[Mono-list] Windows forms.

Brad Wilson dotnetguy@pobox.com
Sat, 6 Jul 2002 12:11:02 -0600

Miguel de Icaza wrote:

> I have received plenty of e-mails about people who want to see Windows
> Forms supported by Mono. As I said in my mail, I am still thorn about what
> should we do about this. In one hand, I can see how many people would be
> able to write applications in Windows and move them over to Linux.

If Windows Forms is too awkward, then I'd highly recommend the alternative
approach be a class library that can run on Gtk# on Linux, and runs on
native Win32 GUI on Windows, with a .NET DLL for the Windows piece that can
run on Microsoft's .NET platform. Even then, it'll be hard to convince the
Windows people to use something besides Windows Forms, because a vast
majority of code will be written using the VS.net wizards.

IMO, without Windows Forms, the Mono story is less compelling. Yes, it's
hard, yes, it sucks, but without it, that means that anybody bringing an app
with any sort of GUI to Linux is going to have to have conditional GUI code,
and that's going to be too high a barrier of entry. I don't think it can be
stressed enough how important it is for Linux in general to be able to
attract the Windows programmers, and Mono is the only realistic way to do
that. Microsoft is selling .NET to the Win32 folks, and we're buying it
quite fully. If Linux wants to evolve out of its server niche and onto the
desktop, it needs a friendlier UI and a lot of apps. IMO, you absolutely
need Mono -- with Windows Forms -- to accomplish the latter.

I think phrasing this in technical terms misses the political goals and
benefits of Mono (namely, moving Linux onto the desktop).


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