[Mono-dev] Mono Success Story
dmitchell at logos.com
Wed Oct 6 17:45:21 EDT 2010
While the software I've produced is not likely to be of much personal interest to many of you, I thought you might be interested to hear of our company's success story with Mono.
I'm the Technical Lead for the Macintosh platform at Logos Bible Software (http://logos.com/), and we offer a digital library system with about 12,000 resources (mostly books) available for it. These resources are available on a variety of platforms, and the latest release of our Mac product, Logos 4 for Mac, makes heavy use of Mono.
About four years ago, we undertook a major redesign of our system (which was Windows-only at the time, although a Mac port was being developed); most of the code that had been written since 1999 was thrown away, and we started building a new foundation with C# and WPF (which was then in beta).
At the end of 2008, we finally released a version of our software for Mac, but it was based on a much older version of our app, and I was given the task of bringing Mac development up to speed with the as-yet-unreleased Windows version (Logos 4 for Windows was released at the beginning of November, 2009).
Naturally, I didn't want to have to re-write everything from scratch again, so I started trying to get our assemblies to compile and run with Mono—while very few people had been thinking about cross-platform support before this point, much of our code had been written in such a way that the important bits could easily be peeled away from WPF. We've needed to submit a number of patches to get everything working correctly, but these have generally been quickly accepted. Eventually, I designed my own interop system with Cocoa. Unlike other such efforts, such as Cocoa#, MonoTouch, and MonoMac, which focus on calling into Cocoa from .NET code, mine was focused on calling into .NET code from Objective-C code, which turned out to be a better fit for our app. After that, it was mostly a matter of re-writing the UI layer, which was a much smaller portion of the app.
Our Mac app is still a bit behind the Windows app in terms of functionality and performance, but there's no way we'd be even close to where we are today without the Mono project. Even now, the products are similar enough that we were able to use the same script for each platform's promo video:
Thanks for building such an amazing platform.
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