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.NET Developer's Journal - New ECMA Specs Released

Code Project and the Business Readiness Review

New ECMA Specs
There is a new version of the ECMA specs for C# Version 2.0 and the CLI; the Mono C# compiler and runtime is already compliant with these, and only a few class changes are needed to be compliant with the new libraries. As Miguel notes in his blog (http://tirania.org/blog/all.html), the first chapters of the C# specification are a decent tutorial for programmers wanting to learn C# (although I would not recommend it for those without prior programming experience). One note, although my understanding is that the spec has been approved, the text of the specs has not been fully ratified yet. The C# standard is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-334.htm, and the CIL spec is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-335.htm.

Now that C# 2.0 is done, Microsoft has released a draft of C# version 3.0, which can be found at http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/5/0/ 9503e33e-fde6-4aed-b5d0-ffe749822f1b/csharp%203.0%20specification.doc; I will cover some of the new features in next month's column.

Mono
The Mono team has released a set of guidelines for building and deploying .NET-based projects on Linux. This is a very useful page for Windows programmers who want to make an installation package for Mono on Linux. Although .NET uses the same assemblies for both Windows and Linux, the installation process is entirely different; this page covers what Windows programmers need to know about the differences between Windows and Linux such as directories, configuration, and differences in how the GAC is handled.

Tim Anderson has written an article on Mono that includes short quotes from Brian Goldfarb of Microsoft about Mono, as well as Yaacov Cohen on the Grasshopper project (see "Monkey Business" in DNDJ Vol: 3 iss 7), and a long interview with Miguel. It makes for an interesting read at www.itwriting.com/monointerview.php.

Mono versions 1.1.8.1, 1.1.8.3, and 1.1.9 have been released. The minor releases fix a pair of deadlock bugs (one only affected debug mode, and the other affected only multiprocessor systems loading assemblies while under heavy CPU usage) that were in the 1.1.8 release, plus some new compiler code. I will cover the 1.1.9 release in next month's column.

NPlot
One of my favorite .NET controls, NPlot, is a full-featured graph and charting control. It is now at version 0.9.9, and is in final cleanup before the official version 1.0 is released. I will cover it some more when the release happens. There is no official release date. It will be released as soon as it and the supporting documents and tutorials are ready, but if you check http://netcontrols.org/nplot/wiki/index.php?n=Main.HomePage, it may already be available.

Business Readiness Review
There are hundreds of thousands of open source projects out there, but how do you know which ones are ready for prime time? A new initiative sponsored by O'Reilly, Intel, the Center for Open Source Investigation at Carnegie Mellon West, and SpikeSource, called the Business Readiness Review, hopes to help you answer that question. It is currently in its first phase, which is a public input phase. They are looking for input from both business and open source developers on how it should work. You can read about it and provide your input at www.openbrr.org. Simply put, those who use software would rate it for such attributes as quality, size of community, documentation, completeness, and others. The values would be fed into a spreadsheet and the results would be tallied. The intended use of a project would dictate how it is evaluated; for instance, a component meant for experimentation would receive a higher grade if updates were frequent, where frequent updates would be marked against a component meant for enterprise use where stability is crucial. Not everyone likes the idea. For instance, Dana Blankenhorn of ZDNET is concerned that popular projects will get high ratings, but that new or small projects will get low ratings, thereby making it difficult for new projects to get the foothold they need.

The Code Project
The Code Project is a Web site for community-based projects and tutorials. When you need a control or a snippet of code, this is a good place to look. Most of the code has licenses that are friendly to both open source and commercial development. They also have a subsection just for cross-platform development that includes information on Mono and on GTK#. Keep in mind that all of the executables should run under Mono, except for some of the C++ binaries that may need DLLs that are not available under Mono. Most of the controls include the source code, so you can use them as a starting point for your own control, or you can submit your improvements back to the projects. Personally, I have learned a lot from the tutorials at this site, and have used some of the controls in commercial projects. The Web site is at www.codeproject.com/; click on the cross-platform option in the left menu list. A good introduction to Mono that has been recently updated is at www.codeproject.com/cpnet/introtomono1.asp. There are also introductions to using Mon with Apache, DB2, SQL, and Google Search.

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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Most Recent Comments
News Desk 10/19/05 09:34:54 PM EDT

There is a new version of the ECMA specs for C# Version 2.0 and the CLI; the Mono C# compiler and runtime is already compliant with these, and only a few class changes are needed to be compliant with the new libraries. As Miguel notes in his blog (http://tirania.org/blog/all.html), the first chapters of the C# specification are a decent tutorial for programmers wanting to learn C# (although I would not recommend it for those without prior programming experience). One note, although my understanding is that the spec has been approved, the text of the specs has not been fully ratified yet. The C# standard is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-334.htm, and the CIL spec is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-335.htm.

.NET News Desk 10/19/05 08:21:19 PM EDT

There is a new version of the ECMA specs for C# Version 2.0 and the CLI; the Mono C# compiler and runtime is already compliant with these, and only a few class changes are needed to be compliant with the new libraries. As Miguel notes in his blog (http://tirania.org/blog/all.html), the first chapters of the C# specification are a decent tutorial for programmers wanting to learn C# (although I would not recommend it for those without prior programming experience). One note, although my understanding is that the spec has been approved, the text of the specs has not been fully ratified yet. The C# standard is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-334.htm, and the CIL spec is at www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-335.htm.

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