|OpenSilver 2 Adds Support For VB.NET
|Written by Kay Ewbank
|Monday, 16 October 2023
OpenSilver 2.0 has been released with improvements including support for VB.NET, compatibility with Blazor, React, and Angular., and a preview of 3D and AR/VR support. The open-source alternative to Silverlight is capable of running large, complex legacy applications, as well as newly written C# and XAML applications.
OpenSilver was first released in 2021 at the same time as Microsoft ceased support for Silverlight. Userware, the French software company that originated it as an open source project hosted on GitHub, created it because they felt developers should not be compelled to rewrite existing applications because of a change in the underlying stack.
OpenSilver uses Mono for WebAssembly and Microsoft Blazor to enable developers to use C#, XAML, and .NET for client-side Web development.
The headline improvement for the new release is support for VB.NET, allowing a wider range of developers to build web apps using their preferred language, Visual Basic, and XAML.
Support has also been added for integration with Blazor, React, and Angular. The OpenSilver team recently released XAML for Blazor, which enables developers to integrate OpenSilver into ongoing Blazor projects. The new version also has a design-time live XAML preview that can be used to preview UI changes without running the application.
The development team has also announced a pre-alpha early stage tool for creating 3D, VR, and AR apps in .NET with XR#. The alpha-version website says developers will be able to use C#, XAML, and .NET to write cutting-edge, cross-platform 3D apps powered by WebXR. A WYSIWYG 3D XAML GUI Designer is expected for 2024.
Back in the current version, new templates have been added, including a business application project template. There's also a new open-source sample CRM application.
Other improvements include an enhanced layout system that supports custom layouts and third-party controls, including Telerik UI for Silverlight; and a faster simulator that provides up to ten times speed improvement.
The developers say that new tools are under development, including a WYSIWYG XAML designer, and augmented support for WPF, LightSwitch, and F#, as well as "unexplored domains like 3D and VR/AR on the Web using .NET and XAML".
OpenSilver 2 is available now.
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