Matt Ward

Template Creator for Visual Studio for Mac

The Template Creator extension provides a way to create a project template from an existing project or solution open in Visual Studio for Mac and have the project template available in the New Project dialog straight away.

The Template Creator uses the .NET Core templating engine to create the projects from the project templates.

Let us take a look in more detail at what the Template Creator extension provides in Visual Studio for Mac.

Features

  • Create a project template from an existing solution or project
  • Create custom top level project template categories

Supports

  • Visual Studio Mac 7.0 or later.

Creating a new Project Template

To create a new project template for a project opened in Visual Studio for Mac, right click the project and select Create Template.

Project - Create Template context menu

A Template Information dialog is then opened.

Template Information dialog

The information in the dialog is used to populate the generated template.json file. Further details on what the template.json file holds is available in the reference for template.json].

  • Author
    • Author of the project template.
  • Display Name
    • This is the template name displayed in the New Project dialog.
  • Description
    • This is the description displayed in the New Project dialog.
  • Category
    • This is the category in the New Project dialog used by the template.
  • Short Name
    • This is the short name for the template that can be used from the .NET Core command line.
  • Default Project Name
    • This is the default project name that will be used with the .NET Core command line.
  • Identity
    • This is the unique id for the template. This should be unique across all custom project templates.
  • Group Identity
    • This is typically a substring of the template’s Identity.

By default the project template will use the Other – .NET – General category in the New Project dialog. To change the category click the browse button next to the category text box to open the Template Categories dialog.

Template Categories dialog

Select the required category and click OK. The selected category will then be updated in the Template Information dialog.

Click OK to generate the template.json file. The template.json file will be opened in the text editor. It will also be displayed in the Solution window in the .template.config folder.

template.json file created for project

The project template is now available in the New Project dialog.

Custom template in New Project dialog

Updating a Project Template

After the project template is created you can modify the original project and its template.json file as required.

Changes made to the project are available in the New Project dialog immediately.

Changes made to the template.json file are available immediately in the same instance of Visual Studio for Mac where the template.json file is being edited.

Multiple Projects in a Template

A project template may create more than one project. To create a project template for all projects in the solution right click the solution and select Create Template.

Solution - Create Template context menu

A template.json file will be created in a .template.config directory inside the solution’s directory.

template.json file created for solution

Note that in order for the new projects created to use the name specified in the New Project dialog they should all have a common start to their name. The template.json file’s sourceName will be the part that is replaced with the name of the project specified in the New Project dialog.

Configuring Registered Project Templates

The .NET Core templating engine supports project templates in NuGet packages or project templates that unpackaged in a directory. The Template Creator extension does not package the project templates into a NuGet package and instead stores a set of directories that are scanned by the .NET Core templating engine for templates. The set of directories that are registered can be viewed and updated in the Preferences dialog from the Templates – Custom Folders section.

Preferences dialog - Templates - Custom Folders

The templating engine will scan the configured directories and look for all the template.json files which define the project templates. The project templates found are then made available to the Visual Studio for Mac’s New Project dialog by the Template Creator extension.

When the template.json file is created using the information in the Template Information dialog the Template Creator extenxion also registers the project’s directory so it will be scanned by the templating engine.

To remove a project template from the New Project dialog you can either delete the template.json file or remove the folder from the Custom Folders defined in the Preferences dialog.

If you have an existing set of project templates that use template.json files and are not in a NuGet package then you can register a single parent directory in the Preferences dialog.

Custom Categories

Custom top level categories can be defined for your project templates by adding them in Preferences – Templates – Custom Categories.

Preferences dialog - Templates - Custom Categories

The Add Top Level Category button will add a new top level category and two child category levels. The New Project dialog requires three category levels. The ids used should ensure that the full path to the template’s category is unique. For example, with a custom category custom/net/general there should not be another top level custom category id, but the second and third level category ids can be re-used in another top level category, such as top/net/general.

The Add Category button will add a single child category to the currently selected category whilst the Remove button will remove the selected category.

Note that changes to the categories require Visual Studio for Mac to be restarted before they are visible in the New Project dialog.

Also note that it is not currently possible to extend existing project template categories using the Template Creator extension.

Diagnosing Template Problems

If the template does not appear in the New Project dialog or fails to be created then you may be able to diagnose the problem by opening the Templating Log window. This is available from the View – Pads menu.

Main menu - View - Templating Log

This window will show messages returned from the .NET Core templating engine and any errors reported by the Template Creator extension.

Templating Log window

Installation

The Template Creator extension is available to download from GitHub.

To install the extension open the Extensions Manager by selecting Extensions… from the main menu. Click the Install from file button. Select the .mpack file and then click the Open button.

The extension is also available from a custom MonoDevelop 7.0 extension server. It is not currently published to the main Visual Studio for Mac extension gallery.

Source Code

Further Reading

.NET Core Support in Visual Studio for Mac 7.2

Changes

  • Support NuGet package fallback folders
  • Support AssetTargetFallback
  • Xamarin.Forms 2.4 support (VS for Mac 7.2.2)
  • Fixed transitive types from references not being available

More information on all the new features and changes in Visual Studio for Mac 7.2 can be found in the release notes.

NuGet package fallback folders support

The .NET Core SDK 2.0 defines a NuGet package fallback folder /usr/local/share/dotnet/sdk/NuGetFallbackFolder that can be used when looking for NuGet packages whilst restoring. This fallback folder is now supported by Visual Studio for Mac 7.2 so that on restoring a .NET Core 2.0 project the NuGet packages from the fallback folder will be found and do not need to be downloaded from nuget.org into the local machine NuGet package cache ~/.nuget/packages. This should speed up NuGet package restore for .NET Core 2.0 and .NET Standard 2.0 projects the first time it occurs.

As well as the NuGet fallback folders Visual Studio for Mac will now add the following items to the generated project.assets.json if they are available:

  • configFilePaths
  • sources
  • warningProperties

AssetTargetFallback support

The .NET Core 2.0 SDK uses an AssetTargetFallback MSBuild property defined in an imported SDK MSBuild files. This is used instead of the PackageTargetFallback property when determining if a NuGet package is compatible. Currently the AssetTargetFallback property is set to net461 by the .NET Core 2.0 SDK which allows .NET Core projects to use NuGet packages that include assemblies that target the full .NET Framework. The supported fallback frameworks are now added to the generated project.assets.json file by Visual Studio for Mac when a .NET Core 2.0 project is restored.

NuGet package restore now fails if package and asset target fallbacks are defined by a project

If both AssetTargetFallback and PackageTargetFallback are defined by a project then the NuGet restore will fail with an error indicating that they cannot be used together. This mirrors the behaviour of the .NET Core command line restore.

