I think anyone who has spent time with Xamarin from early 2013–2014 until now and especially those who have adopted XF & worked with it from its early release will echo much of the frustrations I have raised in this article.
Its not easy abandoning a 2 year soon to be released app that was written for iOS and Android but enough is enough, my only regret was that I should have done it sooner.
Xamarin’s whole development eco system is painfully flawed and sadly Xamarin’s release cycle doesn’t concentrate on what developers really need — a rich IDE that doesn’t require GB’s of RAM , true HOT RELOAD, rich XAML intellisense, fast under 1 min build cycles to multiple devices , extremely small APK/IPA files etc. Not a single one of these ‘features’ have been delivered completely by Xamarin even after 6 years.
Ones productivity is still very slow and still very much the same. Xamarin could have given the community hot reload for XMAL and code but instead they still havent mastered this crucial developer component — this was essential to aid with development , much like proper XAML intellisense which still doesnt work completely meaning one has to get this from R# which as we know bloats the resources used by VS and makes large Xamarin projects grind to a halt.
I still can’t get my head around the direction that Xamarin takes in terms of what they consider to be ‘adding to a developers sweet spot’ — I mean ‘CSS styles’ really ? Was this such a crucial component that would aid in developer productivity ? I’ve been theming my Xamarin apps for since 2013 and have easily lived without CSS.
And then what about the missing bindable picker ? I mean — this was a joke right — I had to wait for a pre release of XF 2.3.4 in order to get this component in 2017 as it didn’t exist for almost four years from 2013/2014 — obviously we had to roll our own bindable pickers amongst other components because they just didn’t exist (and still don’t) — aka , Back button support and trapping this when pressed via hardware/software — this now crucial feature coming via Xamarin Shell — but again we had to write effects/renderers to accomplish this in Xamarin.
Having spent 5–6 years developing with Xamarin — installing numerous components to enrich XAML development (LiveXAML, Live Code, XAML Previewer, Gorilla Player, Xamarin forms player by Daniel Cazzulino etc) and still not able to effectively see the results off my changes — it was time to throw in the towel .
I don’t see this as a defeat but just a wise decision to say enough is enough, I will use my time more wisely and embrace the Flutter technology and platform that I find is more robust, productive, consistent and above all a pleasure to work with.