Today’s header image was created by Alejandro Scaff at Unsplash

Ladies and Gentlemen, and friends beyond the binary,

to quote scooter

we interrupt your regularly scheduled series of posts to bring you this message:

From that Tweet alone, we know that we have a lot of wonderful things to discuss. So let’s not waste any time, shall we?

.NET Standard 2.0

.NET Standard 2.0 is fully supported by .NET Core 2.0,

more on that in a moment

which is fantastic for everyone.

I’ve mentioned all of the wonderful things that where coming in .NET Standard 2.0 in my post on .NET Core 2.0 preview 1.

You can read what I had to say here

One of the biggest positives of .NET Standard 2.0’s release is that it brings the following platforms into line (API surface wise):

  • .NET Framework 4.6.1
  • .NET Core 2.0
  • Mono 5.4
  • Xamarin.iOS 10.14
  • Xamarin.Mac 3.8
  • Xamarin.Android 7.5

Meaning that the above platforms all have access to the same APIs when targeting .NET Standard 2.0.

which is pretty amazing, when you think about it. Big props to Immo and his team

Because .NET Standard 2.0 brings back a large chunk of the API surface, we’re now able to consume NuGet packages and DLLs which were originally built for .NET Framework in our .NET Core applications.

I wrote about how to do this before, back when the .NET Standard 2.0 preview was released (by using a .NET Framework NuGet package in a .NET Core 2.0 application).

Not much has changed, other than a new warning has been added into NuGet. Namely NuGet warning NU1071

wasn’t that the id for the Enterprise?

Here’s an example of NuGet warning NU1701:

Package ‘Microsoft.Composition 1.0.0’ was restored using ‘.NETFramework,Version=v4.6.1’ instead of the project target framework ‘.NETStandard,Version=v2.0’. This package may not be fully compatible with your project.

The above example warning will be displayed when adding a package built against .NET Framework, and whenever the project consuming that package is built. This is meant to force us (as the developers who are consuming the package) to do a sanity check on whether the package actually works with our code base.

This is due to the use of the .NET Framework compatibility mode:

The vast majority of NuGet packages are currently still targeting .NET Framework. Many projects are currently blocked from moving to .NET Standard because not all their dependencies are targeting .NET Standard yet.

source: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/dotnet/2017/08/14/announcing-net-standard-2-0/

at least it’s not as bad as the left-pad issue

This is all down to NuGet not being able to tell whether the package we’ve included will actually work with .NET Standard 2.0. It’s then down to us to ensure that the package works with our code, whilst we wait for the package maintainer to move it over to .NET Standard 2.0

if they move it over. There are a lot of very old packages on NuGet

For more on this warning, I’d recommend reading the Wiki entry for it over on the Github repo for NuGet at https://github.com/NuGet/Home/wiki/Improved-NuGet-warnings

it includes the steps you can take to force MSBuild to ignore the warning, but I wouldn’t recommend that. At least, for the time being

.NET Core 2.0

It really hasn’t been that long since preview 2 of .NET Core 2.0 was released.

in fact, the release notes for preview 2 where only created in June

which just shows Microsoft’s commitment to getting version 2.0 our of the door as soon as it was stable and ready for enterprise.

The official release date for .NET Core 2.0 was August 15th, 2017

meaning that it happened in the middle of my blog posting schedule 😛

The majority of the new stuff in .NET Core 2.0 was included in the two previews. I did a write up of the new content in preview one, back when it was the new hotness. Not much (functionality wise) has changed since then – there have been bug fixes and some performance improvements, but it’s mostly the same.

ASP.NET Core 2.0

Microsoft seem to be are hoping that Razor pages will be the killer feature for .NET Core 2.0

I’ve written about them already, too

I’m not sold on them as yet, but I can see how they could be useful as a training tool.

You could train someone to use Razor Pages before they go full MVC (creating separate Models, Views and Controllers directories and separating everything up that is – Razor Pages is part of MVC, you see), for instance. Also the source code for the ASP.NET Community Stand up website uses Razor Pages

the source for their site is available here

so it has it’s uses.

Personally (and this is just my opinion), it feels like it’s a step back towards webforms. Then again, React, Angular and similar JS UI frameworks have a mixture of code and markup in the same way. Maybe I just don’t like change as much as I used to.

There’s a whole new way to set up the webserver in ASP.NET Core 2.0.

again, I covered that in an earlier post when the first preview was released

Which OSs Are Supported?

Before we get onto the topic of installing and using .NET Core 2.0, it’ll be useful to know what we can run it on. The list of supported Operating Systems is impressive.

MacOS is the simplest, in that MacOS Sierra (version 10.12) and above is supported.

For Windows (desktop) it’s everything from Windows 7 SP1 onward. So Windows 8, 10 and Server 2008 (Revision 2, with Service Pack 1 at least) are supported.

Where things get simultaneously tricky, yet supremely impressive is with Linux distributions.