Mark implicit PackageReferences as auto referenced

PackageReference items that have IsImplicitlyDefined set to true in their metadata now have autoRefererenced set to true in the project.assets.json file.

Support parsing MSBuild conditions with unquoted properties

The .NET Core 2.0 SDK uses conditions that pass properties to the Exists function without using single quotes around the MSBuild property. This is now supported by Visual Studio for Mac.

<PropertyGroup Condition="Exists($(FileName))">

Xamarin.Forms 2.4 support

The following sections cover bug fixes made in Visual Studio for Mac 7.2.2 to improve support for Xamarin.Forms 2.4 and later versions. Xamarin.Forms 2.4 includes .NET Standard support as well as defining default MSBuild items for .NET Core and .NET Standard projects. These default MSBuild items were not handled by Visual Studio for Mac 7.2.0 and earlier versions. The main symptoms of Visual Studio for Mac not supporting Xamarin.Forms 2.4 were:

  • Duplicate .xaml files in the Solution window.
  • Nesting of .xaml and .xaml.cs files not working in Solution window.
  • MSBuild items incorrectly added to SDK style projects.

Generated NuGet files being imported twice

The generated NuGet files, .nuget.g.targets and .nuget.g.props, that are created for .NET Core projects were being imported twice. Once by Microsoft.Common.props, that is provided with Mono, and once by Visual Studio for Mac.

This double import was causing a duplicate file to be added to the project when Xamarin.Forms 2.4 was used in a .NET Standard project and the .NET Core SDK was not installed. This would result in the .xaml file and associated .xaml.cs file not being nested in the solution window.

MSBuild items added when new xaml file added to project

Adding a new Xamarin.Forms content page with XAML would incorrectly add an update item to the project for the .xaml.cs file when an SDK style project was used.

When a new .xaml file was added to an SDK style project a None item as well as an EmbeddedResource item would incorrectly be added to the project file.

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<None Remove="MyView.xaml" />

<EmbeddedResource Include="MyView.xaml">
  <Generator>MSBuild:UpdateDesignTimeXaml"</Generator>
</EmbeddedResource>

Compile item added with DependentUpon metadata

Xamarin.Forms 2.4 defines a wildcard update similar to:

<Compile Update="**\*.xaml.cs" DependentUpon="%(Filename)" />

When a project was saved in Visual Studio for Mac a Compile item was incorrectly added to the main project with the evaluated value stored in the DependentUpon element.

DependentUpon being evaluated incorrectly

Metadata defined for wildcard MSBuild items were being evaluated using the wildcard item instead of the expanded item. This was causing .xaml.cs files to not be nested in the Solution window for Xamarin.Forms 2.4.

Xamarin.Forms 2.4 defines an update item similar to:

<Compile Update="**\*.xaml.cs" DependentUpon="%(Filename)" />

The DependentUpon property was evaluated using the wildcard item which resulted in the DependentUpon property being evaluated as ‘*.xaml.cs’ instead of the filename of the item that was updated by the wildcard.

Define MSBuildSDKsPath for MSBuild engine host

MSBuild when run on the command line defines the MSBuildSDKsPath in its MSBuild.dll.config file. The MSBuild engine host that is used when building with Visual Studio for Mac now also defines the MSBuildSDKsPath property. Previously this was not being defined.

This fixes a build error when using Xamarin.Forms 2.4.0 in an SDK style project that targets .NET Standard. Xamarin.Forms 2.4.0 uses default item imports which were not being included since they are conditionally imported based on the MSBuildSDKsPath property value:

<Import Project="$(MSBuildThisFileDirectory)Xamarin.Forms.DefaultItems.props" 
    Condition="'$(MSBuildSDKsPath)'!=''" />

If the SDK style project had a .xaml file and a .xaml.cs file then the .xaml.g.cs file was not being generated when the project had no files explicitly defined in the project file. This then caused a build error about the InitializeComponent method not being defined.

Bug Fixes

Fixed transitive assembly references not available until restart

Given a solution that contains three .NET Standard projects: LibC references LibB which references LibA. If the Newtonsoft.Json NuGet package was installed into LibA the types from this NuGet package were not available in LibB or LibC until the solution was closed and re-opened again. Closing and re-opening the solution refreshes the reference information used by the type system. Now when a NuGet package is installed into a .NET Core project the projects that reference this project have their reference information refreshed. Types from the installed NuGet packages are then available in projects that reference this updated project either directly or indirectly.

Fixed transitive project references after editing a project file

Given a solution that contains three .NET Standard projects: LibC references LibB which references LibA. If a NuGet package is added to LibA by editing its project file in the text editor the types from this NuGet package were not available to LibB or LibC without restarting Visual Studio for Mac or until the packages were restored for the solution. Now when the project file is saved the projects that directly or indirectly reference the project will be restored.

Ignore project references with ReferenceOutputAssembly set to false when restoring

Project references that have ReferenceOutputAssembly are now not added to the project.assets.json file. This was causing the NuGet package restore to fail in some cases. For example, if a .NET Standard project has a project reference to a .NET Core App project, but has the ReferenceOutputAssembly set to false, then running dotnet restore from the command line would work, but the restore would fail in Visual Studio for Mac.

NuGet Support in Visual Studio for Mac 7.2

Changes

  • NuGet 4.3.1 support
  • NuGet fallback folders support
  • AssetTargetFallback support
  • NuGet operations can be cancelled on closing the solution
  • Fixed transitive types from references not being available
  • Fixed credential dialog being shown multiple times on opening a solution

More information on all the new features and changes in Visual Studio for Mac 7.2 can be found in the release notes.

NuGet 4.3.1 support

NuGet 4.3.1.4445 is now included with Visual Studio for Mac 7.2.

NuGet 4.3.1 includes a fix for imports in the project.json file being ignored which could cause a NuGet package to incorrectly be considered incompatible when restoring NuGet packages.

NuGet package fallback folders support

The .NET Core SDK 2.0 defines a NuGet package fallback folder /usr/local/share/dotnet/sdk/NuGetFallbackFolder that can be used when looking for NuGet packages whilst restoring. This fallback folder is now supported by Visual Studio for Mac 7.2 so that on restoring a .NET Core 2.0 project the NuGet packages from the fallback folder will be found and do not need to be downloaded from nuget.org into the local machine NuGet package cache ~/.nuget/packages. This should speed up NuGet package restore for .NET Core 2.0 and .NET Standard 2.0 projects the first time it occurs.

