Having promised there wouldn't be any more previews, Microsoft has dropped a release candidate for the upcoming .NET Core 3.0 framework.
The emission comes ahead of an expected launch of the platform at next week's .NET Conf in Birmingham.
It's a bit of a surprise for developers who had been told that preview 9 would be the last before things hit General Availability. However, the gang didn't consider the plans of the Visual Studio team and Preview 4 of Visual Studio 2019 16.3. Thus another release has been required to accommodate the changes.
Citing "technical and historical reasons", the .NET team's Richard Lander explained that the .NET toolset (compilers et al) is duplicated between Visual Studio and the .NET Core SDK. Since changes were made in that toolset for Preview 4, the .NET Core SDK required an update.
"We could have released a new .NET Core SDK and only delivered it via Visual Studio," said Lander.
"However, we've broken people in the (now distant) past with that approach."
And nobody likes to be broken.
Microsoft has continued to insist that the preview (now in RC1 form) is ready for production and will support it. However, with version 3.1 just around the corner in November, it might be worth holding off until the first crop of bugs has been dealt with.
.NET Core 3.0 is, after all, an impressive leap forward from the last major release, .NET Core 2.2, and it would be reasonable to expect a few teething troubles.
Unsurprisingly, .NET Core 3.0 RC1 was joined by Release Candidates of the Entity Framework Core 3.0 and Entity Framework 6.3 after enough changes were made to "justify publishing a release candidate build."
There were a couple of notable tweaks for EF Core with completion of the in-memory provider and improved compilation performance.
As with .NET Core 3.0, the gang is now looking more to what is needed in the release of 3.1 as the general availability of version 3.0 looms. Diego Vega, Program Manager for .NET Data Access, thanked contributors and warned: "Although any important bugs reported at this stage will likely not make it into 3.0, we will consider them for 3.1."
So there. ®