What’s going on with .NET and Hot Reload?

During the last days a huge controversy has been generated around .NET, the development environment promoted by Microsoft and that, in recent years, has been part of the efforts carried out by the company to establish a good relationship with the free software community. And it would be unfair to undermine their efforts in this regard, because since the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft, technology has stepped on the accelerator in this regard.

It is enough to access its web page, to read that the three properties with which .NET is defined are «Free. Cross-platform. Open source«. In its years of existence, This framework has managed to gain the trust of developers of all kinds whoThanks to its enormous versatility, they have been able to carry out all kinds of projects with it, from web services to games, through apps for smartphones and developments based on machine learning.

The current version of .NET is version 5, but it will be released very soon by .NET 6, a version of which several Release Candidates have already been released, that is, versions that aim to be the one that will finally reach the market. In them, neither functions nor components are added, modified or eliminated, they only look for possible faults. However, this time it has not been the case, since already in this phase, a function that was found in previous versions was removed.

The feature removed from .NET 6 a few days ago is called “Hot Reload”, and its function is to provide a real-time code testing environment. With it, developers can make changes at runtime and immediately check the result. Whether you dedicate yourself to programming or not, surely you can assess how practical this system is, since it allows you to make hot changes, without having to stop the execution, make the modifications and re-launch the test.

The elimination of this function generated even more friction with the developer community (including company personnel, according to some media), since Despite being removed from .NET 6, it will be kept in Visual Studio 2022, Microsoft’s development environment whose launch will take place on November 8. Thus, in this way, a function that initially was going to be found in .NET 6, will suddenly become available only in the development environment, paid, of course, from Microsoft, thus moving away from free software.

What's going on with .NET and Hot Reload?

During this week there have been complaints about it, many more than initially expected, to the point that Microsoft has finally backtracked and, as we can read on the platform’s official blog, Hot Reload will be available in .NET 6 from its launch. A change that, as we can see in the same comments on the blog, has been very well received by the user community, who celebrate it as a victory.

However, this controversy has raised a reasonable doubt, and it is the reason Microsoft decided to remove Hot Reload from .NET 6. The official explanation can be summarized in that, given the imminence of the launch of .NET 6 and Visual Studio 2022, the company chose to focus on bringing Hot Reload first to Visual Studio, thus implying that its plans were to subsequently go also moved to the free framework. They claim that they made a mistake by underestimating the number of developers who were expecting this feature, and that they also mistakenly removed the code responsible for it, rather than simply leaving it there for later.

However, for days now there is a theory that it was actually a business decision, and Julia Liuson, director of Microsoft’s developers division, is even pointed out that she would have thought that this change would go unnoticed, and would allow Hot Reload to be sold as one of the advantages of Visual Studio 2022. A decision that, according to those affected, it would go totally against Microsoft’s efforts in recent years to create a multiplatform environment.

Be that as it may, Microsoft has given good acknowledgment of the complaints And, whether it was by prioritization, by mistake or by business, it has decided to go backwards, finally allowing Hot Reload to be available to everyone from day one. And along the way, you have undoubtedly learned that the efforts made over the years to consolidate your image in the world of free software can be seriously harmed by decisions of this type.

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