As well as the NuGet fallback folders Visual Studio for Mac will now add the following items to the generated project.assets.json if they are available:

  • configFilePaths
  • sources
  • warningProperties

AssetTargetFallback support

The .NET Core 2.0 SDK uses an AssetTargetFallback MSBuild property defined in an imported SDK MSBuild files. This is used instead of the PackageTargetFallback property when determining if a NuGet package is compatible. Currently the AssetTargetFallback property is set to net461 by the .NET Core 2.0 SDK which allows .NET Core projects to use NuGet packages that include assemblies that target the full .NET Framework. The supported fallback frameworks are now added to the generated project.assets.json file by Visual Studio for Mac when a .NET Core 2.0 project is restored.

NuGet operations can be cancelled on the closing the solution

Previously when closing the solution, or closing Visual Studio for Mac, when a NuGet package operation was still running would result in a dialog being displayed saying that the solution cannot be closed until the NuGet operation was completed. NuGet v3 and above now allow the NuGet operations to be cancelled so now the dialog allows the current operation to be cancelled. If the operation is taking a while to cancel a busy spinner image will be displayed in the dialog.

Cancel NuGet operation dialog on closing solution

If a restore is being run when the solution will be closed the restore will be cancelled automatically without showing the dialog.

NuGet package restore now fails if package and asset target fallbacks are defined by a project

If both AssetTargetFallback and PackageTargetFallback are defined by a project then the NuGet restore will fail with an error indicating that they cannot be used together. This mirrors the behaviour of the .NET Core command line restore.

Support imported package references in non .NET Core projects

If a non .NET Core project had no PackageReference items but imported a file that did have PackageReference items the NuGet packages were not restored on opening the solution. This was because only the PackageReference items defined directly in the project were checked to determine if the project used NuGet packages. Now the evaluated MSBuild items are checked so any imported PackageReference items are detected and a restore will be run on opening the solution.

Note that imported PackageReference items are not displayed in the Packages folder.

Package Console is no longer opened when a NuGet operation is cancelled

When a NuGet operation is cancelled from the main status bar the Package Console is now not opened when the NuGet operation fails due to the cancellation. If the NuGet operation is not cancelled then the Package Console window will still be opened as before if the operation fails. This is also a workaround for Visual Studio for Mac closing the currently displayed dialog when the Package Console window opens after the NuGet operation is cancelled when closing the solution.

Whitespace is now trimmed when creating a new package source

When creating a new package source copying and pasting NuGet package source url can sometimes copy extra whitespace which can then result in NuGet package restore errors such as:

Failed to verify the root directory of local source
' https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json'.

The package source name and url will now have whitespace trimmed to avoid this copy and paste problem. This also matches Visual Studio on Windows behaviour.

Mark implicit PackageReferences as auto referenced

PackageReference items that have IsImplicitlyDefined set to true in their metadata now have autoRefererenced set to true in the project.assets.json file.

Bug Fixes

Fixed transitive assembly references not available until restart

Given a solution that contains three .NET Standard projects: LibC references LibB which references LibA. If the Newtonsoft.Json NuGet package was installed into LibA the types from this NuGet package were not available in LibB or LibC until the solution was closed and re-opened again. Closing and re-opening the solution refreshes the reference information used by the type system. Now when a NuGet package is installed into a .NET Core project the projects that reference this project have their reference information refreshed. Types from the installed NuGet packages are then available in projects that reference this updated project either directly or indirectly.

Fixed transitive project references after editing a project file

Given a solution that contains three .NET Standard projects: LibC references LibB which references LibA. If a NuGet package is added to LibA by editing its project file in the text editor the types from this NuGet package were not available to LibB or LibC without restarting Visual Studio for Mac or until the packages were restored for the solution. Now when the project file is saved the projects that directly or indirectly reference the project will be restored.

Fixed credential dialog shown multiple times on opening a solution

With check for updates enabled, multiple projects in the solution, and a package source that was missing or had invalid credentials, on opening the solution the credential dialog would be displayed multiple times even if the correct username and password was entered or the dialog was cancelled. The dialog was being displayed for each project and the credential information was not being re-used.

Now the NuGet source repositories are re-used when checking for updates and also when restoring the projects when the solution is first opened. Any valid credentials entered will be re-used when checking the remaining projects. If the credential dialog is cancelled then the dialog is no longer displayed again whilst checking for updates for the other projects.

Fixed credential dialog displayed when credentials are available

With valid credentials stored in the Mac key chain the credential dialog would still be displayed when it should not have been. The problem was that the NuGet credential service puts itself in a retry mode if any of the credential providers are used when trying to authenticate against a package source. Once in this retry mode the Visual Studio for Mac credential provider would always show a dialog asking for the credentials instead of re-using the existing credentials. To avoid this the credential service is reset before any user actions, such as opening the Add Packages dialog, running a restore or an update.

Fixed crash when displaying Chinese characters in the Add Packages dialog

With the NuGet v3 package source https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json selected, searching for Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Client would result in the Visual Studio for Mac terminating when an attempt was made to display the results in the Add Packages dialog. The crash was in the Pango library when it attempted to determine the size of the package title displayed in the search results. If the package title contained Chinese characters then Pango would throw an exception:

Illegal byte sequence encounted in the input.
at (wrapper managed-to-native) Pango.Layout:pango_layout_get_pixel_size (intptr,int&,int&)

Then when Visual Studio for Mac tried to use Pango again to determine the size of the text this would result in Visual Studio for Mac terminating.

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Pango-WARNING (recursed) **: shaping failure, expect ugly output.
shape-engine='BasicEngineCoreText', font='.SF NS Text',
text='∫ê'Stacktrace:

  at <unknown> <0xffffffff>
  at (wrapper managed-to-native) Pango.Layout.pango_layout_get_pixel_size (intptr,int&,int&) [0x0000b] in <c7aa2d93df4045df8dc71d5439f99d72>:0

If the NuGet v2 package source was used then this crash did not occur since the package title was not returned in the search results and the package id would be displayed instead which does not contain Chinese characters.

As a workaround the Add Packages dialog now displays the package id instead of the package title.

Ignore project references with ReferenceOutputAssembly set to false when restoring

Project references that have ReferenceOutputAssembly are now not added to the project.assets.json file. This was causing the NuGet package restore to fail in some cases. For example, if a .NET Standard project has a project reference to a .NET Core App project, but has the ReferenceOutputAssembly set to false, then running dotnet restore from the command line would work, but the restore would fail in Visual Studio for Mac.

NuGet Support in Visual Studio for Mac 7.1

New Features

  • NuGet 4.3 support
  • Support PackageReference in non .NET Core projects
  • Enable file template when a NuGet package is installed

More information on all the new features and changes in Visual Studio for Mac 7.1 can be found in the release notes.

