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New CollectionView Highlights Xamarin.Forms 4.3 Stable Release

Microsoft announced the stable release of Xamarin.Forms 4.3, the latest update to its flagship cross-platform mobile development framework, providing a UI toolkit for building native Android, iOS, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps using C#.

XF 4.3 removes the "experimental" flag from the feature, which has been in the works at least as far back as a December 2018 early preview of v4.0.

At that time, Microsoft said, "CollectionView is the flexible and performant list control that you've been asking for." The control, designed to succeed the venerable ListView, was deemed worthy of its own blog post.

CollectionView in Action
[Click on image for larger animated GIF view.] CollectionView in Action (source: Microsoft).

There, Paul DiPietro said it improves on ListView's design by reducing technical complexity and providing more layout and functionality flexibility, with characteristics including:

  • CollectionView has no concept of cells. Instead, data templates are used to define the appearance of each item of data in the list.
  • CollectionView reduces the API surface of ListView. Many properties and events from ListView are not present in CollectionView.
  • CollectionView has a flexible layout model, which allows data to be presented vertically or horizontally, in a list or a grid.

More information on the new feature can be found in the documentation.

In a post yesterday (Oct. 22), DiPietro also announced another view in XF 4.3, RefreshView. "The need for pull-to-refresh functionality was a top piece of feedback during the CollectionView Challenge," he said. "RefreshView provides pull-to-refresh functionality to any child which supports scrollable content."

Also new are:

  • SourceLink Support: "With SourceLink support added to Xamarin.Forms, easily step into the source code for a first-class debugging experience. Learn more through the SourceLink GitHub repo."
  • Displaying HTML on a Label: "By setting the TextType property on the Label to Html, your string values can be parsed as HTML."

While all of the above are stable, XF 4.3 introduces some preview features including CarouselView and Shell support in UWP projects, both of which sport experimental flags.

More information can be found in the update's release notes."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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