Workbooks & Inspector 1.3 (Alpha 2)

Xamarin Workbooks & Inspector provide interactive tools for learning, experimenting, and even modifying your running app.

This is a significant update to the 1.2 series with some new features and bug fixes. An overview of changes since the last 1.2 release is below.

NEW

  • Major NuGet package management improvements:

    • Now uses NuGet 4 client libraries, opening up access to the latest packages, and improving support for .NET Standard packages.
    • User-installed packages show in the new sidebar, and can be uninstalled from a workbook via the context menu.
    • Added support for multiple repositories via standard NuGet.config files.
    • The global package cache is now used (nuget locals global-packages).
  • Workbooks now feature a sidebar UI that represents the complete visual structure of a workbook, including resources, NuGet packages, and a table of contents.

  • The Windows app now sports an "Open Recent" menu like the Mac app.

  • Special renderings for blockquotes starting with an emoji:

    • > ℹ️ will render as a note with a blue background
    • > ⚠️ will render as a warning with a yellow background
    • > 🚫 will render as a problem with a red background
  • A table of contents is now produced automatically based on markdown headers (levels 1-3). These headers can be linked to as well from within the document in the same manner as supported by GitHub.

  • Our integrations SDK is now published as a NuGet package. This enables integrations to be built more easily as an integration project may now reference the Workbooks library directly from NuGet.

  • Custom integrations are now loaded from NuGet packages.

  • The SkiaSharp renderers have migrated from Workbooks directly into SkiaSharp itself, taking advantage of the new custom integrations SDK. New renderers have been introduced for SKSurface, SKPixmap, and SKColor.

  • Improved image representations

    • SVG images are now supported (ImageFormat.Svg).
    • New convenience Image functions are available (run help in a Workbook). For example, an OxyPlot PlotModel can be rendered with a simple integration:
InteractiveAgent.RepresentationManager.AddProvider<PlotModel> (
      plotModel => Image (new SvgExporter {
          Width = 300,
          Height = 250
        }.ExportToString (plotModel)));

IMPROVED

  • Minor accessibility improvements on Windows:

    • All supplementary dialogs can now be closed via Esc.
    • Improved support for screen readers by annotating some controls.
  • On Mac, the update channel will now be discerned from Visual Studio for Mac if it is installed, falling back to Xamarin Studio otherwise.

  • Links in HTML cell results now open in the default browser.

FIXED

  • Evaluated cells now properly re-evaluate when switching agents.

  • Fixed a crash that could occur when copying and pasting within markdown cells.

  • Fixed center positioning in the 3D view when representing CALayers.

  • Fixed a bug when using System.ValueTuple on Windows systems with .NET 4.7 installed.

  • Addressed an issue that sometimes caused broken installations on Windows.

KNOWN ISSUES

  • NuGet Limitations
    • Native libraries are supported only on iOS, and only when linked with the managed library.
    • Packages which depend on .targets files or PowerShell scripts will likely fail to work as expected.
    • To modify a package dependency, edit the workbook's manifest with a text editor. A more complete package management UI is on the way.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.