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Microsoft upsets .NET open-source developers with Hot Reload news, then backtracks

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced that the popular feature Hot Reload would be restricted to Visual Studio 2022.
  • The move angered many .NET open-source developers and members of the open-source community.
  • Opposition to Microsoft's decision led the company to backtrack its plans.

Microsoft stirred the pot with the open-source .NET community when it announced that a feature called "Hot Reload" would be exclusively available through Visual Studio 2022. Since then, after lots of backlash, it has changed its tune and reversed its decision.

In the original blog post wherein Hot Reload's Visual Studio 2022 exclusivity was announced, Microsoft said (opens in new tab) "[...] we've decided that starting with the upcoming .NET 6 GA release, we will enable Hot Reload functionality only through Visual Studio 2022 so we can focus on providing the best experiences to the most users. We'll also continue to pursue adding Hot Reload to Visual Studio for Mac in a future release."

After pushback from developers and various members of the affected .NET community, Microsoft changed its tune. On October 23, 2021, three days after the announcement that sparked the initial fire, Microsoft made a new blog post (opens in new tab), saying "we made a mistake in executing on our decision and took longer than expected to respond back to the community. We have approved the pull request to re-enable this code path and it will be in the GA build of the .NET 6 SDK."

For a quick primer on what Hot Reload is: It's a developer tool that allows for source code modification and implementation all while an app is running, saving people the hassle of having to restart their application to see their changes actualized.

Many remain unsatisfied with Microsoft's actions and its lack of transparency. Though the company has reversed a change that upset many, the question remains regarding why said change was in the cards at all. Some speculate it was an attempt to steer people away from the open-source route and toward Visual Studio.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

4 Comments
  • PSA FYI: .NET 6 comes out at around .NET Conf (https://www.dotnetconf.net/), which is held November 9-11.
    VS 2022 comes out November 8 with .NET 6 support, so presumably same day release for both. https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/launch/
  • “Some speculate it was an attempt to steer people away from the open-source route and toward Visual Studio.” I would say that is more than just speculation. It is obvious.
  • Obvious or otherwise, it'd be bad form to paint it as a guarantee in a post sticking to the existing facts.
  • I look at this as "hell hath finally frozen over" because this is a new Microsoft... They have never really followed community appeals to revert a decision like this before and it finally happened. I think this has been long built-up pressure and it's about time Microsoft learns to balance OpenSource and commercialization without having to have one trump the other by removing features or gimping the product.