[Mono-winforms-list] Porting Visual Studio Created WinForms Applications C#

Marcel Burger m.burger.work at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 07:37:27 UTC 2015

Hello Peter,

Currently I'm also building a multi platform desktop application.
I develop with VS, import it in a virtual Linux Mint via Git and build it
with Monodevelop.

I use Monodevelop and Google to fix the list of build failures Monodevelop
comes up with.
Besides that I try to use as little Dependencies as I can and only use
Libraries which are crossplatform.

So, 1 codebase -> several deployments.

Personally I don't mind the Designer files VS creates, since these files
only initiate and set the properties of the controls you create when you
use the visual designer is VS.
The .resx files (also) contain the images you use in your application
(b.t.w. I've noticed that it's better to avoid using Icon files but instead
use png files and convert them to ico via code).

Monodevelop doesn't have a WinForm designer so you will be creating (some
sort of) Designer files yourself anyway to initiatie and set the controls
you need.

I have noticed that some Control properties set in VS don't act like they
should in Monodevelop, many of which have been submitted as bugs.
In many cases initiating those Controls and setting the properties yourself
(via code instead of using the Visual Designer) solve the problems (but not
all of them, some properties simply don't work so I choose to ommit them
instead of creating hacks around them ...).

So you can also stick to develop a winform app without a Visual Designer ;)

Keep in mind that you will have some issues regarding:
- visual refreshing on Unix systems (controls simply won't refresh
themselve like they do on Windows, so sometimes you don't see the controls
at all, which looks pretty awful. I see it in more applications on Unix
systems ...)
- The controls used via Monodevelop are based on winXP which make them look
a buit outdated
- Some controls used via Monodevelop have different base (not mutable)
properties then WIndows, which leads to different spacing requirements ...
(e.g. ComboBox).

Since I only have the requirement that the software should work on Unix and
that the graphical issues are not that important, I stick with my current
development strategy.

I think it's very cool that I only have to write the code once and deploy
it on different OSses, but the graphical experience is a bit dissapointing.

I'm hoping that future mono updates wil solve these graphical issues
automagically, so the software works and looks as stunning as it does on a
windows system :-)

I don't mind helping out in that area ;)

If not, I guess, HTML5 instead of WinForm will be a nice GUI replacement :-)


Marcel Burger

On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 5:23 PM, Stifu <stifu at free.fr> wrote:

> Hi,
> MonoDevelop and Xamarin Studio don't have a WinForms designer, so you'd
> better stick with Visual Studio. I admit I'm not really up to date on this,
> but there must be VS plugins to run your app with Mono from the IDE. I've
> found the MonoDebugger project (http://www.monodebugger.net/), but it
> seems
> it's still not available. Maybe Xamarin for Visual Studio does what you
> want
> (http://xamarin.com/visual-studio), but I'm not sure, since it's actually
> specialized in mobile development.
> Note you could also just build your app with VS then manually test it on
> Mono on all the targeted platforms. It's not ideal, but it's what I do
> (except I use SharpDevelop).
> jonesypeter wrote
> > Hello,
> >
> > I wonder if I could ask a very simplistic question.  I have searched for
> > an answer before posting.
> >
> > I have created a very simple WinForms applications and created the .exe
> > and checked that this runs with Mono as well and it all went fine.
> >
> > If I want to build this application directly with Mono how do I do this,
> > because Visual Studio creates a large list of files including
> > Form1.Designer.cs, Form1.resz. and Program.cs
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > Peter Jones
> --
> View this message in context:
> http://mono.1490590.n4.nabble.com/Porting-Visual-Studio-Created-WinForms-Applications-C-tp4666376p4666385.html
> Sent from the Mono - WinForms mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
> Mono-winforms-list maillist  -  Mono-winforms-list at lists.ximian.com
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