[Mono-dev] Porting Mono to a new platform

Michael Mudge michael at mudge.com
Mon Aug 16 14:59:40 EDT 2010

I have a device (ARM9 Freescale MX27) running a rather large
application written in C++ on the ThreadX operating system.

A bit late in the game now, I'd like to add an enabling technology -
while the current C++ app must continue to run as normal, I would like
to add the option for third-party developers to write software that
will run on the device, perhaps in the background or on a different
GUI "page".  Completely porting the C++ app is not an option, although
I would incrementally port portions of the program to run under this
new enabling technology, making it possible to move to entirely new
hardware in the future.

Java, Flash and even a simple web browser are possibilities, but I ran
into the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework, which looks to be a very good
candidate... although it obviously has its pitfalls: it's slow
(interpreted), has very minimal libraries (<300K) and it can only run
an odd file format of half-digested CLR images.

So if I'm going to consider that, it would be prudent to check up on Mono:

1. What kind of manpower would be required to perform the port?
2. Are there any existing ports (maybe even to ThreadX) from which I
could springboard?
3. What are the minimum Mono RAM/ROM requirements?
4. Are there remote-debugging options for debugging CLR images on the
device from a Linux PC?  Windows PC?  What is the development effort
to get those working?

- Kipp

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