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What do I need to start programming with mono?

I am developing apps using C# with VS.NET at the moment.

I do have concerns about lock in the windows, and I read on another thread about making mono the primary development platform to ensure cross platform.

So what do I need?

1) Mono 1.0 (obviously)

but with no real support for win forms at the moment, can I use GTK#?

What about an IDE?

or is it too early to be thinking about this?

Would it be better to try and convince my boss to switch to Java?

Mike G
Monday, July 19, 2004

At this stage it would probably be hard to make a business case for this, unless you really do need the cross-platform aspect for a genuine reason.

If you can't point to a big stack of dollars that the firm will burn if they don't switch, what's the point.

Don't get me wrong, I accept there may be some overriding factor that you don't mention, which would mean you had no choice. Even so, mono may need more time to become acceptable to the business-types.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

> At this stage it would probably be hard to make a business case for this

And? That's not what he asked.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Several good nights sleep and lots of fluids.

Monday, July 19, 2004

You'd probably have a much better case going with Java as opposed to Mono.

*  The community support is there.
*  It runs on just about everything.
*  You can "skin" the windows to look like whatever OS the use is using.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Yes, you can use Gtk# today to write cross-platform GUI apps. The apps you write on Mono with Gtk# can be run on Microsoft .NET, provided that you ship the Gtk# libraries with your app.

As for IDE, I believe that #Develop works w/ Mono. There's also MonoDevelop. I believe the forms developer for #Develop is still just for Windows Forms, though.

Brad Wilson (
Monday, July 19, 2004

Blank: "And? That's not what he asked.".

What does "Would it be better to try and convince my boss to switch to Java?" mean then ?

We'd all do well to remember that very few of us are doing this IT game for a laugh. In almost all cases, the IT is a tool used by the business to increase shareholder value. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anyone who thinks the majority of shareholders in most businesses care about whether their firm uses mono or java or xbal and .NET doesn't understand how the world of commerce works.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

>Blank: "And? That's not what he asked.".
>What does "Would it be better to try and >convince my boss to switch to Java?" mean >then ?

Did you answer that question at all?

> shareholder value


Monday, July 19, 2004

"Anyone who thinks the majority of shareholders in most businesses care about whether their firm uses mono or java or xbal and .NET doesn't understand how the world of commerce works."

True, but at the same time a primary concern of shareholders/interested parties is limiting dependencies and source vendor lock-in -- i.e. Walmart wouldn't go out of business if their preferred cash register company locked them out, nor would GM stop making cars if a particular steel company decided they wanted to make cheese instead, nor would Citibank if Dell stopped selling servers -- in those cases there is significant contingencies in place to ensure that any particular vendor has limited sway over the organization.

Any organization that doesn't have some sort of contingency plans for a non-Microsoft world (what if a giant security fault were found in Windows tomorrow, and your trading partners and government contracts insisted that you dumped Windows -- could you do it? What if Gates divested his controlling interest to donate to charity, as he has promised, Ballmer is tossed out, and a new draconian management takes over that wants to bleed this moneypit. Of course they're ridiculously unlikely, and that's why it's just a contingency) is being irresponsible. It's basic good business sense.

Dennis Forbes
Monday, July 19, 2004

You can laugh, but what else is business about, if not increasing shareholder value ?

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

While I agree with what you're saying Dennis, I wonder just how many businesses would actually be able to cope in a non-Windows world.

None that I have worked for in the past 20 years, I suspect.

Just imagine the scene in any boardroom, post Microsoft meltdown.

How many of the board members are going to care if one of their suppliers has let it be known that they had a contingency for this and their product is cross-platform ?

None, that's how many.

As well as increasing shareholder value, I believe that one of the prime requisites of running a business is risk mitigation. And I suspect that Microsoft-meltdown is not a risk that can be mitigated against in a sensible way, if like most businesses you run Windows on the desktop, perhaps on some/all of your servers too.

It is an interesting scenario though. Most businesses would have Business Interruption insurance to cover this, so as the clients start claiming, the insurers would claim off their re-insurers and the spiral would unwind, possibly leading to a collapse in the insurance market (there is a precedent for this, with the Asbestos re-insurance spiral in the London market that almost killed off Lloyd's).

Without re-insurance, the insurers would withdraw cover and without their insurance cover, most businesses would collapse anyway, or continue to trade illegally. I guess the governments would have to step in to underwrite the losses, much as the US has with TRIA.

As I said, it is an interesting scenario, but if it were to happen it'd be so globally catastrophic that one lonely voice saying "it's okay because we went cross-platform" ain't gonna help much (no disrespect to the O/P intended).

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

An optimists attitude.  That way you won't get all down about Microsoft killing you with patents later on.

.net, the equivalent of MS Bob.
Monday, July 19, 2004

My company runs many systems for large government agencies.  They run a variety of applications, some quite sensitive.

When DHS (Department of Homeland Security) announced a couple weeks ago that ditching IE might be a good idea, my boss finally took note that maybe we should make our apps cross-browser compatible.  I've been doing it all along (7 months), but many of our apps are not.

I've finally been able to make an incredibly simple case saying:

*  If we stick to the standards, our apps will work on everything with little effort upfront and it doesn't matter what DHS (or any other agency) requires.

*  If we don't stick to the standards and go IE-specific, then if DHS (or any other agency) outlaws IE usage within their organization, we have to go back and fix everything potentially months after it's been built.... bad idea.

Monday, July 19, 2004

You need to shed a lot of tears. A little 1.0 It was next to useless due to the lack of documentation, I am not certain if it's much better now.

Li-fan Chen
Monday, July 19, 2004

Yeah. I have decided to wait for Mono 1.2. That looks far more interesting.

Mike G
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

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