NuGet 4.3 Support

NuGet 4.3.0.2418 is now included with Visual Studio for Mac 7.1.

This version of NuGet adds support for .NET Core 2.0 and .NET Standard 2.0 target frameworks.

Support PackageReference in non .NET Core projects

Non .NET Core Sdk style projects that use a PackageReference MSBuild item are now supported.

<PackageReference Include="Newtonsoft.Json">
  <Version>10.0.1</Version>
</PackageReference>

In Visual Studio for Mac 7.0 the Solution window would not show any packages for the project, would not allow the packages to be restored, and would create a packages.config file when installing a NuGet package even though the project was using PackageReferences.

Now if the project has a PackageReference the Packages folder shows the installed packages and can be used to update or install NuGet packages which will also create PackageReference MSBuild items.

If the project has no PackageReferences then by default a packages.config file will be created when a NuGet package is installed.

Currently it is not possible to opt-in to using PackageReferences by default. So the project file will need to be edited in the text editor to include at least one PackageReference before the default behaviour of using a packages.config file is overridden.

Enable file template when a NuGet package is installed

A file template can now specify that it should be enabled if the project has a specific reference or has a specific NuGet package installed. Previously it was only possible to enable a file template based on the references defined in the project file.

<HasPackageOrReference PackageId="Xamarin.Forms" Assembly="Xamarin.Forms" />

Whilst a reference will work for projects that use a packages.config file, if the project uses a project.json file or PackageReferences then checking the references defined in the project would not find any matches and the file template would not be enabled.

Bug Fixes

Do not require description when creating a new NuGet package project

When creating a NuGet package project or a multiplatform project the description needed to be specified in the New Project dialog.

To simplify the project creation process the package id is used as the description by default. As you type the package id into the New Project dialog the description text box will be updated. The description can be changed to be different to the package id if required.

Fix being unable to load NuGet Package Project created by Visual Studio on Windows

Visual Studio on Windows creates a NuGet package project (.nuproj) with no target framework version which resulted in 4.0 being used by default in Visual Studio for Mac. This would cause the project to fail to load in Visual Studio for Mac since it was checking for 4.5 or later.

Fix no packages shown in Packages folder for NuGet Package Projects

Opening a previously created NuGet package project (.nuproj) would show no packages in the Packages folder.

The problem was that the PackageReference project item was defined by both the NuGet addin and the Packaging addin. The NuGet addin’s PackageReference project item was used instead of the one defined by the Packaging addin so no package references were found for the NuGet package project.

Fix NuGet Package Project’s MSBuild targets not being created

If the NuGet package project’s generated .nuget.targets or .nuget.props are missing then these are now created on opening the solution if automatic restore is enabled.

Fix being unable to package .NET Standard projects

A NuGet package project that referenced an Sdk style .NET Standard project would fail to build the NuGet package. The build would fail with an error:

Error: Project targets '.NETStandard,Version=v1.4'. It cannot be
referenced by a project that targets 'NuGet,Version=v1.0'

Updating to a more recent NuGet.Build.Packaging NuGet package, such as version 0.1.276, fixes this problem.

NuGet Package project treated as .NET Core project

NuGet package projects (.nuproj) that use the NuGet.Build.Packaging 0.1.276 NuGet package define a TargetFramework property in an imported MSBuild .props file. This was causing the project to be treated as a .NET Core project by Visual Studio for Mac. This caused the Dependencies folder to be displayed and the References folder to be removed. Visual Studio for Mac now checks the project has the Sdk attribute instead of looking at the MSBuild properties defined by the project when determining the project type.

.NET Core Support in Visual Studio for Mac 7.1

New Features

  • .NET Core 2.0 support
  • Target framework selection for new projects
  • New project templates
  • .NET Core Runtimes and SDKs displayed in About Dialog
  • Improved support for multi target framework projects

More information on all the new features and changes in Visual Studio for Mac 7.1 can be found in the release notes.

.NET Core 2.0 Support

Visual Studio for Mac 7.1 adds support for .NET Core 2.0 and .NET Standard 2.0.

The .NET Core 2.0 SDK needs to be installed separately.

Target Framework Selection for New Projects

If a project template supports multiple target frameworks, and the corresponding framework is available, then the New Project dialog will allow the framework to be selected before the project is created.

New .NET Core target framework selection

Visual Studio for Mac includes project templates for .NET Core 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 as well as for .NET Standard versions 1.0 through to 2.0.

To be able to create projects that target .NET Core 2.0 or .NET Standard 2.0 the .NET Core 2.0 SDK needs to be installed.

New Project Templates

The following project templates have been added:

  • ASP.NET Core Web App (Razor Pages)
    • Available if .NET Core 2.0 SDK is installed.
  • Class Library
    • Targets .NET Core instead of .NET Standard.
  • MSTest

Some project templates do not support all the target framework versions. For example, the ASP.NET Core Web App (Razor Pages) only supports .NET Core 2.0, so this template will only be displayed if .NET Core 2.0 SDK is installed.

The F# project templates have some restrictions on what target frameworks they support. The F# .NET Standard project templates do not support selecting .NET Standard versions below 1.6. The F# Class Library project only supports .NET Core 2.0.

.NET Core Runtime and SDKs displayed in About Dialog

The About dialog will now display the .NET Core runtimes and SDKs that are installed on the local machine.

.NET Core runtime and SDK information in About dialog

Improved Support for Multi Target Framework Projects

SDK style projects that target multiple frameworks can now be opened in Visual Studio for Mac 7.1 and will show source files as well as NuGet package dependencies.

The project will be treated as though it only has one target framework which is the first one specified in the TargetFrameworks property in the project file.

Please note that currently the support for multiple target frameworks is limited in comparison with Visual Studio on Windows.

Bug Fixes

ASP.NET Core Web API project does not open API url on launching browser

When an ASP.NET Core Web API project was run it would open a blank web page in the browser instead of a page that showed the api values. Now when a new ASP.NET Core Web API project is run the http://localhost:<port>/api/values url is launched in the browser so the API values will be displayed.

Unable to run or debug ASP.NET Core project with empty SDK directory

If there was an empty directory inside the .NET Core SDK directory /usr/local/share/dotnet/sdk then it was not possible to run or debug an ASP.NET Core web project

If the .NET Core SDK MSBuild files were not found in the SDK directory then the project’s OutputType was not read and would result in the project being treated as a library project. This could also occur if only the .NET Core runtime is installed.

Shared project files shown for .NET Core project in Solution window

When a .NET Core project referenced a shared assets project the files from the shared project were incorrectly being displayed in the .NET Core project in the Solution window.

