The Planned Features in .Net Framework 4.8

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The Planned Features in .Net Framework 4.8

Microsoft has released an updated beta of .Net Framework 4.8. The initial beta version of .Net Framework 4.8 was released in mid-June 2018. The new beta build, released in December 2018, centers on fixes for performance, reliability, accessibility, and stability across framework libraries. Build 3707 also includes the updated .Net 4.8 runtime and the .Net 4.8 Developer Pack, which bundles the runtime as well as the .Net Framework 4.8 targeting pack and SDK.


New features planned for Net Framework 4.8 include:

  • For ASP.Net, an issue has been fixed involving the handling of multivalue HTTP headers that may affect multipart data processing.
  • For the BCL (Base Class Library), the number of object finalizations occurring as a result of using X509Certificate2 and related types has been reduced.
  • Also for the BCL, an API has been added to obtain thumbprints with a caller-specified digest algorithm.
  • For the CLR (common language runtime), issues were fixed in which incorrect values were sent as EventListeners.
  • Enabled labels in Windows Forms are now always rendered via a high-contrast text color when a high contrast mode is enabled. This affects applications recompiled to target .Net Framework 4.8.
  • The hashing algorithm used to generate XOML file checksums when building projects with XOML files has been changed. Developers can still use the previous algorithm if the new one causes problems.
  • The hashing algorithm for calculating keys to internal memory caches has been modified. Developers can still use the previous algorithm.
  • A memory leak issue has been fixed that affected HttpWebRequest when communicating with an HTTPS server through a proxy.
  • For Windows Forms, enabled labels are now rendered using a high-contrast text color whenever a high-contrast mode is enabled.
  • With Windows Presentation Foundation, a memory leak has been fixed that had arisen when removing data items from parent collections when UIAutomation was present.
  • In Windows Communication Foundation, an accessibility problem has been fixed that had caused ComboBox controls to be incorrectly themed in high-contrast themes.

Not to be outdone by its upstart open-source sibling, .NET Core, the team behind the venerable .NET Framework has put out an Early Access version of version 4.8 with toys aplenty for developers.

While .NET Core often captures the limelight, and the new Microsoft would point you at it for your cross-platform or lightweight container needs, .NET Framework continues to enjoy support simply through the number of applications written using it over the years that devs are reluctant to port, and because technologies such as ASP.NET Web Forms and ADO.NET data services are not present in .NET Core (and not likely to be in the near future).

The most visible change in the early access code is tweaked accessibility in Windows Forms that will allow the likes of ToolTips to appear when users navigate commonly used controls using the keyboard. Microsoft has made much of its accessibility credentials in recent years and a few simple AppContextSwitch settings in the App.Config file is all it takes to make an interface easier to use by the visually impaired. Assuming you’ve been populating your ToolTip properties. Which you have, right?

Other Windows Forms accessibility improvements bring better support for notification of events (such as a progress bar ticking over) via the Windows 10 Narrator when a control is not necessarily visible, along with enhancements in the DataGridView control and LiveRegion support in Labels and StatusStrips.

Outside of Windows Forms, the Just In Time (JIT) compiler in .NET Framework 4.8 is now based on .NET Core 2.1, so all the performance boosts from the young upstart can now be found in its chubbier, older sibling.

Security worriers will be pleased to note that images from the .NET native image generator (NGEN) no longer contain writeable and executable sections, which will reduce the surface area for attacks that seek to run arbitrary code by modifying memory. Obviously, there will still be writeable and executable memory at runtime, but this change removes those mapped from NGEN images.

Lastly, the ZLib compression library, which has been a feature since version 4.5 of the .NET Framework, finally got an upgrade to version 1.2.11 in order to take advantages of fixes and enhancements to the library from, er, 2017.

Windows Insiders are due to see the code appear in the “next” update for Windows 10, although it is unclear if that means the October 2018 Update or skippy builds aimed at 2019. We’ve asked Microsoft for clarification and will update with any response. Certainly, the last build (17760) was more focused on fixing whatever broke .NET 4.7.1 than inflicting early access code on users.

Anjali Punjab

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