[Mono-list] Article about Mono in embedded systems

Michael Dominic K. mdk at mdk.am
Fri Dec 21 07:24:46 EST 2007

On Dec 20, 2007 4:33 PM, Cliff Brake <cliff.brake at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I wrote a short article about Mono in embedded systems that may be of
> interest to those considering Mono for embedded systems.  It also
> covers briefly how Mono is supported in the Openembedded build system.
> http://bec-systems.com/web/content/view/87/9/


It's a nice article and it's good to see people running mono on
embedded. However, from my pov some of the interesting
mono-on-embedded benefits are missing. My experiences mostly come from
developing for Nokia Internet tablets. In short I'd add to the

1) Easy pinvoking into native code. IMHO, for some time to come It
wouldn't be possible/feasible to write system-stuff (as in low-level
system libraries) in mono nor any other managed language. It's just
too slow, especially on the low-profile embedded processors. Mono has
a nice advantage here as it's fairly simple to mix & match high-level
(ie.) C# code with low-level C code that does the heavy lifting. When
in the G-* (as in GObject) world it's even more interesting -- one can
write object-oriented C code and use it fairly transparently in mono
apps -- thanks to the fairly mature Gnome.GLib foundation.

2) I'd also emphasize more the point about development environment.
Currently to develop aps for the Internet Tablets one needs to install
scratchbox, setup the whole cross-compilation environment + emulation
and hope that your kernel/distribution/settings doesn't get in the
way. It's very error prone and people (especially those coming from
Windows and Mac) reported it to be pretty confusing. With mono one can
easily imagine a native-running full-blown development environment for
the end-user applications without any need for
cross-compilation/complex setup.

3) It's not only about C# ! There is ie. boo (which seems to be
mature/working enough these days) and by doing the (system) bindings
just once you can open your platform to many other languages.


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