Xamarin Community Toolkit: A Must-Have Xamarin Library
Together with the Xamarin.Forms 5 stable release, we have the pleasure to introduce to you the Xamarin Community Toolkit. This Toolkit will be your Xamarin.Forms Swiss army knife. The toolkit complements Xamarin.Forms 5 perfectly with all kinds of commonly found behaviors, converters, effects, MVVM utilities, and awesome new controls including the CameraView, AvatarView, and TabView.
What is the Xamarin Community Toolkit?
The toolkit is a deep collaboration between the Xamarin community and the Xamarin team here at Microsoft. When Xamarin.Forms 5 was released a few “experimental” features were the first to make their way to the toolkit. This includes the beloved C# UI Extensions, MediaElement, and Expander controls. There is much more to the toolkit though as the community has been contributing tons of great new controls and helpers.
In this post I want to go over all the features that are included in this first version of the toolkit.
One of the toolkit’s goal is to gather as many of those behaviors, converters, and effects that you keep copying from one project to another. We want to aggregate all of these into a single package so it will become your one-stop library that has it all. But why stop there? The Toolkit will also be a place where you can find brand new controls. Some of them come from PRs to Xamarin.Forms that couldn’t be included in the main package, some our controls maintainers donating their controls, and some are just brand-new things!
In the screenshot underneath you can see on the left the AvatarView, which can show a list of avatars, either with an actual picture or that well-known initials of a person. And on the right you can see the TabView, which is a fully customizable Tabbar that should fit all your designer needs. These screenshots were taken from our sample app that you can find in the repository and you can run for yourself to try it out.
Of course, what is a library without official documentation? So, we went ahead and created those for you as well, you can find them right here.
The Community Part in the Xamarin.CommunityToolkit
While this package is backed by Microsoft, we really would like this to be a community effort. The core team are mostly community members that you probably know. But core team doesn’t mean we get to do all the work. We’re only here to move things forward. Your help and input is very much appreciated and needed! Whether that is through triaging issues, updating Docs, participating in discussions or adding actual code, all is very welcome!
Once upon a time you could say all Xamarin apps had 2 main libraries: Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin.Essentials. With the Xamarin.CommunityToolkit we’re aiming to make that 3!
Already a big shoutout and thank you to all the wonderful community members that already helped us to shape up this first version and full documentation!
Get Started with Xamarin.CommunityToolkit, Today!
You can start with all of this today, together with Xamarin.Forms 5, we are launching the first version of the Xamarin.CommunityToolkit package that contains everything I mentioned except for the C# UI Helpers which is a standalone package.
If you’re upgrading to Xamarin.Forms 5 and you were working with one of the experimental controls that moved over, install the Xamarin.CommunityToolkit, change the namespace and you should be good to go. Of course, browse through the full documentation to learn about everything that is included.
We would love to see your contributions, a wonderful way to start would be to look at the contributing doc. If you need any help getting started, please us know. As the name states: it’s a community package, we’d love to do this together with you!
We’re just here to help you, help us!