[MonoDevelop] Forms Designer in MonoDevelop

Petit Eric surfzoid at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 15:06:23 EST 2010

I believe the problem will be the fact of sharpedevelop/VS wrap native
code to provide winforms designer and so if this is implemented in
monodevelop how this will live with other os than MS one ?

2010/1/20 jmalcolm <malcolm.justin at gmail.com>:
> Mike, thank you for clarifying that the real work is in building in the
> designer classes to Mono's Windows Forms support rather than on the forms
> designer itself.  I have a question about this though.
> The MonoDevelop binaries distributed for Windows run on top of Microsoft's
> .NET 3.5 implementation.  Mono is not required to be installed and I do not
> believe that MonoDevelop would not use it even if it was.  The
> multi-targeting ability of MonoDevelop means that applications can be
> developed on top of Mono using MonoDevelop of course but MonoDevelop itself
> does not rely on Mono unless you go to the effort of explicitly building it
> on Mono from source.
> So, these designer classes that we are talking about are available to
> MonoDevelop on Windows today.  MonoDevelop is running on top of the same
> implementation that powers the SharpDevelop forms designer and I assume the
> Visual Studio one as well.
> How much work would it be to port the SharpDevelop designer to MonoDevelop
> if it was a Windows only feature?  Alternatively, how well would the
> existing stand-alone designer work on the real .NET and how much work would
> it be to integrate it into MonoDevelop?  Would this be a better route than
> porting from SharpDevelop?
> Are people against the idea of a Windows only feature in MonoDevelop?* Are
> we worried about somehow undermining GTK#?
> It seems common to see questions like "I started my project on Visual Studio
> and would like to move to MonoDevelop.  How do I get the forms designer to
> work?"  My intuition is that many Windows developers interested in Mono or a
> cross-platform future start off this way.  Many seem to misunderstand that
> the lack of a forms designer does not mean that their projects will not
> build or run on Mono.  I suspect that many would-be MonoDevelop/Mono users
> go away with the impression that MonoDevelop or Mono are just too immature
> to use at this point.
> Perhaps the lack of a forms designer is interfering more than we suspect
> with the goal of attracting Windows developers to Mono, MonoDevelop, or even
> ultimately to Linux.
> Perhaps a working forms designer on Windows would create more interest in
> advancing the state of the designer classes in Mono itself and bringing the
> forms designer to Linux, Solaris, and Mac.  These contributors might even be
> those that Mono/MonoDevelop fails to attract today.
> Perhaps not of course.
> I am certainly not questioning the priorities of the MonoDevelop project**.
> I respect that there may be bigger fish to fry.  That said, I do believe
> that a forms designer in MonoDevelop would be  a great boon and wonder how
> big a project it would be if finishing the designer support classes in Mono
> itself was not a prerequisite.
> Long post I know.  My apologies for that.  And kudos to everyone working on
> MonoDevelop.  I really enjoy and appreciate your efforts.
> Justin
> * The debugger options in the Windows version of MonoDevelop are already
> different I believe.
> ** For what it is worth... The majority of my work in MonoDevelop is ASP.NET
> deployed to Linux servers so I appreciate that there are other priorities.
> Also, I wrote my first GTK apps for Linux before I ever made a GUI app for
> Windows and I do like GTK#.  Interestingly though, the first app I ever
> tried to write in MonoDevelop used Windows Forms.  I really wanted to have a
> single cross-platform executable with no installer so GTK# was not an
> option.  I ended up discovering SharpDevelop and installed Windows on a
> laptop just to use it.  I tried to come back to MonoDevelop but after a
> while I found myself using SharpDevelop almost exclusively (even for my
> ASP.NET and console projects).  My preference for Linux eventually brought
> me back to MonoDevelop and now I use it even when in Windows.  I still have
> to keep SharpDevelop around just to design the odd form (and TurtleSVN too).
> I would rather stick with MonoDevelop with Subversion built-in.  I find that
> doing GTK# GUI in code is not so bad but I would never do a Windows Forms
> layout without a designer.
> Mike Krüger wrote:
>> Hi
>>> That's sad...sorry for the ignorance, but how much work it is to
>>> integrate the current mwf-designer stand alone app?, beside as far as I
>>> know, sharpdevelop it have one, I know that it probably use .Net
>>> services and clases that don't exist in mono or are not complete, but
>>> each mono release is more feature compatible with .Net, so may be is not
>>> to much. I also know that if you think in a really feature complete,
>>> stable, etc mwf-designer comparable with the VS.NET one is probably a
>>> big task, but may be is more doable to think in a "basic" one, that it
>>> can be even unstable (sorry, but we are all use to have unstable
>>> "features" in MD, come on, what feature in MD it wait to be really
>>> mature to be included?). That can bring the attention and jump from
>>> there...I can even offer my help if some of the MD gurus and hopefully
>>> the mwf-designer developer can give me a hand...
>> Ok, my 2 cents (btw. I wrote the SharpDevelop forms designer):
>> The SharpDevelop forms designer uses the windows.forms built-in forms
>> designer infrastructure - that said it's not possible to translate it
>> 1:1 to mono - even if the mono windows forms implementation is good -
>> the designer infrastructure is something different.
>> Doing a forms designer from "outside" without the help of the framework
>> is almost not possible (we've tried that with sharpdevelop first) ... so
>> implementing a forms designer for monodevelop would require much work on
>> the mono windows forms implementation first (lluis already mentioned
>> that). And believe me - this is *MUCH* work (but it's doable :)).
>> I understand the need for a windows forms designer and I hope that we
>> get one contributed by someone who has the time & patience to implement
>> it. It's an open source project - we would like more people contributing
>> to it.
>> Personally I would like to see some improvements in stetic. Stetic could
>> really need some love. Our current shedule for the next release doesn't
>> include badly needed stetic improvements :(
>> Regards
>> Mike
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