Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mono for all

Everytime I think about this post, I'm usually away from my machine to make it. I finally thought about it near my machine...

Ever since I heard of the Mono Project, I was always intrigued. I always thought the Mono project had a good purpose behind it. When Microsoft comes out with new software, 90%+ of the time the new software only works on Windows (with the few exceptions like Office which they port to Mac). And what's worse is that these new become popular within the workplace for whatever reason. Projects like Mono make it possible for people like me to develop .NET software on non-Microsoft platforms. One would think that projects like this would not be as good as the real thing. That person would be surprised.

A few years ago, when Mono was still in the 1.x range, I gave it a shot to see how it would look and run. If I remember correctly, they were still trying to tighten down their version of WinForms during that time which make sense because when my sample project opened, it didn't look quite right. It didn't look awful by a long shot. The fact that it opened at all was a nice surprise. It just didn't look as polished as it did on Microsoft.NET. So a few weeks ago, I decided to try out another old .NET project I had laying around on Mono to see how it would look. This time it was on Mono 2.4. This time the project came up and looked SOOOOO much better than it use to. There were still minor oddities (like text on a tab didn't show up all the way) but there was nothing that would have prevented me from distributing the project on Mono if it was still actively being developed. The functionality that I did test on my project worked just fine too. I don't use p/invoke or anything else in my projects that would tie it to a Windows machine so I don't think that much else would be broken.

These guys on this project have busted their asses these past couple years to bring .NET to non-Windows machines and their work is really shining through. If they keep it up, I wouldn't be surprised if Mono usage would rise drastically. If you haven't already, give it a try.....

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