[Mono-osx] General cross-platform issues and considerations

Stifu stifu at free.fr
Thu Oct 15 06:54:34 EDT 2009

At the risk of telling you something you already know, there is a Mono / .NET
version of Qt called Qyoto. However, it's not very mature from what I've
heard (you might want to check out Synapse which uses it:
http://synapse.im/). But if you like Qt, you might want to try and push
Qyoto forward...

Andrew Brehm wrote:
> Yes, ideally the UI should be rewritten.
> I just think it's ironic that cross-platform tools like REALbasic or QT
> can give you (somewhat) native-looking applications based on the same code
> while Mono, with its ability to run even the same binary on all target
> platforms, cannot. There is a certain disconnect there.
> And when I have to rewrite the GUI for each platform I can also recompile
> the non-GUI code while I am at it and most of the advantage of managed
> code goes away.
> My particular problem is that Mono's Windows Forms does not support
> right-to-left writing on Linux and Mac OS, otherwise a Windows Forms
> version of my program would at least run on all three platforms. (I really
> have to try whether Gtk# works with right-to-left scripts! Anyone know?)
> Ignoring the right-to-left script issue, I think the best solution is
> this:
> I Put everything but the GUI in a DLL.
> II Write a GUI for each targeted platform and one GUI that runs on
> everything.
> III Offer four downloads:
> 1. Mac OS X (Monobjc)
> 2. Linux (Gtk#)
> 3. Windows (WPF or Windows Forms)
> 4. cross-platform (Windows Forms or Gtk#)
> Download #4 should have a functional GUI without bells or whistles.
> The DLL itself should be perfectly cross-platform with everything
> platform-specific abstracted within the DLL.
> duanew wrote:
>> Not an easy answer.  The conclusion I have come to is that the UI most
>> always be rewritten for each platform.  One goal that I have when writing
>> an
>> application is that it offers the best UI experience possible.  At least
>> so
>> far, any cross platform UI is going to diminish the user's experience
>> with
>> your application, which makes your application look inferior.  Separate
>> the
>> logic as much as possible, but use native UI tools to develop the UI.
>> Thanks to mono we have the ability to reuse large portions of the
>> library.
>> To me implementing the UI in native tools and recompiling is trivial
>> compared to the cost of writing in C, C++, Objective-C or using a
>> non-standard cross-platform GUI toolkit.
>> Bset of luck.
>> Duane
>> On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 6:49 AM, Andrew Brehm <ajbrehm at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I have been working with Delphi Prism for a while now and can recommend
>>> it
>>> to
>>> anyone who wants to do Mac development in .NET. Any criticism below is
>>> not
>>> to be understood as criticism of Delphi Prism. It's just the tool I use
>>> because I think it is the best for the job.
>>> Between Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Monobjc
>>> (Cocoa
>>> bindings), and Gtk# we have ample GUI toolkits to choose from, but this
>>> also
>>> means that the ability of .NET/Mono binaries to run unchanged on any
>>> platform is somewhat diminished, to say the least. I found that Mono's
>>> implementation of Windows Forms on Mac OS and Linux does not support
>>> right-to-left text. I haven't checked with Gtk#. (In fact I have never
>>> really looked at Gtk#.)
>>> So currently the best solution for cross-platform .NET development is to
>>> create separate binaries for each platform which, as I said, diminished
>>> the
>>> advantage of being able to run the same binary on any target platform.
>>> One year ago I managed to create a test program that would check whether
>>> it's running on Windows or Mac OS and then use a Windows Forms or a
>>> Cocoa#
>>> (back then) GUI depending on the result. A single binary worked on both
>>> systems again, with decent results on both targets too. But this
>>> configuration is not easily supported by IDEs or build scripts and
>>> doesn't
>>> play well with Apple's (excellent) concept of bundles.
>>> But then even checking which OS one is running on is difficult since
>>> Mono
>>> reports UNIX when running on Mac OS (at least it did the last time I
>>> checked).
>>> How is the Gtk# implementation on Mac OS? Is it better than Windows
>>> Forms?
>>> Would Gtk# be a good solution for a single binary for all three targets?
>>> (On
>>> Windows, can I just include Gtk# DLLs or does the user have to install
>>> Mono
>>> or Gtk# himself?)
>>> I like Monobjc and the Cocoa GUI it makes available to .NET programs.
>>> But
>>> porting the GUI part of an app to Monobjc is (doable but) an effort that
>>> seems ironic considering .NET/Mono is inherently a cross-platform
>>> development environment.
>>> So what's the best way to go for cross-platform apps? Three separate
>>> GUIs?
>>> Gtk# for all? And if the first, should it be a single binary checking
>>> the
>>> OS
>>> and then using the right GUI or should it be separate binaries?
>>> --
>>> View this message in context:
>>> http://www.nabble.com/General-cross-platform-issues-and-considerations-tp25888867p25888867.html
>>> Sent from the Mono - OSX mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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