to WebAssembly. Why it's Mono that is used rather than .NET Core is a good question, but I suppose if the Mono team has done the work why not? Given you have essentially .NET running in the browser, you can now write C#, or any .NET langauge, programs in the browser. 


The only question that remains is: "How are the languages going to interact with the browser?"

There are two possible answers.

You could add some code to make the environment look like Windows. This would give you something like Silverlight used to be.


You could build an interface to the DOM and all things HTML.

The latter is what the Blazor team has decided to do and as a result it is difficult to see the use case for it.

Nevertheless the Microsoft team is pressing on.

Blazor lets you write .NET code and run the result in a browser. At the moment there is no plan for a native mobile app. Technically it isn't ruled out, but it would go up against Microsoft's other mobile solution, Xamarin.

The new elements in Blazor 0.3 are: 

  • Project templates updated to use Bootstrap 4
  • Async event handlers
  • New component lifecycle events:
       OnAfterRender / OnAfterRenderAsync
  • Component and element refs
  • Better encapsulation of component parameters
  • Simplified layouts 

Now that we can all try it out we can find out if it is a good idea.

For me the killer is that I have to interop with JavaScript and HTML.

If I had some old C# code that I wanted to run in the browser I might be tempted, but if I have to interact with JavaScript and the DOM I'm not sure why I'd move to C#. Then there is the horrible use of Razor, the embedding of code in web pages PHP-style is not a modern way to work. Blazor mixes code, HTML and nonstandard markup in a way that makes a page useless if the project gets cancelled. Given the way that Microsoft still seems to run its software projects  as competetive evolution, Blazor needs to prove its worth to Microsoft not us.

After all how many Microsoft ways are there now to create web pages?

I know I keep saying it, but how could Microsoft have left a revolutionary technology like Silverlight just die...


More Information


Blazor 0.3.0 experimental release now available

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 May 2018 )