Mono 2.0 Takes Flight
Mono version 2.0, an open source effort to implement the Microsoft .NET development
framework for Unix, Linux and other platforms, was formally released today.
Mono 2.0 brings the project into broad equivalence with the APIs and feature
sets presented by .NET Framework 3.5, according to Miguel de Icaza, Mono Project
lead and Novell vice president of developer platforms.
"Mono 2.0 is .NET 3.5 minus the three big stacks that were introduced
with .NET 3.0. So think of it as .NET 3.5, minus Windows Presentation Foundation
[WPF], minus Windows Workflow Foundation [WF] and minus Windows Communication
Foundation [WCF]," de Icaza said, adding: "Work on WCF is happening."
Among the key enhancements to Mono 2.0 is an improved C# compiler and support
for Windows Forms-based development, which had been missing in the previous
version. Mono 2.0 also extends support for Language Integrated Query (LINQ),
adding LINQ to XML and LINQ to databases. The new version also boasts significant
performance improvements, de Icaza said.
"We pretty much are able to deliver the same performance that people expect
from .NET, but we deliver for Unix and for Linux and other operating systems,"
de Icaza said.
Industry watcher Peter O'Kelly, principal analyst for O'Kelly Consulting, said
Mono could help Microsoft capture dev shops that might otherwise avoid the Redmond
"I think the killer sweet spot for Mono is for people who want to be able
to do ASP.NET applications and want to be able to run them on servers other
than Windows Server," O'Kelly explained.
He added that Microsoft, which has offered both technical support and patent
assurances to the Mono project since last year, has a vested interest in seeing
the effort succeed. "They are doing it because they are being pragmatic
about market realities," O'Kelly said. "It is useful to have Mono
to bring others to the ASP.NET platform that would otherwise not do it."
Also released is the Mono Migration Analyzer (MoMA), which lets developers
assess their code for performing .NET-to-Linux migrations. de Icaza said the
Mono Project has received five or six thousand MoMA reports.
"About 45 percent of applications that people reported to us will run
out of the box with no changes," de Icaza said, while another 17 percent
require minor tweaks to run properly. "There are 5 percent to 7 percent
of applications that in my opinion you might as well rewrite."
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.