From here on out, the .NET Core team are targeting Linux rather than groups of distributions of Linux. The quickest and simplest way to explain this is to use the Linux support table that Microsoft have thrown together:

NET Core 2.0 Linux Support
Source: https://github.com/dotnet/core/blob/master/release-notes/2.0/2.0-supported-os.md#linux

Theoretically, any Linux distribution which supports libc can run .NET Core 2.0. Add to that the fact that there’s now a proper ARM32 build of .NET Core 2.0 for Raspberry Pi, and you’ll see that we’re starting to converge on the promise that Java gave us (but never truly delivered on), back in the 1990s:

Write once, run anywhere

Which leads wonderfully to this beautiful image:

Any Developer, Any App, Any Platform
Just soak that in for a moment

Installing .NET Core 2.0

Depending on the platform you’re on and whether you had the previews installed, you’ll need to take a slightly different path.

MacOS

This is the easiest path by far.

which kind of betrays the fact that a lot of the .NET Core engineers are running MacOS

Simply install the latest version of the SDK – which you can find here: https://www.microsoft.com/net/core#macos

Windows

You’ll first need to update Visual Studio 2017 to version 15.3. This is done by opening the Programs & Features window, finding Visual Studio 2017 and clicking modify.

Modify Visual Studio 2017
That’s the button, right there

This will bring up the Visual Studio 2017 setup window, and might inform you that it need to be updated before you can update Visual Studio. Let that happen, then click the Update button.

you’ll need to close any instances of Visual Studio that you have open, first

As Immo himself points out

you’ll need to go install the latest version of the SDK – which you can find here: https://www.microsoft.com/net/core#windowscmd

Ubuntu

Aside from Arch based Linux distributions, this is the hardest path (especially if you had one of the previews installed).

Arch used to require that you built from source

You’ll need to remove any of the preview builds that you previously had installed before you do anything.

The official instructions are pretty easy to follow

psst, they’re available here

but I had trouble with the following command:

sudo apt remove dotnet-dev-2.0.0-preview2-006497

I’d had both of the previews installed at one point, and it had left my system in a bit of a wobbly state. So I had to first run the following command to get a list of dotnet sdks installed:

sudo apt list --installed | grep dotnet

Then I had to run the following command to remove all SDK Version 2.0 previews:

sudo apt remove dotnet-sdk-2*

Only then I was able to run through the remainder of the set up process.

Confirming Installation of .NET Core 2.0

We’re going to use our old friend the terminal here

I’m a bit of a fan. I wonder whether you’ve noticed

Issuing the following command (one of our old friends):

dotnet --version

should return

2.0.0

If you get a different version, try searching in the directory you’re in for global.json files. When I first installed the .NET Core 2.0 release, I got the following back:

> dotnet --version
1.0.4

psst, lines prepended with ‘>’ are what I entered into the terminal

Which told me that there was a global.json somewhere. I did a search:

> ls global.json
global.json
> cat global.json
{
"sdk":
{
"version": "1.0.4"
}
}

found it!

Then  renamed it and checked the version number again:

> mv global.json global.js
> dotnet --version
2.0.0

Tooling

I’ve already discussed updating Visual Studio 2017, but there are also updates for:

  • Visual Studio for Mac
  • Visual Studio Code

I had the preview installed, so already had all the features

  • Rider

Visual Studio for Mac should prompt you when you start it up. Let it download the updates and you’ll soon be ready to work with .NET Core 2.0. You’ll need to have installed the SDK separately, though.

as with Windows, it’s an opt-in process

You can download the latest version of Visual Studio Code from here: https://code.visualstudio.com/

Rider

Rider is an interesting one, because the first release was only a few weeks back

I’ve been using it since it was in early access, and now have the full version, so I’ll be putting my thoughts together soon.

Here’s a spoiler though: it’s great!

and that doesn’t support .NET Core 2.0’s features. Anyone with the 2.0 previews installed will have seen the familiar messages in the event log:

Rider 2017.1 Net Core 2.0 Not Supported
This is the initial release version (i.e. 2017.1)

However, the official Rider twitter account had this to say on Wednesday (16th August, that is):

I Want More

Me too.

Over the next few months, I’ll be putting out more .NET Core 2.0 specific posts

I need to get the OwaspHeaders middleware posts out of the way first

including a few where I’ll be taking some of the .NET Core 1.x projects and upgrading them to .NET Core 2.0 – which will be fun to write about, I’m sure 😛

Until then, I’d recommend that you take a look at this fantastic video with Scott Hunter and friends:

Scott goes through some of the newest features of .NET Core, ASP.NET Core, Visual Studio and Azure. It’s definitely worth watching, and it’s only 80 minutes long.


Have you started building applications or services with .NET Core 2.0? Had you built anything with the previews? What’s your favourite new feature?

How do you feel about .NET Standard 2.0 helping everything converge on the ‘any developer, any app, any platform’?

Let me know in the comments below, and let’s keep the conversation going

A .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for his non-dev blog, or writing for a blog about video games (which he runs with his brother)