[Mono-dev] Ideas for Mono on Windows

Miguel de Icaza miguel at novell.com
Fri Nov 14 16:39:15 EST 2008

> As to not just be a complainer, I am offering some suggestions/ideas
> and hoping for others to do the same (or at least critique mine ;-)).
> Before I offer any suggestions, I think we need to balance between two
> things. One is making life easy for the mono build/package team to
> produce a Windows product. It's not real easy now, but we shouldn't
> make it any harder. The second thing is making life easy for those who
> wish to work/contribute to mono on Windows. This second item is tough
> at this point.

I agree;    Point (2) is probably one of the most important thing that
we can do and we are missing important contributions by making it hard
for the Windows developer community to work with Mono.

I would like to follow on Google's footsteps here and make sure that the
Mono development experience is "Check out the source, open the solution,
hit F5 and you are done".

> 1) We should consider using MSVC as the default compiler for C code on
> Windows. I can compile the entire Visual Studio solution for the
> runtime in minutes. It takes 20-30 seconds if I do a parallel build.
> We can also use the Visual Studio debugger on Windows, which IMO is
> betten than gdb on Windows.

I like this plan.

> 2) Two propositions for the class libraries have been mentioned
> previously. One is a lightweight, 'managed make' system that could be
> run easily on windows in place of all the build infrastructure
> provided by cgywin. This obviously allows us to keep using Makefiles
> on other platforms and keep a unified build process, but requires
> someone write the tool (and maintain it). Another option is to moved
> to MSBuild/xbuild for the class libraries. This would change the build
> process on all platforms, and require some fixing of our current
> xbuild tool. MSYS/MinGW has also been mentioned, but I don't consider
> that much better than Cygwin. I attempted to get it working one time,
> but gave up after a few days of hacking.

I am fine with either solution myself.

I do like the idea of reusing msbuild and completing the implementation
of xbuild myself, although we have dropped the ball on xbuild numerous


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