Given all the sound and fury around recent Novell and Microsoft partnership, and all of the entanglements that would ensue, not much was said about the recent Mono update. Mono, a project sponsored by Novell, brings .NET support to the Linux platform and the latest version adds Windows Forms support and other critical milestones.
Mono has been in the works since May of 2004. This version 1.2 release, while timely (if delayed), has little if anything to do Microsoft's recent patent sharing agreement with Novell.
The release, originally slated for much earlier in 2006, brings critical features required to keep Mono relatively concurrent with the Microsoft-released runtime. Highlights include improved performance and stability, support for C# 2.0, and support for the Windows Forms API.
“With this release, we've solved an important issue by making it easier to translate the Microsoft user interfaces to Linux, an important contribution in increasing the number of client-side Linux applications,” Miguel de Icaza, a Novell VP and maintainer of the Mono project.
Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system now includes several new Mono-based desktop Linux applications. On the list are things like the Banshee music player, F-spot photo manager, and the Beagle desktop search utility.
The Mono platform provides support for all of the Microsoft .NET languages and many of the .NET 2.0 framework features.
Mono Technology Stacks
According to Novell, the Mono Project is an open-source initiative sponsored by the company as part of a strategy of enabling Unix developers to build and deploy cross-platform .NET applications.
The core software includes the following components:
- A Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) virtual machine that contains a class loader, Just-in-time compiler, and a garbage collecting runtime.
- A class library that can work with any language which works on the CLR. Both .NET compatible class libraries as well as Mono-provided class libraries are included.
- A compiler for the C# language. In the future we might work on other compilers that target the Common Language Runtime.
The 1.2 release of Mono provides full support for .NET 1.1 and partial support for .NET 2.0. Platform support includes Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, BSD and Windows. Binaries compiled in Visual Studio on Windows can be run directly in Mono. Learn more at the Mono Project site.