Fix generated code for resource files in .NET Core projects

Adding a resx file to a .NET Core 1.x or .NET Standard 1.x project would result in code being generated that could not be compiled.

Projects that target .NET Core App 1.0, 1.1, or .NET Standard below version 2.0 cannot compile code that uses typeof(Resources).Assembly which was being generated by the ResXFileCodeGenerator. If these target frameworks are used by the project then the code generated by Visual Studio for Mac will now use typeof(Resources).GetTypeInfo().Assembly which is supported.

.NET Core 2.0 and .NET Standard 2.0 do not need to use GetTypeInfo so the code generated for these frameworks has not been changed.

Fix new resource file not added as Update item in Sdk projects

Adding a new resource file to a .NET Core project would add the .resx file and the .Designer.cs file as Include items instead of an Update items.

<ItemGroup>
  <EmbeddedResource Include="Resources.resx">
    <Generator>ResXFileCodeGenerator</Generator>
    <LastGenOutput>Resources.Designer.cs</LastGenOutput>
  </EmbeddedResource>
</ItemGroup>
<ItemGroup>
  <Compile Include="Resources.Designer.cs">
    <DependentUpon>Resources.resx</DependentUpon>
  </Compile>
</ItemGroup>

This then caused the build to fail since these files are already included by the .NET Core SDK.

Configuring Open With in Visual Studio for Mac 7.0

Visual Studio on Windows can be configured to use a different editor to open a file. With Visual Studio for Mac, whilst you can open a file with a selection of editors and applications, it is not currently possible to change the default editor or add a custom application.

The Open With addin provides an Open With dialog that allows you to change the default editor or application used to open a file in a similar way to how this is done in Visual Studio on Windows.

Features

  • Supports changing the default editor used to open a file.
  • Supports adding a custom application to open a file.
  • Editor configuration is saved and will be available on restarting Visual Studio for Mac.

Supports

  • Visual Studio Mac 7.0 or later.

Configuring the Default Editor or Application

To configure the application or editor used to open file you can right click the file in the Solution window and select Open With – Preferences…

Open With - Preferences context menu

This will open the Open With dialog.

Open With dialog

The editors and applications that support opening the file are displayed. The default application is indicated by having (Default) next to its name.

To change the default application or editor used to open the file select it and then click the Set as Default button. Click OK to close the dialog and save the configuration.

If a file is currently open then it will need to be closed before it is opened in the new default editor or application.

Adding a Custom Application

A custom application can be added to the list of applications shown in the Open With menu. First open the Open With dialog by selecting Open With – Preferences. Then click the Add button to open the Add Application dialog.

Add Application dialog

The Browse button can be used to find an application.

The Friendly Name is the name that will be displayed in the Open With menu for the custom application.

Arguments cannot be specified if a Mac application (.app) is used. However if the application is not a Mac application, for example, it is a C# program, then arguments can be passed. To pass the filename to the program you can use {0} in the Arguments text box. This placeholder will be expanded to be the full filename path when the program is run.

Removing a Custom Application

To remove a custom application for a file first open the Open With dialog by selecting Open With – Preferences. Select the application you want to remove. Then click the Remove button.

The Remove button is only enabled for custom applications that you have added. The built-in editors and applications cannot be removed.

Installation

The Open With addin is available to download from GitHub.

To install the addin open the Extensions Manager by selecting Extensions… from the main menu. Click the Install from file button. Select the .mpack file and then click the Open button.

The addin is also available from a custom MonoDevelop 7.0 addin server. It is not currently published to the main MonoDevelop addin server.

Source Code

NuGet Support in Visual Studio for Mac 7.0

New Features

  • .NET Core support
  • NuGet 4.0 support

More information on all the new features and changes in Visual Studio for Mac 7.0 can be found in the release notes.

.NET Core Support

.NET Core projects do not show a Packages folder in the Solution window. Instead the NuGet packages are displayed in a NuGet folder, which is inside a Dependencies folder.

Newtonsoft.Json NuGet package in Solution window - .NET Core project

The version of the NuGet package is displayed directly in the Solution window. For other project types you need to right click the package to see the version.

If the NuGet package depends on other packages then these can be seen by clicking on the arrow to expand the dependencies.

Newtonsoft.Json NuGet package expanded in Solution window - .NET Core project

Restoring Packages

NuGet packages will be restored automatically on opening a .NET Core project. This can be disabled in preferences by unchecking Automatically restore packages when opening a solution in the NuGet – General section.

You can manually restore NuGet packages for .NET Core projects by:

  • Right clicking the Dependencies folder and selecting Restore.
  • Right clicking the NuGet folder and selecting Restore.
  • Selecting Restore NuGet Packages from the Project menu.

Selecting Restore NuGet Packages from the Project menu will restore packages for the project or the solution depending on what is currently selected in the Solution window.

Restoring NuGet packages for a .NET Core project works differently compared with a project that uses a packages.config file. The NuGet packages themselves will be downloaded into the NuGet package cache folder ~/.nuget/packages if they do not exist, as before, but the NuGet packages will not be copied into a packages directory inside the solution’s directory. The project file will not contain have any Reference items added when a NuGet package is installed.

When a NuGet restore is run for a .NET Core project three files in the obj directory are created.

  • project.assets.json
  • ProjectName.csproj.nuget.g.props
  • ProjectName.csproj.nuget.g.targets

The project.assets.json file contains the dependencies for your project.

The nuget.g.props and nuget.g.targets files will contain any MSBuild imports that your NuGet package requires and they also define some properties, such as the path to the NuGet package cache on your machine.

These three files are used when building your project to resolve the assemblies to be referenced now that they are no longer explicitly stored in your project file.

Updating Packages

NuGet packages can be updated by:

  • Right clicking the package inside the NuGet folder and selecting Update.
  • Right clicking the NuGet folder and selecting Update.
  • Right clicking the Dependencies folder and selecting Update.
  • Selecting Update NuGet Packages from the Project menu.

Selecting Update NuGet Packages from the Project menu will update all packages in the project or in the solution depending on what is currently selected in the Solution window.

Removing Multiple NuGet Packages in One Step

You can remove multiple NuGet packages in one step from a .NET Core project by selecting the packages in the Solution window, right clicking and selecting Remove.

Removing multiple NuGet packages in Solution window - .NET Core project

Projects that use a packages.config file do not support removing multiple NuGet packages in one step.

Installing NuGet Packages

NuGet packages are installed by using the Add Packages dialog in the same way as with other project types. To open the Add Packages dialog for a .NET Core project:

  • Right click the NuGet folder and select Add Packages…
  • Right click the Dependencies folder and select Add Packages…
  • Right click the project and select Add – Add NuGet Packages…
  • From the Project menu select Add NuGet Packages…

When the first NuGet package is installed into a .NET Core project a packages.config file will not be created. Instead the NuGet package will be added as a PackageReference that is saved in the project file.

