Mono is an open source implementation of the .NET framework for Linux, Windows, MacOS and other operating systems. Mono v2.0 was just released and represents a major milestone in the Mono project.
Features and Tools
Mono v2.0 includes the following features:
- ADO.NET 2.0 API for accessing databases
- ASP.NET 2.0 API for developing Web-based applications
- Windows.Forms 2.0 API to create desktop applications
- System.XML 2.0 API to manipulate XML documents
- System.Core provides support for the Language Integrated Query (LINQ)
- System.Drawing 2.0 API for portable graphics rendering
Mono v2.0 includes the following compilers:
- C# 3.0 compiler with full LINQ support
- Visual Basic 8 compiler
- IL assembler and disassembler
- Library and application builders
Mono v2.0 includes the following tools:
- Debugger for managed code
- Gendarme, an extensible rule-based tool to find problems in .NET assemblies
- Mono Linker, which enables developers to reduce the size of their assemblies
- Mono Tuner, a tool to apply arbitrary user-defined transformations to assemblies (such as the ability to produce Silverlight core libraries from the main system libraries)
- Mono Documentation Tools, which can produce online and offline documentation for any any APIs
Mono is Evil?
Some members of the Linux community have branded the Mono project as “evil, a sellout, a product of a Microsoft-loving lackey from its inception.” I never understood the open source community’s aversion to free enterprise. I guess they see commercial software as the competition. I think the software world is big enough to support both models.
The .NET Framework is a terrific environment on which to build Windows desktop and web software. The Mono project extends the reach of .NET to other non-Microsoft platforms such as Linux and Mac. Mono shines the open-source light on the closed-source world of Microsoft technologies. I believe that any project which provides additional tools and productivity for developers is a good thing.
Article published on October 7, 2008
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