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  • RussellGilbert 10:09 am on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mac, , Xamarin,   

    Visual Studio and Xamarin Update Pain 

    I’m in the middle of writing a cross platform app (UWP, IOS, Android) using Xamarin on Visual Studio 2017.

    Yesterday, just for fun, I updated stuff on my PC…

    • I set my Windows 10 PC to the Release Preview Ring on Windows Insider and got the Creators update
    • I installed the latest VS2017 update (15.0.26228.12)
    • I updated my MacBook to MacOs 10.12.5 Beta (16F43C)
    • I updated my Xcode to 8.3 (8E162)


    After which some stuff was broken.

    • VS would connect to my Mac & Start the build agent but after a few seconds it would just stop.
    • My IOS app wouldn’t compile. It kept bombing with “The ‘ConvertPdbToMdb’ task failed unexpectedly”.
    • I couldn’t deploy my UWP to my Surface Pro.


    I finished all the updates around 9:00pm last night & started on getting things working again at 8:00am this morning. I’ve just got it all going (10:00am). Here are the fixes…

    Connecting to the build agent: Download and install the latest Xamarin Studio on my Mac (6.2.1 Build 3), reboot my Mac, Restart Visual Studio

    ConvertPdbToMdb task failed: Go to the Build tab on Property page of my common .Net Standard library, click the ‘Advanced’ button at the bottom & set ‘Debugging Information’ to full in the ‘Output’ section.

    Deploy to UWP: Dunno mate. Rebooted my Surface Pro a few times and it started working.

    Amazingly, my Android app – often a source of deployment pain – didn’t even break wind.

    Given all the updates I did at the same time I guess a couple hours of chasing down issues isn’t the end of the World. But, the whole Xamarin/Visual Studio plumbing still feels a bit fragile and it’s frequently not great at giving useful information back. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all evolves now VS2017 is out there. Hopefully, a whole building full of clever peeps at Microsoft are on the case.



  • RussellGilbert 5:21 am on October 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mac, ,   

    The Swiftness of the Code Deceives the Developer 

    Thanks to those who patiently listened to me prattling on about Swift at the Oxford .Net Dev meeting last night. It was really good to catch up with some familiar faces. Here are the links to resources that I promised…

    Beginning Xcode: Swift edition by Michael Knott

    Cocoa Programming for OSX by Aaron Hillegass, Adam Preble and Nate Chandler I didn’t mention this book last night but should have. The projects in there are a great way to get to grips with the new language. These guys are part of Big Nerd Ranch and it’s also worth checking out their website.

    https://developer.apple.com/videos/ (checkout the WDC 2015 videos)

    https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=408 (Protocol-Oriented Programming by Dave Abrahams, professor of blowing you mind)

    Happy coding peeps.

  • RussellGilbert 7:34 am on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mac, ,   

    Too much is not enough 

    Been getting myself skilled up on Apple Development using swift lately. As things stand I much prefer C# over Swift and Visual Studio over XCode but it’s early days and the jury should rightly still be out.

    Not too early for one gripe though… Apple please sort your documentation out!

    The fruity ones go to great lengths to make rich documentation easily available from right withing their dev environment. The problem is that whenever you look up a class there’s just too much of it (documentation not the class, that’s a whole different discussion). There’s no concept of a journey that the reader can navigate according to what he or she needs to know at that particular moment. Basically, you have to plough through the whole turgid mass to find what you’re looking for. Wouldn’t it be great if the doc for each class had a summary right at the top with maybe a table showing the methods and properties available? If the methods and properties were well named you might not even have to read any further. The MSDN library does this really well (more pertinent and less verbose code examples though please Microsoft).

    Too much is not enough Apple, what we need is less.

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