Package Reference

.NET Core projects do not use a packages.config file to record their NuGet dependencies. Instead the .NET Core project file will contain a PackageReference after the NuGet package is installed into the project.

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<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

  <PropertyGroup>
    <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
    <TargetFramework>netcoreapp1.1</TargetFramework>
  </PropertyGroup>

  <ItemGroup>
    <PackageReference Include="Newtonsoft.Json" Version="10.0.2" />
  </ItemGroup>
</Project>

Please note that Visual Studio for Mac currently only supports package references with the new SDK style projects which are used by .NET Core. If you use package references in other project types then the Solution window will not show the packages and a packages.config file will be created if you install a NuGet package.

Updated Packages Available

For other project types the Solution window will check for updated packages and show this information in the Packages folder. This is not currently supported with .NET Core projects.

NuGet 4.0 Support

Visual Studio for Mac now includes NuGet 4.0.

More information on the new features provided by NuGet 4.– can be found in the Announcing NuGet 4.0 RTM blog post and the NuGet 4.0 release notes.

NuGet Support in Xamarin Studio 6.2

  • Integrated support for creating NuGet packages with NuGetizer 3000
  • NuGet 3.5 support
  • Improved project.json support
  • Native License Acceptance dialog

More information on all the new features and changes in Xamarin Studio 6.2 can be found in the release notes.

NuGetizer 3000

NuGetizer 3000 is a set of build tools for creating NuGet packages inspired by NuProj. Support for NuGetizer 3000 in Xamarin Studio includes:

  • Project templates for creating NuGet packages
  • Support for creating a NuGet package from an existing project
  • Reference assembly generation for Portable Class Library profiles

The following sections look at the NuGetizer 3000 features provided by Xamarin Studio. For more detailed information on what is supported by NuGetizer 3000 please read the NuGetizer 3000 feature spec.

Project Templates

There are two new project templates available.

  • Multiplatform Library
  • NuGet package

Mulitplatform Library project template in New Project dialog

NuGet Package project template in New Project dialog

Multiplatform Library – Single for all platforms

The Mulitplatform Library project template will create a Portable Class Library project with NuGet package metadata when the Single for all platforms option is selected.

Multiplatform library - single for all platforms selected

To create a NuGet package right click the project and select Create NuGet Package. This will generate a NuGet package (.nupkg) in the output directory with the Portable Class Library assembly in the corresponding portable lib directory inside the NuGet package.

Multiplatform Library – Platform specific

This Multiplatform Library will create a shared project, an iOS project, an Android project and a NuGet packaging project when the iOS and Android options are selected.

Multiplatform library - iOS and Android selected

The iOS and Android project will reference the shared project. The NuGet packaging project will reference the iOS and Android projects. The NuGet packaging project will contain the NuGet package metadata.

When the NuGet packaging project is built it will create the NuGet package in its output folder and inside the NuGet package will be the Android and iOS output assemblies each in their own platform specific lib folders.

NuGet Packaging Project

NuGet package project template configuration

The NuGet packaging project can be used to create a meta NuGet package, which is a NuGet package that has no content itself but references other NuGet packages, or it can reference other projects and it will add their output assemblies to the NuGet package. If the referenced project has NuGet package references then these will be added to the generated NuGet package as dependencies.

NuGet packages can be added to the NuGet packaging project by using the Add Packages dialog.

To include files in the NuGet packaging project the files need to have Include in Package property set to true. This can be done by right clicking the file in the solution window, selecting Properties, then selecting Include in Package from the NuGet section in the Properties window.

Include in Package in Properties window

Adding NuGet Package Metadata

NuGet package metadata can be added to any .NET project by selecting the NuGet Package – Metadata page available in the project options.

NuGet package metadata in project options

The General tab shows compulsory metadata that must be specified for a NuGet package. The Details tab shows other optional metadata that can be specified. This NuGet package metadata is saved directly into the project file (.csproj).

NuGet package metadata in project options

Once NuGet package metadata has been added then the NuGet.Build.Packaging NuGet package will be added to the project if it does not already exist. This NuGet package provides MSBuild tasks that are used when creating the NuGet package for the project.

NuGet package metadata should be added to project if you want to be able to create a NuGet package for that project on its own. Without NuGet package metadata the project would need to be referenced by a NuGet packaging project, or another project with NuGet package metadata, for it to be included in a NuGet package.

If a NuGet packaging project references a project that has its own NuGet package metadata then a dependency will be added to the NuGet package created by the NuGet packaging project. The referenced project’s output assembly would not be included in the NuGet package created by the packaging project in this case.

Generating a NuGet Package

To generate a NuGet package you can right click the project and select Create NuGet Package.

Create NuGet Package menu item

For NuGet packaging projects you can also build the project and it will create a NuGet package.

For a .NET project that has NuGet package metadata you can generate a NuGet package when building the project by enabling the “Create a NuGet Package when building the project” option in the Project Options dialog.

Creating a NuGet Package when building the project - project options

Adding Platform Implementations

If you have a Portable Class Library with NuGet package metadata you can add platform specific implementations for iOS and Android by right clicking the project and selecting Add – Add Platform Implementation. This will open a dialog where you can choose iOS and Android, and also whether to create a shared project.

Add Platform Implementation dialog

After clicking OK an Android and iOS project will be created along with a NuGet packaging project that references these projects. The NuGet package metadata will be moved from the Portable Class Library project to the NuGet packaging project. If the shared project option was selected then the code from the Portable Class Library project will be moved to the shared project. The shared project will be referenced by the iOS and Android project.

Reference Assembly Generation

In the Project Options for a NuGet Packaging project there is a Reference Assemblies page in the NuGet Package category. This pages shows a list of Portable Class Library profiles that can be selected.

Reference assemblies in project options

Reference assemblies for the selected profiles will be generated based on the output assemblies from the projects referenced by the NuGet packaging project.

That brings us to the end of the walkthrough of the NuGetizer 3000 features provided by Xamarin Studio.

NuGet 3.5 Support

Xamarin Studio now includes NuGet 3.5.

More information on the new features provided by NuGet 3.5 can be found in the Announcing NuGet 3.5 RTM blog post and the NuGet 3.5 release notes.

Improved project.json Support

NuGet packages are now automatically restored when the project.json file is saved in the text editor.

Native License Acceptance Dialog

The Licence Acceptance dialog now uses native UI.

