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Details on Mono 1.2.2 and SharpDevelop2

Mono 1.2.2

Mono 1.2.2 was released last month, and with the help of the Mono Migration Tool, Moma, which was discussed last month, 496 new methods were added, 212 "bogus" to-dos were removed, and 65 NotImplementedExceptions were removed.

If you want an easy way to help the Mono project, download Moma from www.mono-project.com/Moma. It's a GUI program; you just browse to any .NET .exe or .dll file or set of files, and click "next". You can then view the log file or make a single click to send a copy of the report to the Mono team, who will use it to improve Mono. This may not seem like much, but if you've followed this column at all, you've read about how important having companies support and test their applications on Mono. Well, this has the same effect, but is much easier, and can be done by anyone. I ran it on SharpDevelop, and there were 194 methods that were missing in Mono 1.2.2, 38 methods called that would throw a NotImplementedException (note the word "would"; Mono works via reflection, and doesn't actually run the program), 79 methods that were marked with to-do attributes (methods that were implemented, but marked as not handling all cases or needing some other improvement), and 81 calls to the Windows OS (P/Invokes). Note that many are duplicates, I checked the P/Invokes, and 51 of them were unique. The missing methods seem to have many more duplicates, mostly .NET 2.0 Winforms methods in just a few controls; many were in either the tree and tool controls, most related to displaying in RightToLeft mode.

You can read Miguel's synopsis of the results from the first 114 reports at http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2006/Nov-28.html; one interesting fact is that less than 10% have P/Invokes that would be difficult to port to Mono.

New ToolStrip classes were one of the big improvements in Winforms in Mono 1.2.2; the other was upgrading the Cairo base to 1.2.6. The code base for C# 1.1 and C# 2.0 with generics continued to be merged; now the only differences are generics and the parser. After many fixes to the new VB runtime and compiler, both IbuySpy and DevZone (based on DotNetNuke) now run on Mono.

It's been a while since I've written about SharpDevelop and in the interim much has changed. Version 2.0 was released back during the summer as SharpDevelop2, and version 2.1 is now in its third beta. Tool support now includes built-in NUnit for unit testing, NCover for code coverage, integrated access to FxCop for static code analysis, Subversion for version control, and MSBuild support.

Supported project types include the window, console, control, and other types you would expect, but also Direct3D, .NET 3.0 WPF applications and Navigation applications, compact framework applications, SharpDevelop add-ins and tools menu projects, setup projects, and for Mono developers, a Mono project that uses GTK# and Glade. Most of these project types are available in both C# and VB. BOO projects are also supported, but if you really want to impress your friends, SharpDevelop supports ILAsm (.NET assembly language) projects, setting you up with a ILAsm "Hello World" program; how cool is that?

It also has support for WiX 2.0 controls, PDF output from the database report generator (SharpReport), a visual XML editor that uses a tree view, and different frameworks (.NET, Compact Framework, and Mono), XPath Queries, conversion between VB and C# and C# to BOO, and a resource toolkit. It can also be hosted in third-party applications.

This is one of the better full-featured IDEs available. It's not quite as polished as the gold standard in IDEs, Visual Studio, but it comes close. In my opinion it easily beats the "express versions" of Visual Studio. Its biggest shortfall is user documentation. Of course the source code is available, and the story behind it and details of its architecture can be found in the book Dissecting A C# Application: Inside SharpDevelop from Apress, which can be downloaded free from www.apress.com/free/index.html. SharpDevelop can be downloaded at www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/Download/, and it has an active community at http://community.sharpdevelop.net/, and a wiki at http://wiki.sharpdevelop.net/ where you can also see the roadmap for SharpDevelop3, which will be based on C# 3.0 and .NET 3.0 including WPF, WF, WCF, and InfoCard.

Odds and Ends
Back in October, the Mono team met in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the slides from the meeting are now online at www.mono-project.com/news/archive/2006/Oct-26.html. These slides are interesting as an overview, but they were meant to be props for lectures and in most cases are too sparse to be used by people unfamiliar with the subject.

There is now a coverage tool for Mono called monocov, more information can be found at www.advogato.org/person/lupus/diary.html?start=22.

MonoDevelop has set out a roadmap for the 1.0 release; you can see it at http://lists.ximian.com/pipermail/monodevelop-list/2006-November/004895.html.

For Mac Xcode developers, there's a new tutorial on using Mono on the Mac at http://mono-project.com/CsharpPlugin.

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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