Disclaimer: this is an automatic aggregator which pulls feeds and comments from many blogs of contributors that have contributed to the Mono project. The contents of these blog entries do not necessarily reflect Xamarin's position.

November 12

Physics Changes in Unity 2018.3 Beta

The main change Unity 2018.3 brings to physics is the 3D physics engine upgrade, from PhysX 3.3.3 to PhysX 3.4.2. It’s the first time we ship the latest available version of PhysX to date. We aim to improve performance and stability and make it extremely easy for you to upgrade your project. Read this post […]

November 9

Getting Started with Unity’s 2D Animation Package

Have you been looking for an easy way to create skeletal animation for your 2D sprites? We’re introducing our own 2D Animation package, which allows you to rig 2D sprites, paint bone weights, and create skeletal animation, all in-editor! On top of that, there is support for Inverse Kinematics as well. You can check the […]

November 8

Gorilla Player: A Tool to Craft Beautiful XAML UIs for Xamarin.Forms

This is a guest post contributed by Leonardo Rodríguez Viacava. Leo is co-founder and CTO of UXDivers, creators of Grial UIKit and Gorilla Player. UXDivers specializes in designing and coding engaging mobile experiences using Xamarin technologies.

Gorilla Player is a free XAML previewer for Xamarin.Forms designed to efficiently create multi-platform UIs. It supports previewing in multiple simulators and real devices simultaneously. Gorilla doesn’t impose constraints to your XAML, supporting custom controls, custom renderers and MVVM frameworks like Prism.



When we started UXDivers (in mid-2015), we were a small team of designers and developers on a mission: Take XAML UIs to the next level by bridging the gap between design and Xamarin.Forms development. We quickly realized that translating rich designs into XAML required fast feedback loops, but we didn’t have the right tooling. So, we built Gorilla Player to help us craft the beautiful XAML UI templates that make up Grial UIKit and the custom projects for our clients. Gorilla improved our development process so much that in 2016, we turned this internal tool into a free public tool help the Xamarin community.

As mentioned before, Gorilla Player imposes no limitations on the previewed files, runs on multiple real devices and simulators at once, and supports data bindings through JSON sample data. Thanks to Gorilla, the projects at UXDivers have three stages: (1) our designers work on the UX/UI using their favorite design tool, (2) once the customer is happy with the design, either the designer or the developer codes the UI in XAML with the help of Gorilla Player, (3) the developer writes the logic and finishes the app.

Gorilla makes crafting great mobile UIs an enjoyable, lightweight, and collaborative process for developers and designers.

Getting started with Gorilla

To get started, install the desktop application, available for Windows and macOS. The installer includes a Visual Studio add-in necessary to sync the XAML file you are editing with the previewing surface.

As an example, let’s preview the Conference Vision app created by David Ortinau for the Build 2018 Conference with Gorilla Player. This app was built entirely in Xamarin.Forms using cool community components, custom controls, effects, behaviors and CSS styling.

  1. Clone the repository.
  2. Add the UXDivers.Gorilla.SDK.AutoConfig NuGet package to the ConferenceVision.iOS project.
  3. Add GORILLA as an additional symbol to the Debug configuration. This ensures the app starts in Preview Mode.
  4. Add two files to the ConferenceVision project: a.)DesignTimeData.json containing design time data, and b.)Gorilla.json to configure the custom navigation bar.
  5. Run the app, connect to the server, and start previewing!



Designing with Gorilla

To show you why Gorilla is so important to us, let’s do a quick demo of how to develop custom projects at UXDivers. Let’s create an app to honor one of our favorite beverages: coffee.

Project Setup

When starting a new app, one of our developers typically creates a new project and adds dependencies like community controls, libraries, MVVM frameworks, and custom fonts. Once that’s ready, add Gorilla to start working on the user interface with our designers.