License Acceptance dialog

Bug Fixes

Updating all NuGet packages installs unexpected pre-release NuGet packages

With a pre-release NuGet package installed in a project, updating all the NuGet packages in the project could cause the stable NuGet packages to be updated to pre-release versions. On updating all the packages if any were pre-release the include pre-release flag would be set on updating which would allow any pre-release NuGet packages to be used on updating. Now the include pre-release flag is not set on updating. NuGet 3 will still update pre-release NuGet packages to the latest pre-release or latest stable, depending on which is the latest version, without this include pre-release flag being set. NuGet 2 required the include pre-release flag set to update a pre-release to the latest pre-release.

An example – project has the following NuGet packages installed:

Xamarin.Forms 2.3.3.180
Xamarin.Forms.CarouselView 2.3.0-pre1

Latest available packages from nuget.org:

Xamarin.Forms 2.3.3.180 (latest stable)
Xamarin.Forms 2.3.4.184-pre1 (latest pre-release)
Xamarin.Forms.CarouselView 2.3.0-pre2

Expected result on updating all packages in the project:

Xamarin.Forms 2.3.3.180
Xamarin.Forms.CarouselView 2.3.0-pre2

Actual result:

Xamarin.Forms 2.3.4.184-pre1
Xamarin.Forms.CarouselView 2.3.0-pre2

Types unavailable when NuGet package added to project.json file

When a NuGet package was added to a project that used a project.json file the types from the assembly provided by the NuGet package were not available until the project was reloaded or the references were modified. This prevented code completion from showing the correct information.

PowerShell Support in Xamarin Studio

Xamarin Studio version 6.0 and later now have PowerShell editing and debugging support with a PowerShell addin. The PowerShell addin uses the PowerShell Editor Services which is also used by the PowerShell extension for Visual Studio Code.

Debugging a PowerShell script in Xamarin Studio

Features

  • Code completion
  • Debugging support
    • Immediate window
    • Locals window
    • Watch window
  • Find references
  • PowerShell file template
  • Rename variable or method
  • Show API documentation
  • Syntax highlighting

Requirements

Xamarin Studio 6.x or MonoDevelop 6.x.

PowerShell 6 needs to be installed on Mac and on Linux.

PowerShell 3 and higher are supported on Windows.

Code Completion

As you type in the text editor you will see code completion for PowerShell variables.

PowerShell variable code completion

Code completion for PowerShell commands.

PowerShell command code completion

An overview of PowerShell command parameters when you press the space key after entering a PowerShell command.

PowerShell command parameters overview code completion

Code completion for PowerShell command parameters.

PowerShell command parameter code completion

Hovering the mouse over a PowerShell command will show a tooltip with information about that command.

PowerShell command tooltip on hover

Syntax Errors

Syntax errors are highlighted in the text editor. Hovering the mouse over the highlighted error will show information about the error.

PowerShell syntax error highlighting

Find references

To find references of a variable or a method you can right click in the text editor and select Find References.

PowerShell find references text editor context menu

The references found are then displayed in the Search Results window.

PowerShell find references text editor context menu

Rename

A variable or method can be renamed in the text editor by right clicking and selecting Rename.

PowerShell rename text editor context menu

On typing the new name and the text will be replaced.

Show API Documentation

Right clicking on a PowerShell command and selecting Show API Documentation will open the online help for that PowerShell command, if it is available, in the web browser.

API Documentation text editor context menu

PowerShell API documentation web page

Creating a new PowerShell Script

To create a new PowerShell script there is an empty PowerShell file template available from the New File dialog.

PowerShell script file template in New File dialog

After creating a new PowerShell file it must be saved before it can be run or debugged.

Debugging

To debug the currently active PowerShell file open in the text editor, set a breakpoint on a line by clicking in the left hand margin, then select Start Debugging from the Run menu.

Run - Start Debugging menu

Alternatively you can click the Run button in the main toolbar.

Run button in the main toolbar

A solution does not need to be open in order for a PowerShell script to be run with the debugger. You can open just a PowerShell script into Xamarin Studio and then run the debugger.

Once the debugger has started you can select Step Over, Step In, Step Out or Continue Debugging from the Run menu by clicking one of the main toolbar buttons.

Run menu with Step menu items

Hovering the mouse over a variable will open a tooltip showing the variable value.

Debug tooltip on hover

Breakpoints

Breakpoint conditions should use PowerShell syntax and not C# syntax. The Edit Breakpoint dialog says to use a C# boolean expression which is incorrect.

PowerShell breakpoint condition in Edit Breakpoint dialog

Hit conditions are only partially supported. The PowerShell Editor Services debugger supports the ‘When hit count is equal to’. Due to this restriction the other hit count options may not work as expected.

Printing a message and continuing is not currently supported.

Breaking when the value of an expression changes is not currently supported.

Function and exception breakpoints are not currently supported.

Locals Window

When debugging the Locals window will show the values of variables grouped by each PowerShell scope – Auto, Local, Script and Global.

Locals Window

Watch Window

Variables and expressions can be entered in the Watch Window.

Watch window

Please note that entering a PowerShell command with missing parameters will cause the debugger to stop working. The PowerShell file will need to be closed and re-opened before the debugger will work again.

Immediate Window

Expressions and variables can be entered in the immediate window to get or set values.

Immediate window

As with the Watch Window, entering a PowerShell command with missing parameters will cause the debugger to stop working.

Passing Arguments when Debugging

To pass arguments when debugging a PowerShell script you can select Debug PowerShell Script… from the Run menu.

Run - Debug PowerShell Script menu

This will open a Debug PowerShell Script dialog where arguments can be specified. These arguments will be passed to the PowerShell script being run with the debugger. The settings used in this dialog will be remembered for the active text editor whilst it is open in Xamarin Studio.

Debug PowerShell Script dialog

Launch Configuration Support

In Visual Studio Code a launch.json file can be used to store launch configurations. These are supported in by the PowerShell addin in Xamarin Studio. The PowerShell addin will look for a launch.json file in the directory where the PowerShell file exists or in a .vscode subdirectory.

The launch configurations are shown under Active Configurations in the Run menu. Only PowerShell launch configurations which have a request type of “launch” are supported.

PowerShell launch configurations in Run menu

The currently selected launch configuration will be used when debugging or running the PowerShell script. By default no launch configuration will be selected.

Running without the Debugger

To run the PowerShell file with PowerShell directly, instead of using the debugger, select Start without Debugging from the Run menu.

Run - Start without Debugging menu

Output from the PowerShell script will be displayed in the Application Output window.

PowerShell script Application Output window

Installation

The PowerShell addin is available from the MonoDevelop addin repository on the beta channel. To install the addin open the Add-in Manager, search for the PowerShell addin, then click the Install button.

