Mono Update Adds Async Programming

The Mono project this week announced an update of the open source .NET development framework that includes a C# 5.0 compiler supporting asynchronous programming, along with a host of other improvements.

With the asynchronous functionality, "developers can use any mscorlib that they want (for example the MicroFramework one, or a custom one) without having to build a custom compiler," the project announced in its release notes for Mono 3.0.

Project lead Miguel de Icaza on Monday announced on his blog the first update of the cross-platform development software in some 18 months, citing the move to "a more nimble release process." Microsoft solidified the asynchronous programming model in the .NET Framework 4.5, released Aug. 15. Asynchronous capabilities are a core feature of Windows 8/Windows Store apps, with the goal of a more connected, responsive user experience on mobile devices. It allows users to do other things while long-running operations such as network service data downloads are completed in the background.

Other new features in Mono 3.0 include bundling of ASP.NET WebStack assemblies. Integrated components now include the newly open sourced Entity Framework, ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET WebPages, the Razor view engine and the System.Json assembly, which de Icaza said replaces the project's own JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) implementation.

An improved garbage collector, a C# interactive shell, runtime optimizations and class library improvements were also announced.

And, true to its cross-platform roots, Mono 3.0 includes improvements for Mac OSX and iOS developers. Among these, de Icaza said, are the bundling of F# 3.0 in the OSX distribution.

When users commenting on de Icaza's blog post asked about the possible bundling of F# 3.0 in Windows and Linux distributions, he replied: "The only platform where we bundle it all is OSX. On Windows, we merely ship the runtime for folks that embed it, as most of the time, that is what they want. We do not think there is a lot demand for bundling F# on Windows to run on Mono instead of .NET."

In response to another question, de Icaza said asynchronous programming is expected to come in preview editions of Mono for Android and MonoTouch (iOS) later this year or early next year.

The Mono project is sponsored by Xamarin, a company co-founded by de Icaza last year.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.