Why AlternetUI?

Hi there,

I’m reviewing the cross-platform UI frameworks for .NET currently and wanted to know what makes Alternet UI different.

Here are the cross-platform UI frameworks I know of:

Uno Platform
An attempt to bring WinUI/UWP applications cross-platform. Uses native controls for Windows (where your app is just a UWP/WinUI app without Uno Platform doing anything), MacOS, Android and iOS. On Linux, they use Skia for drawing controls that look like native controls but don’t follow system theme settings (like light/dark mode or text size), which is a deal-breaker for me since I’m interested mainly in hobby Windows/Linux development.

Avalonia UI
Covered elsewhere by the Alternet team. I don’t want to use it because it doesn’t use native controls.

No official Linux support. Was made originally for iOS/Android development whereas I am interested in desktop (Windows/Linux) - expect desktop to be less well supported there.

Eto Forms
Unfamiliar with this option, but it looks like it uses native controls like Alternet UI.

Is this a good summary? I’m interested in the future plans of Alternet UI too, such as how long the team and what the business plan with it is (I can see licensing and subscription options on the website - is it meant to be a key company product?).

Thank you.

Thank you for the interest in our product! While you summary is quite good, here are the some points that make AlterNET UI stand out:

  • Native UI controls support on each platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux). For example, on Windows AlterNET UI uses standard native Windows controls by default, not WinUI and similar. On macOS, we use native Cocoa UI controls, as opposed to solutions like Mac Catalyst. All the controls follow the current OS visual themes by default.
  • AlterNET UI is lightweight, and using it is as easy as referencing a single NuGet package. No complicated solutions with separate projects for each platform are required.
  • We are desktop-focused, and do not make compromises caused by the need of supporting the mobile platforms. Because of this we also do not require “heavy” dependencies like Xamarin or Android SDK.

We have invested lots of resources in the development of AlterNET UI, and it’s for sure will be our key product alongside AlterNET Studio.

Initially we will have a community edition for individual users, small development teams and non-for profit organizations, this way we hope to attract .NET developers who aim to develop cross-platform, or native macOS/Linux desktop applications. Subsequently, we will be working on a professional edition with extra productivity features aimed to be used in larger organizations.

For more information please see the following blog post: Introducing AlterNET UI.

1 Like