Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Forking Windows Template Studio

Windows Template Studio is a Visual Studio extension that helps developers scaffold Windows applications. 
I have a long, complicated relationship with the project and have been involved since its inception.

In June, Microsoft stopped funding the internal team who were working on it. I was told there were plans to continue the project with support from the community, but this didn't happen, and my emails have gone unanswered since then. 😢

Sadly, due to the way the project is set up and configured and because of the permissions I have, it's impossible to do anything significant within the existing repo.

So I'm taking it upon myself to do something separately.

Announcing Template Studio for UWP. (preview for VS2022 available now!)

The wizard for 'Template Studio for UWP'
Yes, it looks very similar to the Windows Template Studio wizard.

I'm starting by taking the UWP (and then WPF) capabilities of WinTS and breaking them into separate extensions that work with Visual Studio 2022.

WinUI(3) support will hopefully follow. As will support for creating apps that don't only run on Windows.

There's lots of detail I'll spare you from, but the bits most likely to be of interest are:

- My goal is to help developers now. (When Microsoft has left them in a state of uncertainty.)
- I'm updating the dependencies in the generated apps and will add other improvements and new functionality.
- I want to reduce the dependencies on developers installing the extension(s). You shouldn't need the capability to build any/every type of Windows app just to use the extension.
- I'm starting by focusing on the parts of WinTS that are less likely to be supported by Microsoft (UWP & WPF) if they do resume development (& support) of WinTS.
I'm open to contributing to the WinTS project again, but I'm not just sitting around while I wait.
- I'm doing this in a way that gives me the best opportunity to do other things with the code in the future. (Look at me being all mysterious. 😉)
- I'm taking the opportunity to make some much-needed (in my opinion) updates to the project and its internal dependencies. 
- It's not open source (yet), but I'm not ruling it out for the future. (I have many reasons that I'll save for another day/time/place.)

It's in preview now & I'd love feedback.

The "Template Studio for UWP" entry in the "Create a new project" wizard


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