[Mono-list] Some constructive criticism from a Windows developer.

DanielMD danielmd3000 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 7 11:36:22 EST 2008


I would like to thank all the people that are turning mono into a very
desirable multi-platform run-time/platform. I have used Java/JDK for many
years, as a mobile/embedded developer i pretty much had no choice. Lately i
have turned my attention to mono, since the 2.0 release many exciting
features have been implemented and the 2.2 release also has some very
interesting features that i would like to experiment with (SIMD, etc...). So
kudos on the excellent job so far and looking at the roadmap things look
very exciting for next year also.

Now comes the "hopefully" constructive criticism: Having a run-time that is
multi-platform, should mean having also top quality multi-platform
development environments (It took Sun Microsystems almost a decade to get
there, but i have to congratulate them on finally getting the multi-platform
development environment fixed, via the Netbeans IDE). 

Sadly this is not the reality, Windows is clearly a second hand citizen on
the mono ecosystem, i can understand that having a very strong and solid MS
.NET development environment on the Windows platform can look like a Goliath
vs David situation, but there is a clear interest by Windows developers on
mono, only bound to grow as we get more goodies that are not available on
ms.net. However these developers are faced with very little support in terms
of tooling and having a mature platform to develop, test and debug mono
applications. I am always a bit disappointed to see great open source
projects fail in packing their product and creating support channels. MySQL,
SugarCRM, and a few other being the exception.

So in this regard, what can windows developer do to get a top notch mono
development environment on the windows platform?! Looking at the two main
"mono IDEs" monodevelop, and sharpdevelop, we are faced by a very irritating
fact. No default support for mono on windows paltform.

SharpDevelop3.0 does not feature native mono support (
), since monodevelop is supposed to be released on the Windows platform (
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Dec-02-2.html ), but since the windows
monodevelop port is not in good shape Windows developers are left with a big

The GSoC VS add-ins are a nice effort, but insufficient, if the mono project
is really serious about being a multi-platform run-time, it needs to have
primetime development tool on all the supported platforms. There is nothing
that i hate more than to use different IDEs to basically do the same thing,
resulting in having to learn 3 different tools, 3 different UIs just because
there is no decent multi-platform development environment for my
multi-platform run-time. I used to have to do that on Java, until NetBeans
and the JDK LnF became truly multi-platform, simple, easy to use, and
allowed me to gain allot in terms of productivity, it did not matter what i
was running underneath (Win/Linux/Mac/BSD) as long as i had the JDK and
NetBeans i could simply "get to work", i hope the mono project and
monodevelop moves in a similar direction.

Sorry for the long rant, in the end I will have to boot to Ubuntu and work
with monodevelop there, since it is well supported. I hate to do it, but i
don't really see any option to get the same level of support under win.
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