[MonoDevelop] Forms Designer in MonoDevelop

jmalcolm malcolm.justin at gmail.com
Tue Jan 26 01:50:54 EST 2010

Michael, thank you for flagging that it is the GTK#/WinForms integration that
will be the big issue in trying to embed a WinForms designer into
MonoDevelop (even if only supported on the MS version of .NET).

It sounds like the simplest solution for now would be the ability to launch
a stand-alone WinForms designer from within MonoDevelop so that it was
working on the correct form and having the resulting code changes handled
gracefully back in MonoDevelop.  I might try to throw something like this
together for my own use.

I imagine that this solution is too hokey for MonoDevelop proper.  I believe
it could serve a lot of people well but it would also create a demand for
something better integrated and it does not sound like this is an easy
problem to solve or staff.

Someone asked why people like me do not simply use SharpDevelop to do
WinForms.  In fact, I do.  There are a couple of problems though.  For
example, I have had SharpDevelop create solution files that MonoDevelop
would not open.  Invalid GUID or something...  Also, I sometimes use systems
where it is difficult or impossible to run SharpDevelop (like Windows 2000).

Of course, there is simply the hassle of having to install and jump between
multiple IDEs as well as the comfortable feeling of using the same IDE for
multiple project types on multiple operating systems.

Thank you everyone for the great discussion.

Michael Hutchinson wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Mike Kestner <mkestner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 2010-01-21 at 09:02 +0100, Mike Krüger wrote:
>>> Ripping out the forms designer shouldn't be that hard at all (in fact
>>> it's 'just' ripping out some services which should be provided) -
>>> integrating it into monodevelop ... is a lot of work, but doable.
>> Using the S.W.F.Designer infrastructure also introduces the issue of
>> embedding SWF Controls into Gtk# containers, right?  This isn't an issue
>> for SharpDevelop since it's a Forms app.
>> Or has somebody already solved that problem?  I know a few had tried,
>> but it was a pretty thorny challenge.
> Yes, I believe this is the main issue. We do have the 1.1 designer
> framework mostly implemented in Mono thanks to Ivan, but when he tried
> to integrate it into MD he ran into a lot of issues with toolkit
> interop that prevent him from getting it properly working.
> -- 
> Michael Hutchinson
> http://mjhutchinson.com
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