[Mono-dev] Application Deployment

Carlos J. Muentes carlos at rockwithme.org
Thu Aug 10 22:53:41 EDT 2006

Hey All,

  I recently finished building an application using mono and gtk#, and
now I'm trying to decide what the best way to deploy it is.  It's an
open source project hosted on sourceforge (it's actually a port from
.NET 2.0, 100% gtk# =^), so it'll be available publicly.

  My question is this: how can I build an RPM package that will i.e.
automatically create menu entries, as well as the proper file layout
(as recommended in Guidelines:Application Deployment)?  

  Also, it's imperative that this application be easily installable in
Windows as well.  How can I create a launcher for this application that
can contain an application icon (since batch files cannot)?  My idea is
to create a custom .NET application that will install and launch this
one, but are there any better ideas?  This could be a good project to
contribute to the mono development community: an app that mimics
install4j, but for C#/mono.

  Deploying mono applications seems to be a subject that isn't too
popular, but IMHO needs to be addressed quickly since applications
built using mono are popping up left and right.  

  Of course xcopy deployment is a beautiful thing, but I don't think
it's realistic since .exe files cannot be launched directly in *nix,
and the .NET Framework will load and execute those same .exe files in
Windows, along with all bugs switching between mono and .NET (this
application is simply too buggy to release to the .NET Framework, with
things like anonymous methods simply not working, but works flawlessly
in mono).  Yea, I know, start-up scripts.  I suppose that brings up
another question: how to add these start-up scripts to the Applications
menu (gnome/kde) with an associated icon?  I think start-up scripts are
out of the question in Windows, since you cannot decorate them with
custom icons; an .exe file is required.

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