PowerShell addin in Addin manager dialog

Source Code

NuGet Support in Xamarin Studio 6.1

Xamarin Studio 6.1 was released last week as part of the latest stable Xamarin Platform release and it includes changes made to the NuGet support.

Changes

  • NuGet 3.4.3 support
  • Support for project.json files
  • A specific NuGet package version can now be installed from a list shown in the Add Packages dialog
  • NuGet operations can now be cancelled from the status bar or Package Console
  • Support browsing for a local directory when creating a package source
  • Support forcefully removing a NuGet package when it is missing from all package sources
  • Packages installed in the solution are no longer shown in the Add Packages dialog
  • Only global package sources are now shown in Preferences
  • NuGet version supported is now displayed in the About dialog

More information on all the new features and changes in Xamarin Studio 6.1 can be found in the release notes.

NuGet 3.4.3 support

Xamarin Studio now includes NuGet 3.4.3 which means project.json files are now supported and NuGet packages that only support NuGet 3 or above can now be installed.

Support for project.json files

The project.json file is a new package file format introduced with NuGet 3 which supports transitive restore. More detailed information on project.json can be found in the NuGet documentation.

A project.json file replaces the packages.config file and holds the NuGet packages being used by the project. One difference you will notice is that the project.json file may not show the same list of NuGet packages that a packages.config file would show. This is because the project.json file only shows the NuGet packages you explicitly install into your project. So if you install say bootstrap you will only see bootstrap in the project.json file even though it depends on jQuery. If you do the same for a packages.config file you would see both bootstrap and jQuery saved in the file. Another difference is that references are not added to your project file (.csproj) when using a project.json file.

In order to use a project.json file with Xamarin Studio you will need to create the file yourself in the project directory and close and re-open the solution. The project.json file needs to be available when you open the project otherwise Xamarin Studio will default to using a packages.config file.

An example project.json file for a .NET 4.5 library project is shown below:

{
  "frameworks": {
    "net45": {}
  }
}

When you add a NuGet package to a project that uses a project.json file the NuGet package information will be added into a dependencies section:

 "dependencies": {
   "NUnit": "3.2.1"
 }

Please note that when using a project.json file the project will not display a From Packages directory inside the References folder. This is because the project file does not have any references added to it when using a project.json and the reference information is currently not available from the project system.

Please note that there are future plans to move the information stored in a project.json file into the project file.

NuGet 3 package source

Xamarin Studio now supports using the NuGet 3 package source:

https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json

This can be added into your package sources in Preferences. It is also the package source that will be created by default if your global NuGet.Config file is missing.

Installing a specific NuGet package version from the Add Packages dialog

Older versions of Xamarin Studio supported being able to install specific package versions by using a package version search in the Add Packages dialog as shown below:

NUnit version:*

This package version search was not easy to discover and so it has been removed and replaced in Xamarin Studio 6.1 with a combo box that allows a particular version to be selected. The Version combo box is in the bottom right hand corner of the Add Packages dialog as shown in the screenshots below.

Add Packages dialog

Add Packages dialog with version combo box selected

Note that in order to populate the version combo box a second request is sent to the package source so it may not show all the versions immediately.

Also note that for package sources which are local directories only the latest version will be displayed in the version combo box.

Cancelling a NuGet operation

With Xamarin Studio you can now cancel the currently running NuGet package operation. This can be done by clicking the red Stop button in the Status Bar or in the Package Console.

Status bar stop button

Adding local package sources

When adding a package source in Preferences it is now easier to create a package source for a directory on your local machine. There is now a browse button which will allow you to browse to a directory and add it rather than having to type the full path into the text box.

Add Package Source dialog

The Add Package Source dialog has also been changed to make it more obvious that either a URL or a folder can be used as a package source. The URL label has been changed to Location and the placeholder text now specifies that a URL or a folder can be used.

Forced NuGet package removal

A NuGet package can now be removed when it not restored and is unavailable from all package sources.

With older versions of Xamarin Studio a NuGet package must be restored before it can be removed. This is a requirement of NuGet since it requires the original NuGet package to work out what has been installed so it can determine what needs to be uninstalled. NuGet can do more than just update the project file with references and MSBuild .targets files, it may add new files to the project or it may run app.config or web.config transforms.

When the NuGet package removal fails because the NuGet package cannot be restored a dialog will be displayed asking whether you want to try to remove the NuGet package anyway. If the OK button is selected then Xamarin Studio will:

  1. Remove the NuGet package from the packages.config file.
  2. Remove any assembly references for the NuGet package from the project file (.csproj).
  3. Remove any Imports that refer to .targets or .props files that were included with that NuGet package.

This process may miss files that were added to the project by NuGet but in the majority of cases it should remove the NuGet package successfully without having to manually remove the NuGet package information from the project file.

Packages installed in solution are no longer shown in Add Packages dialog

With previous versions of Xamarin Studio all packages installed in the solution were shown first in the list of packages in the Add Packages dialog. Packages installed in the solution are now no longer shown in the Add Packages dialog.

Only global package sources shown in Preferences

The package sources shown in the Preferences dialog are now only read from the global NuGet config file. Per-solution NuGet.Config files located in individual solution directories are no longer read when showing the package sources in Preferences. This is because changes made in Preferences only modifies the global NuGet.Config file.

The package sources shown in the Add packages dialog will still include package sources defined in a solution’s NuGet.Config file and is unaffected by this change.

NuGet version displayed in About dialog

The version of NuGet supported by Xamarin Studio is now displayed in the About dialog when the Show Details button is selected.

About dialog

Bug Fixes

Custom MSBuild .targets files were not always added to the end of the project

When installing a NuGet package that has a .targets file the Import element created was grouped with the existing Import elements. This is OK most of the time however if there are other items in the project added after the import then any build targets may fail since these items are included after the import. One example is the netfx-System.StringResources NuGet package which may not find any resource files that occur in the project after its Import element.

Now .targets files are added as the last element in the project file. This also makes the behaviour consistent with how NuGet works in Visual Studio.

Custom MSBuild .props files were not added to the start of the project

Installing a NuGet package that included an MSBuild .props file would add an Import element for the .props file at the end of the project file which is incorrect. Now .props files are added to the project file as the first child element inside the Project’s root element.

Known Issues

Offline package restore

Package restore may not work when you are offline even though the NuGet packages may be available in the local NuGet cache on your machine.

The current workaround is to create a package source that points to a local directory containing all the required NuGet packages and disable all online NuGet package sources. With just the local package source enabled you can then restore the NuGet packages when you are offline. Note that this problem also affects Visual Studio 2015.