[Mono-list] How to compile existing Visual Studio 2010 C# .NET using Mono?

Woodgnome srs at wizkids.dk
Tue Aug 3 04:30:35 EDT 2010

Ok, I might as well start out by saying I have absolutely no clue how Mono or
C# .NET works, nor do I know all the tricks of Linux (I'm lucky enough to
have other people doing that for me).

Here's the details:

I'm developing a Javascript plugin that should be usable with a couple
browsers. Currently Firefox, Google Chrome and IE7/8 are on the list of
browsers I want to support. The plugin doesn't do anything apart from check
the domain and some specific parts of the DOM tree to see if it should
inject another script (where I have the rest of the code to make the plugin
as light as possible). This means the plugin needs to be different from user
to user, i.e. needs to be compiled every time a user is created or when the
user goes to the plugin download page (I decided on the latter for other
reasons). Firefox is pretty easy since it's just a .zip file renamed to .xpi
and I'm using a Ruby script for Google Chrome - IE7/8 is (not surprisingly)
the browsers causing issues.

Currently another guy wrote the C# .NET plugin for me and set up an ASP page
that I can send a POST request to with the plugin Javascript as a parameter
and get a .zip file back. The ASP page replaces the Javascript in the C#
files, compiles the code using MS builder and Visual Studio command line (I
don't know anything about the details). The output is a .dll file that is
registered with regasm.exe to install the plugin. To nice it up a bit the
whole thing is wrapped in an MS installer that place the files in their
correct folders, creates an uninstall procedure and registers the .dll file

This process takes a loooooong time - far too long to wait when you're
opening the plugin download page and is also subject to failure due to
timeout. I was hoping Mono could do it a bit faster (at least at compiling
the .dll part - the MS installer isn't a requirement) and more reliably. The
download page is hosted on a Debian machine and I had another guy install
Mono for me and I can compile the hello world examples using mcs/gmcs.
Taking it from there to compiling the above is a bit beyond my skills with
Mono and the question is then, how to do this?

I have all of the Visual Studio project files available (and the source code
obviously) and I know the guy who wrote the plugin uses the SpicIE.dll

Also, if you think there's another approach that makes more sense than this,
I'm interested in comments on that as well.
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