[Mono-list] I give up

Peter Dennis Bartok peter@novonyx.com
Thu, 8 Apr 2004 01:48:30 -0600

Joop, Marcus, et al,

I understand your frustrations. Yes, you are right, all the
file/networking/HTML/etc. is there, and GUI is still in it's infancy. IMO
the reasons are that first, it's often much easier to write these lower
level APIs, and second, GUI APIs are usually layered on top of almost
everything else, which means that before you can implement a lot of the
GUI APIs you need the lower libraries (e.g. System.Drawing) first.

However, that doesn't mean that there is no commitment to support the GUI.
On the contrary. Personally, while the ASP.Net stuff is nice and all
(Sorry, Gonzalo), I think we'll need System.Windows.Forms working before
Mono becomes usable to a lot of people. (You can tell, I'm biased and love
real applications :-) ) I think that's the same point you're trying to
make, too.

As for the "clear road ahead", yes, some things are not yet as clear as
they probably should be, but that's the nature of an open-source project.
You don't just see the finished result that simply (hopefully) works, you
also get to (or have to) live through the birthing pains, the dead-end
implementations that need to be changed, the evolution from idea to

I don't know all the reasons why SWF is in the state that it is today and
why most of the people who originally created the code all but abandoned
working on it. Part of it is probably lack of time or other interests, but
part is also trouble with dependencies or hitting a dead-end with the
chosen path to implement. (Those same dependencies that make it hard for
any user to just install "Mono" and have everything working. You need
libgdiplus, wine, cairo, etc., and all needs to be setup just right)

Having a working and complete SWF is on the roadmap, as can be seen at
http://www.go-mono.com/mono-roadmap.html, and, being one of the people
that have been tasked with making it happen by Miguel, I can assure you
that he is very concerned about getting a usable version out to the
community as quickly as possible. In fact, he's kicking my ass (in a nice
way) because I've been dragging a bit, fighting with some of the past
implementation choices. Some small progress has already been made
recently, with the new integration module for wine. I've been helping
several people on getting through the depency and versioning mess on the
SWF list and they have been able to get SWF apps running (at least test

I know that this doesn't help you in getting a working and complete SWF
any quicker, but I hope you at least no longer have the feeling that the
GUI in Mono is not important or not being worked on.


>this problem I have seen with Mono and the other .NET implementations is
>just the problem the original poster poses. There is not "real
>commitment to"/"clear road-a-head for"/"direction in" supporting the GUI
>side of things.

>The GUI is left far behind compared to the
>file/networking/HTML/server etc. etc. support in these .NET
>implementations. This is why it is not yet fully usable to all those
>developers that only want to create a 'simple' GUI application. Hope
>this will change soon as I do have the desire to go an write some nice
>programs in .NET. I just don't have the need to all the
>file/networking/HTML/server stuff yet.