[Mono-list] Suitability of Mono

jmalcolm malcolm.justin at gmail.com
Fri May 20 20:25:22 EDT 2011

Mike Christensen-2 wrote:
> Are the iOS and Android Mono Frameworks that Xamarin is creating a
> totally different code-base from MonoTouch and MonoDroid?  What has
> become of the formerly Novell owned MonoTouch/Droid products?  Are
> those just being scrapped completely?
> If these are going to be totally new products, will they be designed
> similar to the Novell products (eg, will it be easy to port from the
> Novell platform)..

Attachmate owns MonoTouch and Mono for Android. We do not know what they
plan to do with them (but they have no Mono team now). I doubt they will
just hand them over to Xamarin. Time will tell.

Xamarin has said that they will create new versions of these products with
something appearing in 3-4 months. So, I would expect perhaps six months for
a real product. According to Miguel, the Xamarin products will be API
compatible which just makes sense.

Basically, you can use the Attachmate stuff today with the intent to replace
it with Xamarin products when they are ready.

It is a little unclear to me what Xamarin needs to re-write and what they do
not. For example, a good chunk of MonoTouch was common with MonoMac (which
is open source). All this common code is available on GitHub as the MacCore
project under the MIT/X11 license. I see no reason why Xamarin could not use

I think a big part of the engineering effort for MonoTouch was the full AOT
(Ahead of Time) compilation and the selective linker. Most of that is in
Mono proper I imagine and so should also be available to Xamarin. The LLVM
integration to optimize the native code on iOS is also out in the open.

A lot of the changes would be in MonoDevelop as well, which is also Open
Source. I would think much of the work to support XCode4 integration would
be in the IDE for example. Work to support intellisense for MonoTouch and
Mono for Android would largely be in the IDE as well. Code to integrate the
device simulators would be too. Basically, every time I think about it, I
think of more stuff they could use. There is also all the Sliverlight on
Android stuff they were doing...

Anyway, the point is that Xamarin cannot just use MonoTouch or Mono for
Android but, despite this, they probably do not really need to write those
products fully from scratch either. It must sure help to have all the
knowledge required and the ability to just use the fully designed API on
each platform.

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