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DotGNU Developers and Users Have New Portal

Mono holds second summit

DotGNU Gets Portal
The DotGNU project has a new Web portal at getdotgnu.com, and it is a great improvement over the old Web pages. If you tried to use DotGNU before, but couldn't get it to work; if you wanted to contribute, but didn't know where to start; if you have thought about using DotGNU, but just haven't gotten around to it - now is the time. This portal supports all three of the DotGNU projects: DGEE (DotGNU Execution Environment [a runtime environment for Web services]), phpGroupWare, and Portable.NET. It has downloads, documentation, screen shots, links to forums and mailing lists, and pages (mostly empty at this point) for sample code and applications. Much of this consists of links to things that have always been available, but is now much easier to find and get to; there is also a lot of new information on the site. You can probably tell that I really like this new Web site.

Also available from Portable.NET on this page is the just released version 0.6.10 of Portable.NET (more details next month); there is also a new install package for Portable.NET on the IPAQ.

Open Source-Powered Web Site
www.govtrack.us is a Web site powered entirely by open source software. It tracks and displays graphs showing how Congress voted on various issues. The main display is a map of the U.S. with each congressional district colored blue for a yes vote, red for a no vote, and green for an absent vote. The OS is Fedora Core 1, the Web server is Apache, the Web pages are generated using Mono, and the map is created using the Generic Mapping Tools with the data crunched by the GNU Scientific Library. That is a lot of open source. The database is in XML format and can be accessed from www.govtrack.us/source.xpd.

Mono
There is another interesting Web site, www.monoforge.com, that hosts applications based on Mono and MySQL. It is free during the beta period, which is expected to last until Q3 2005. After signing up, you get ftp access to 10Mb of disk space, 2Gb of bandwidth per month, and a single MySQL database. They have excellent hardware and connectivity - I cannot wait to open my account and get started.

Edd Dumbill, coauthor of Mono: A Developers Notebook, has listed "Seven Cool Mono Apps" on his blog at www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2004/10/18/mono.html. They include Tomboy, a Wiki that runs on the desktop; BLAM!, an RSS newsreader; Muine, a music player that also downloads cover art from Amazon; F-Spot, a photo organizer sponsored by Mono and Novell (they have a full-time programmer working on it); iFolder, a Novell product for remote file synchronization; MonoDevelop, a cross-platform version of SharpDevelop; and IronPython, a .NET version of Python. The Web site has short reviews and links to the home pages of all the programs.

Another five applications based on Mono were listed by Eugenia Loli-Queru at www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=8611.

Three more sample programs meant to demo Mono were shown during Mono Day at the GnomeBangalore conference. The applications were a hangman game, a calculator, and a notepad application. For more information on Mono Day and these applications, go to www.gnomebangalore.org/?q=node/view/491. To see the slides presented at the show, go to www.gnomebangalore.org/lindec/presentations.html.

Mono Summit
A second Mono summit was held in Boston in October. The key to this meeting was that representatives of both Novell and Mainsoft were present. Mainsoft has long used Mono classes in their Visual MainWin for J2EE product; they have also given the Mono project the source code for a lot of their classes (most notably Basic, Data, and Web classes). In the past, this sharing has been static - we move their code into our system, they move our code into theirs. In the future, we will share code with each other more directly. The first step was for Mono to switch from CVS to Subversion for version control. Mainsoft came to the meeting with a wealth of information on Mono performance issues, bugs, and testing techniques. This will be a big boost for the reliability and scalability of Mono.

Neale Ferguson from Software AG was also there discussing the port to S390.

Notes from the meeting are at www.go-mono.com/summit-notes.html.

And a final tidbit: October 19 was the fifth anniversary of the incorporation of Ximian (then known as Helix Code). Happy Birthday Monkeys.

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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