For this sample app, we will use the UXDivers.Effects and xamanimation NuGet packages. As seen in the video below, after creating the solution, you add both NuGet packages UXDivers.Effects and xamanimation to all projects, and the Gorilla AutoConfig package only to the platform-specific projects (iOS and Android).
Note: The Gorilla AutoConfig package is in Beta, so make sure to enable pre-release nugets to see this package available!



Note that since UXDivers.Effects and xamanimation are referenced only in XAML, you need to include a typeof to force their assemblies to load; otherwise, the XAML Loader will fail.

You want to be able to preview the XAML files, and still have the option to run the full app in debug and release mode. To make it easier to switch between Gorilla mode and Debug/Release, create a Gorilla solution configuration by making a copy of the Debug configuration and adding the GORILLA symbol there.

The app is now ready to deploy in Gorilla mode to all devices, and you are ready to start working on your XAMLs.

XAML Crafting

Gorilla allows you to use multiple devices simultaneously. At UXDivers, we always use at least one Android and one iOS device, but if you need to support tablets, multiple orientations or several languages you can add more devices. The video below shows you how to walk through building out our user interface with Gorilla Player. In this particular sample, we add images to the solution, add styles to the App.xaml, and create accessory views such as ProductCardTemplate to then use within the page.



As the video shows, Gorilla follows your workflow, previewing each screen you code without getting in your way.

Bindings

Gorilla lets you integrate data at any point in your process. The designer or developer can add the required bindings either at the beginning or later on, as in the example below. To do this, they add the DesignTimeData.json file to the project. This file associates a JSON object to each XAML file. Gorilla then sets that object as the BindingContext of the page or view, making it act as the design-time view model for that page or view.



To help you define the design-time data, Gorilla supports advanced features like JSON object references, global data, and loading data from other files.

Polishing

Tweak your XAML until you love it! Thanks to Gorilla’s immediate previewing, polishing your pages is fun. For our coffee order screen, we customized the TitleView property, added animations, and tested out a dark theme.

In this video, we use the Gorilla.json configuration file to instruct Gorilla to show the navigation bar for every page. You can also instruct Gorilla to display the navigation bar on specific pages, or even have it use a custom navigation page type available in your project.



Localization

Gorilla can also help you design localized apps. You can test your layouts in different languages simultaneously by choosing the specific language to preview on each device. Just configure Gorilla to make it aware of the languages your app supports. You can learn more about that process by reading the documentation.

Learn More

Gorilla Player enables you to rapidly iterate on your XAML user interfaces, imposes no restrictions on library or control usage, supports simultaneous previewing on multiple devices, and is completely free to use. To get started, download Gorilla Player from our website. To learn more about Gorilla, check out our wiki or forum.

All the animated videos shown in this post are available as videos in this playlist. The AutoConfig feature we used in this post is still in beta, and available in Gorilla 1.5+. If you have any trouble using it, please get in touch. We’d love to hear your feedback on Twitter @leorodri

The post Gorilla Player: A Tool to Craft Beautiful XAML UIs for Xamarin.Forms appeared first on Xamarin Blog.

Jump start your autonomous simulation development with Unity’s SimViz Solution Template

Unity’s SimViz Solution Template gives you everything you need to get started and accelerate the building of your simulation environments, so you can focus on autonomous simulation and scaling your program. Many transportation and robotics companies are actively building toward a future where machines – whether automobiles or robots – will be deployed to perform […]

November 6

Performance Reporting is now Cloud Diagnostics

Better name, new features, and now accessible to Unity Personal Edition users! If you’re familiar with Performance Reporting, then Unity Cloud Diagnostics is everything you knew about it, but better. It has more tools to help you find and respond to user issues fast and in real time, and it’s now accessible to everyone! Why […]

November 5

Show the world what you can do with 2D

There’s no better opportunity to start a new page of your notepad and start sketching your games ideas because we are celebrating the recently released new 2D tools! The new tools open up a new world of possibilities. You can import vector graphics to reduce sprite sizes and scale at any resolution, make pixel art […]

