[Mono-osx] Monobjc thread, please comment with your experiences with Monobjc

Andrew Brehm ajbrehm at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 07:07:56 EST 2008

I successfully tries out Monobjc yesterday evening.

First of all, a big THANKS to the team who wrote it. It's fantastic! I will
look into it a lot more.

For the moment I managed to get it to use a NIB file (can it use XIB files?)
and display a window and menu. My only problem really was the build process.
I was confused when my program couldn't find the NIB file. Turns out Monobjc
expects to be packaged up into a bundle.

My problems in detail:

1. The build process using nant was a bit confusing, at least for me.
Particularly as nant couldn't find gmcs and I had to set a path to packages
manually. G-d knows how nant picked up a path to an old version of Mono
(1.2.6) I didn't have installed any more and why the path wasn't updated
when I installed Mono 2.0.

2. It took me a while to figure out what to do with the Monobjc nant DLL. I
know include it in the Visual Studio project and configure the appl.build
file to use bin/Release as the tools as well as lib directory.

3. Not a problem, but totally worth mentioning: In Visual Studio
intelligence works very well for Cocoa framework classes!

4. I am trying to figure out if it is possible to create a single code base
that uses either Winforms or Monobjc depending on compiler switches or,
ideally, a single binary that uses Winforms or Monobjc depending on where it
is run. For the second case, the bundle thing might be a problem. I wish
Windows would support bundles.* So far my test program is a C# command line
utility (officially).

5. Monobjc is not known enough. It should be part of the Mono distribution.
Please, Novell, talk to the Monobjc team! Everything outside the Mono
distribution seems very exotic. But Monobjc absolutely deserves to be taken
seriously as a porting tool. Forget REALbasic, Mono and Monobjc is the way
to go!

*I figure it would be a good idea to install Mono programs on Windows in
"c:\program files" as bundles and create a shortcut to the
"Application.app\Contents\Windows\Application.exe" binary. That way the
bundle could be copied between Mac OS and Windows. In the root of
"Application.app\" a small Windows program or batch file could create a
shortcut on the desktop when started.

Any thoughts, experiences?

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