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Portable.NET Release 0.7.0

Mono and the Summer of Code

Portable.NET has made their first release in six months, and it is as packed with new code as you would expect; the list prints out to about four pages, and is downloadable from http://dotgnu.org/pipermail/developers/2005-June/000056.html. The runtime engine gets a PowerPC unroller, enhanced profiling, and support for multiple engine instances. System.Windows.Forms receives over 20 enhancements and fixes. These include several improvements in form layout capabilities and string displays; the toolbox classes have also been started. TextBox, TreeView, TreeNode, and focus handling saw many improvements.

The XSharp and Basic languages received about a dozen fixes; Basic's string handling saw many improvements. Updated versions of Mono.GetOptions and System.Data from the Mono project have been included. Overall there are many optimizations and bug fixes in all parts of the project.

You can download RPMs and install packages from www.dotgnu.org/pnet-packages.html. By the time you read this, there will also be a version 0.7.2 to correct any issues found after the release. There is also a new and improved Portable.NET FAQ at www.southern-storm.com.au/pnet_faq.html.

Mono Version 1.1.8
Mono now contains a Visual Studio solution for Mono that allows single stepping through Mono, even when it is embedded inside an application. This is fruit from the Grasshopper project. The Mono Debugger has been released in sync with the runtime for the first time for debugging .NET applications; typically this would be used with applications created with Mono, but it can also be used with applications developed with Portable.NET or Microsoft.NET that are being executed under the Mono runtime. Code generated by Reflection can also be debugged now. A new version of the NUnit addin for MonoDevelop can now be downloaded from version control, and will be included in the next release of MonoDevelop. It has a lot of cool new features that make managing and running tests easier. For example, you can select two dates, and the addin will show all regression, (i.e., tests that passed in the earlier version, but failed in the newer version). If you are into test driven development, you should check it out at http://primates.ximian.com/~lluis/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=40.

System.Windows.Forms continues to improve. Domain and Numeric up/down counters have been implemented, and an incomplete version of DataGrid and MDI support is included. Drag and drop and clipboard are implemented under X11, and HelpProvider, ErrorProvider, and Cursor classes have been implemented. ResXWriter and ResXReader are complete. Many compatibility issues have been addressed.

Security gains AppDomain-based sandboxes, stack propagation has been implemented for async code, threads, and System.Windows.Forms, and default polices are now supported.

ASP.NET 2.x ImageMap, Wizard, SiteMapDataSource, and SiteMapPath controls are now supported. Mono-IKVM is now a part of the Mono core, so it will be easier to install and use. There is a new Mono-shlib-cop to verify code that uses P/Invoke to access DLLs. The Mono.Unix namespace for access system calls on UNIX-type systems continues to expand and improve with a number of bug fixes, and a dozen and a half new calls supported; documentation for the namespace has also improved. Bug fixes and optimizations abound throughout the project.

More Summer of Code
Sixteen students have had their Mono projects selected by Google for the Summer of Code. These students will have their projects supervised by Mono team members, and if successful, the students will be paid $4,500 for their summer's work. The projects include compilers for languages such as #Ruby.NET, Ruby.NET, XAML, XSLT, and PHP; other projects include Cecil/Write support, a GCC CIL back end, #MSBuild implementation, two ASP.NET GUI designers, a managed C++ front end, System.Windows.Forms version 2 controls, #Diva video editor, Monodoc improvements, and a QNX port of Mono. Overall, 410 students are being sponsored by Google; KDE had 24 projects accepted (15 related to the GAIM instant messenger), GNOME had 12 projects accepted. To view the Mono projects that were accepted, see www.mono-project.com/Summer2005.

If you missed the application deadline, Mono still has projects you can work on, but you will not get the $4,500; it is open source after all. See the above link for details. Another option is to join the Four Open Seasons of Code sponsored by LamLaw, a legal site best know for its coverage of the both the Microsoft antitrust case, and more recently, the SCO vs. IBM trial. There is no money involved, but you get the use of a copy of the enterprise edition of Borland's Kylix development environment. These projects are meant to run three or four months (a season), after which you will return the development tools, so someone else can start a project. More information on the Four Open Seasons projects can be found at www.lamlaw.com/; click on the Four Open Season's link on the left of the page.

More Stories By Dennis Hayes

Dennis Hayes is a programmer at Georgia Tech in Atlanta Georgia where he writes software for the Adult Cognition Lab in the Psychology Department. He has been involved with the Mono project for over six years, and has been writing the Monkey Business column for over five years.

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