Cross-platform dev darling Xamarin is to shutter its online University in favour of Microsoft Learn as its absorption into the Windows giant continues.
The University is (until 2019) a handy resource for those getting to grips with the intricacies of cross-platform development using the Xamarin toolkit, which was snapped up by Microsoft back in February 2016. The platform found its way into Visual Studio, including the freebie Community edition, the following month.
After the abject failure of Windows Phone, developers keen to put their C# skills to use in the mobile app arena found a home on the platform and were able to rapidly fling out iOS and Android applications once they had clambered the sometimes steep learning curve of Xamarin.
Which is where Xamarin University came in. As well as self-guided learning via a free account, those willing to pay the princely sum of $83.25 per month could also grab certification, spend some quality 1:1 time with instructors and access the Xamarin U forums.
All that is coming to an end on 30 April 2019, with the site being completely turned off on 28 June 2019, meaning users will lose access to their Xamrin DevConnect profiles as well.
Inexplicably, the popular Xamarin U forums will linger for an extra two days before also receiving a visit from the Microsoft executioner.
While Microsoft is planning to make the "main courses" available in Microsoft Learn, and will stash recordings of courses that do not make the jump on YouTube, the Xamarin Certification programme is also for the axe, with the last day to get it being 30 April 2019.
If you're halfway through, the good news is that some of the courses might overlap with Microsoft Learn for migration purposes, but the detail on how to actually migrate your history "will be available later". As for any badges you've earned... best download the image now, because they won't be ported.
It's all a bit of a sad end for the service.
Garry Whittaker, Xamarin fan and director of app development outfit AppXib, told us: "Xamarin University is a fantastic resource, in my opinion the best of its kind, and although Microsoft Learn is also a great initiative I will be very sad to see the loss of the amazing live tutorials and the mentoring those great tutors gave."
Whittaker also warned that it "will be a big loss if they don't migrate the content of the forum".
Rob Gibbens, a manager at Microsoft Learn, insisted that nobody from Xamarin U would be leaving as part of the shutdown, including a Monty Python clip to make his point.
We’re not dead! Nobody from XamU is leaving. We’re currently working on what live training will look like for ALL of MS Learn. Our goal has always been to give devs the info they need to be successful, and we’re excited to continue that on a larger scale. https://t.co/yuRc2BIJJr— Rob Gibbens (@RobGibbens) December 13, 2018
Gibbens, alas, had no Pythonesque reference for the fate of the Xamarin forums, saying in a later tweet that he did not know what the longer-term plans for the community were.
Fear not, however, as another member of the Learn team, Mark Smith, was quick to point out that it was only the Xamarin U forum that would be going away. The existing Xamarin forums would not be going anywhere any time soon.
It's only the Xamarin University specific forum going away; a lot of the info there is outdated/incorrect/irrelevant now. With nobody to maintain it, the decision was made to retire that forum. But other Xamarin forums will remain. That's where the good stuff is.— Mark Smith (@marksm) December 14, 2018
Perhaps it's time to take a flutter on, er, Flutter? ®