Today, at Microsoft’s Connect() event in New York we announced some important news regarding the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group.

First of all, I’m thrilled to welcome Google to the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group joining Microsoft, Red Hat, JetBrains, Unity and Samsung to help bring greater innovation to the .NET platform.

.NET Foundation Technical Steerinh Group

Google has been one of the most active contributors outside of Microsoft to .NET Foundation projects over the past two years as well as helping to drive the ECMA Standardization process for C#. .NET workloads have first-class support on Google Cloud Platform including recently announced native integrations into the popular Visual Studio IDE on Windows and deep support for PowerShell. Google’s work is a natural fit into the Technical Steering Group and I’m glad they have agreed to come on board to help steer the future direction of the platform.

“We’re very happy to add .NET support to our list of supported frameworks on Google Cloud Platform,” said Chris Sells, Lead PM for Google Cloud Developer Tools. “Enterprises moving their existing Windows and .NET workloads to the cloud or those targeting .NET Core can find what they need to build great apps for Google Cloud Platform.”

Secondly, back in June 2016 I had the pleasure of announcing that Samsung had joined the technical steering group. They have been focusing on ARM support in .NET Core and today we got to see the first fruits of their labor with the preview release of .NET Core support for the Tizen operating system and their Visual Studio Tools for Tizen.

Tizen is an open source operating system based on Linux, supported by the Linux Foundation and open to all developers. Tizen powers 50 million Samsung devices, including Smart TVs, wearables, smartphones, and home appliances. Today, Samsung is releasing the first preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen, which supports mobile application development with device emulators and an extension to Visual Studio with full IntelliSense and debugging capabilities. The support for Smart TVs, wearables, and other IoT devices will be added in future releases. Tizen’s .NET support will be officially released and shipping on Samsung devices, including Smart TVs, in 2017. This will allow .NET developers to build applications to deploy on Tizen across the globe and continues in our mission to bring the productive .NET development platform to everyone.

“Samsung is excited to be a part of the .NET community. .NET has a huge developer base and future potential,” said Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Deputy Head of Software R&D Center Seung-hwan Cho. “Through thoughtful and progressive collaboration, Samsung is expecting to create unique development experiences for both Tizen and C# developers, enriching the Tizen ecosystem.”

Their work builds on top of several .NET Foundation projects including .NET Core, Mono and Xamarin Forms.

  • Tizen’s .NET support is a part of the .NET Core open source project: https://github.com/dotnet/core
  • Tizen’s Xamarin.Forms support is a part of the Xamarin.Forms open source project: https://github.com/xamarin/Xamarin.Forms
  • Tizen’s device APIs are a part of the Tizen open source project: https://source.tizen.org
  • Download Visual Studio Tools for Tizen here: http://www.aka.ms/tizen

Other .NET Foundation projects have also been very busy. Today, .NET Core, EF Core 1.1 and ASP.NET Core 1.1 were also released including several new features and APIs along with support for more operating system distributions (now up to 12). For more information see the .NET Team Blog.

It’s also very exciting to see that ASP.NET Core MVC is now a top-performing web framework on TechEmpower. Today TechEmpower released their Round 13 results which show ASP.NET Core MVC as the fastest mainstream fullstack web framework in the Plantext test.

The Technical Steering Group was formed in late March 2016 and we are already seeing huge progress. Red Hat have released the first release of .NET Core for RHEL, JetBrains have been producing build after build of Project Rider as .NET Core’s tooling approaches it’s V1.0, Unity have announced support for C#6 and now the Tizen news from Samsung along with Google coming on board and supporting ASP.NET as a first class citizen in Google Cloud Platform. It’s fantastic to witness the innovation that is happening on top of the .NET platform right now, all of it only possible because of .NET being open source and welcoming to all.

It’s certainly an incredibly exciting time to be a .NET developer!

-- Martin

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming BenchmarkDotNet into the .NET Foundation. It's a powerful cross-platform library which helps you to measure the performance of your source code with the high level of precision even when you are working with very rapid operations. It's already used by a number of great .NET projects, with a growing community of contributors.

In this guest post, Andrey Akinshin from the BenchmarkDotNet project explains more and how to get started.

-- Martin

BenchmarkDotNet

Benchmarking is really hard (especially microbenchmarking), you can easily make a mistake during performance measurements. BenchmarkDotNet will protect you from the common pitfalls (even for experienced developers) because it does all the dirty work for you: it generates an isolated project per each benchmark method, does several launches of this project, run multiple iterations of the method (include warm-up), and so on. Usually, you even shouldn't care about a number of iterations because BenchmarkDotNet chooses it automatically to achieve the requested level of precision.

It's really easy to design a performance experiment with BenchmarkDotNet. Just mark your method with the [Benchmark] attribute and the benchmark is ready. Want to run your code on CoreCLR, Mono, and the Full .NET Framework? No problem: a few more attributes and the corresponded projects will be generated; the results will be presented at the same summary table. In fact, you can compare any environment that you want: you can check performance difference between processor architectures (x86/x64), JIT versions (LegacyJIT/RyuJIT), different sets of GC flags (like Server/Workstation), and so on. You can also introduce one or several parameters and check the performance on different inputs at once.

BenchmarkDotNet helps you not only run benchmarks but also analyze the results: it generates reports in different formats and renders nice plots. It calculates many statistics, allows you to run statistical tests, and compares results of different benchmark methods. So it doesn't overload you with data, by default BenchmarkDotNet prints only the really important statistical values depending on your results: it allows you to keep summary small and simple for primitive cases but notify you about additional important area for complicated cases (of course you can request any numbers manually via additional attributes).

BenchmarkDotNet doesn't just blindly run your code - it tries to help you to conduct a qualitative performance investigation.

BenchmarkDotNet is already a full-featured benchmark library for different kinds of performance research, and many developers already use it. But it continues to actively develop, a lot of nice features are coming and are on the roadmap. Feedback is welcome: if you have an idea how to improve the library (or if you wish to implement it), the team is waiting for you on GitHub!

Andrey Akinshin, Project Lead on BenchmarkDotNet

Want to share astronomy by making a tour, interactive experience, or video using WorldWide Telescope? You should — and then you should enter it in the first American Astronomical Society’s first WorldWide Telescope Competition!

People viewing a planetarium tour created by WWT

The AAS is hosting its first-ever competition for products created using WorldWide Telescope. Since WWT became part of the .NET Foundation and joined the AAS family, we’ve seen it used for some great science communication by authors submitting video abstracts for their research articles, as well as some spectacular examples of interactive web-based experiences and awesome tours introducing people to astronomy concepts. The project would love to see what else people can come up with!

Entries are now being accepted in any of three categories: research, education, or planetariumThere are prizes for the top three entries in each of the three categories, including Amazon gift cards, telescopes, and iPad minis, and there’s an additional prize for the top 2017 solar eclipse entry. There’s also an overall Grand Prize of an advanced goto mount and refractor telescope generously provided by Explore Scientific. In addition, there will be a special prize for the top WWT tour on information or safety on the upcoming 2017 solar eclipse.

The deadline for entry is 5:00 pm on Friday, 16 December 2016. Winners will be notified by 31 December and recognized at the 229th AAS meeting (3–7 January 2017).

Any final questions? Check out the official announcement for the 2016 AAS WorldWide Telescope Competition here. Happy creating!