November 2

Testing Test-Driven Development with the Unity Test Runner

Test-driven development (TDD) is the practice of writing automated tests for a piece of code before writing the code itself. In this blog post, I’m going to explain how my colleagues and I used TDD for making games (with code snippets), as well as what went well and what didn’t. TDD is not a fix-all, […]

November 1

Highlights from Unity’s Film and Animation Summit at Unite LA

Last week at Unite LA 2018, Unity hosted our first Film and Animation Summit and welcomed creators across film and entertainment into our Unity community. Read on for highlights from our first-ever Shorts Program, news from the keynote, insights from our summit session lineup, and more. There is no better time for storytellers in film […]

Xamarin and .NET Community Events in November

Here are just a few of the awesome community-run events scheduled this month. Get the full list of mobile developer engagements happening all over the world through our Community page. There you will also find new Meetups, links to Github and StackOverflow, as well as the .NET Twitter, Gitter, and Facebook pages. As always, we encourage you to tweet @XamarinEvents to promote your upcoming Xamarin and .NET related events as well as post the details to our Events Forum for further amplification.

Mobile Developer Events in November:

November 6:

November 7:

  • London, United Kingdom | London .NET User Group: Gael Fraiteur, the founder of PostSharp, and Microsoft MVP Luce Carter present on Xamarin and .NET.

November 10:

November 13:

November 14:

November 15:

  • Minneapolis, MN. USA | Minnesota Enterprise Mobile: App Security – Secure Coding and Keeping Your Data Safe
  • Guatemala, Uruguay | .NET Conf UY v2018: Get the latest in Microsoft technologies by the best experts, and a unique opportunity to learn, share, network and have fun!

November 20:

  • Brighton, United Kingdom | .NET South East: Binding Business Requirements to .NET Code and Real Life Experiences
  • San Jose, Costa Rica | Mobile CR Developers: Intro a DevOps, Blockchain (DApps), Azure DevOps & Mobile Center

November 28:

  • Houston TX. USA | Houston Xamarin Users Group: Show off your latest project and discuss the problems and challenges you’ve faced.
  • Santiago, Chile | .NET Conf CL v2018: Get the latest in Microsoft technologies by the best experts, and a unique opportunity to learn, share, network and have fun!

November 29:

  • Brussels, Belgium | MADN Belgium: Buzzz words cocktail – Brandon Minnick on Xamarin, Azure API and Cosmos DB

 

Join .NET Foundation Meetup Pro

We’ve teamed up with the .NET Foundation to continue broadening and strengthening the future of the .NET ecosystem by promoting openness and community participation to encourage innovation. To be part of this exciting transition and take advantage of all the benefits, we invite you to join the .NET Foundation Meetup Pro Account.

The .NET Foundation is supporting user groups who join the Pro account by:

  • Covering Meetup fees
  • Promoting events
  • Granting access to swag
  • Providing the latest content for presentations
  • Sharing news about upcoming releases and how to get involved

In addition to the above, you can also utilize user group analytics, group visibility, and direct user group support for content and speakers – join .NET Foundation Meetup Pro today!

.NET Conf Local Events

Watch all the live sessions from .NET Conf right on Channel 9! With a wide selection of content by feature speakers from the community and .NET product teams, take this opportunity to learn, teach, and get inspired for your next project.

The post Xamarin and .NET Community Events in November appeared first on Xamarin Blog.

October 30

Propelling AEC to new heights at Autodesk University 2018

On November 13, Unity will be back at Autodesk University, but this time in a much bigger way. We’ll be located at booth #A459 with amazing new content to show, many presentations and talks, and much more. Join the Unity Team to witness the real-time revolution that can quickly bring great ideas and products to […]

October 29

Welcome to the Unity Global Student Challenge

Whether you’re just starting to learn or you’ve been making games for years, join the Unity Global Student Challenge to show the world what you can create! At Unity, we’ve seen students create amazing projects from competitions to the classroom to their dorm room. When given the right tools and inspiration to create, they turn […]

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