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Developer's Toolbox: Mono 1.0

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Richard Smith

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Posted: 17 Aug 2004
 

Mono 1.0 Ships (http://www.mono-project.com)

We've written a lot here about the Mono Project and the benefits it provides to developers. Well, a major milestone in the project has been met with the official release of Mono 1.0. Designed as an Open Source alternative to Microsoft .NET, Mono 1.0 includes:

  • A cross platform ECMA CLI runtime engine.
  • A cross platform IKVM Java runtime engine.
  • C# 1.0 compiler.
  • Development toolchain.
  • Class libraries implementing the .NET 1.1 profile.
  • The Gtk# 1.0 GUI programming toolkit.
  • Mono specific libraries.
  • Third party convenience libraries bundled with the release.
  • GNU Classpath for the CLI.
  • Visual Basic runtime.

What this means for developers is that Mono 1.0 provides the tools to create feature-rich desktop and web service applications that will run on a wide variety of platforms, from Linux to Windows to the Mac to S390.

While Mono 1.0 provides the compatibility with .NET (.NET 1.1), it more importantly adds functionality that allows *nix developers to take advantage of many of the strengths of developing for *nix platforms.

For desktop developers, the use of Gtk# allows desktop GUI applications to be developed and deployed on supported platforms.

For developers who have developed to Novell technologies you'll find libraries supporting eDirectory/LDAP and connector libraries for many popular databases including MySQL.

Look for an in-depth tutorial on Mono 1.0 in the near future here on Cool Solutions for Developers.

Eclipse 3.0 (http://www.eclipse.org)

Eclipse Foundation has release version 3.0 of the cross-platform, multi-language development platform that has become so popular over the past few years.

Eclipse has long been one of the best platforms for building Java applications, but improvements in version 3 now make it a very compelling choice for C/C++ developers also.

While often described as an IDE, Eclipse is so much more. It can be used as the foundation for a complete application or for an extensible desktop environment. To get an idea of just how powerful Eclipse is, go to IBM's Lotus Workplace website. This product is built on Eclipse and highlights one of the Eclipse product's strengths: extensibility.

Don't Like AIM? Well build your own IM client.

If you've ever thought about a cool feature you'd like to see in an Instant Messaging client, now is your chance to add that feature to your own IM client. With the release of the SoapBox Framework Mono Edition from Winfessor, Inc. you can now do just that.

The SoapBox Framework provides .NET developers the interfaces needed to build messaging and collaboration clients using the popular XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) protocol. XMPP is in use everywhere by millions of users. With the Soapbox Framework you can add messaging, multi-user chat and even conferencing to an existing application.

The Mono Edition of the SoapBox Framework enables Mono developers to take advantage of this development kit and deploy on any of the platforms supported by the Mono runtime. Winfessor also provides versions of the Framework for doing Web services and working with embedded devices that support the .NET Compact Framework.

Go check out the Winfessor web site for more information and evaluations of the various versions of the Framework.

The Developer's Bookshelf
Mono: A Developer's Notebook

As I was finishing this column a copy of a new book on Mono development found its way to my desk. I haven't had a chance to read through it completely, but from my initial paging through it, it looks like a very good addition to your Mono development bookshelf.

Mono: A Developer's Notebook, by Edd Dumbill and Niel M. Bornstein, is published by the fine folks at O'Reilly and is one of the first in a new series from them. A very good description of the goals of this series is presented early in the book. If this book is any indication, then the series will be a valuable one for developers to follow.

Mono: A Developer's Notebook starts you out installing and configuring Mono, with information on a few of the platforms that are supported by Mono. The authors take you through exploring Mono and a number of tools that aide your development.

Look for a full review of Mono: A Developer's Notebook next time.


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