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NativeScript 6.0 Release Candidate is Here!

July 1, 2019 — by Emil Tabakov

The next major release is going to be very important for the NativeScript framework. It's the apogee of our effort to make Webpack a first-class citizen and provide a stellar development experience through it. Every release for the past 1.5 years was a step towards this goal and the we are very excited to be at the final countdown. 6.0 will also bring support for AndroidX - this paves the road for many new features that will come in the Android ecosystem.

Today, the Release Candidate for 6.0 is available for a test drive and it's really important for us to get your feedback.
You can install the 6.0 RC with npm install -g nativescript@rc

What's in it?

The RC contains all the breaking changes that are going to be part of 6.0:

  • Webpack being the only way to develop. This also means that by default Hot Module Replacement will be enabled.
  • Support for AndroidX.
  • markingMode: None is now the default option when you create a new NativeScript application.
Additionally, all plugins that are developed and maintained by the NativeScript team or are used by the templates are already compatible with these changes. The team will continue to add non-breaking features as we progress towards the official release.

How can I give it a try?

First, don't forget to install the RC version of the CLI:
npm install -g nativescript@rc
After that it's really easy - with this release we are adding a new migrate command. This command will perform all the required updates of packages and changes in the project that are needed to adjust a pre-6.0 project with the latest requirements. This means all you need to do to update your project is to execute the following in your existing project:
tns migrate
If you want to create a new 6.0-compatible project you need to do the following:
tns create <your create options>
tns migrate
That's it! From there on, you can test the app using your familiar command:
tns run <ios|android>

What if I find a problem?

As soon as you find a problem - please open an issue in the respective GitHub repository. If unsure, you can open it in the nativescript/nativescript repository and we will transfer it to the proper one. Be sure to include as much details as possible about the problem that you are experiencing. A Playground project or a sample application that demonstrates the issue will dramatically improve the time for resolution.

I am a plugin author. What do you expect from me?

It's important to verify that your plugin is compatible with AndroidX and Webpack. This will ensure a smooth transition path for the users of your plugins. If you need help with adjusting with these changes, you can take a look at some of the plugins that have already been migrated, like the AndroidX support in the nativescript-plugin-firebase. You can also check out this articles:

Next Steps?

We will give at least two weeks to everybody to give these bits a try and let us know how it feels. This is an important step for us to make this release as smooth as possible, so don't miss your chance to participate.