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Changes Coming for Mono on OS X


Currently Mono offers two GUI toolkits, Windows.Forms and Gtk+. Both of these work on OS X, but they only run via an X server. Just like early Java GUI toolkits, the non-native look and feel is causing problems for developers.

Miguel de Icaza has announced that Mono 1.2.6 will be shipped with an OS X native backend for the Windows.Forms implementation. They are also working with Imendio's project, Gtk+ for Mac OS X. The latter is currently a point where MonoDevelop can run entirely without X11 on the Macintosh.

A port of MonoDevelop is also planned for Windows, specifically for developers working on Gtk+ projects. Miguel recommends Windows developers continue to use Visual Studio or SharpDevelop for non-Gtk+ projects.

Lower priority project for the Mono team include CocoaSharp, which provides native bindings for the Cocoa API, and Objc-Sharp, a bridge between Mono and Objective-C.

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Community comments

  • Actually "less-non-native" than "native" look and feel?

    by Chris Morris,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    A Mac cohort is telling me that this still isn't really native look and feel - like the menu bar at the top of the form/window, rather than only at the top of the desktop, and other details.

    It's closer cuz it's not X (which is way off), but still not the Real Deal.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • Carbon or Cocoa

    by Justin Prine,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    The statement "Windows.Forms now has a native OSX back-end" from Miguel is a bit ambiguous. Does this mean they're using Carbon controls, i.e. HIViews (which will be deprecated in 64bit OS X), or are they using Cocoa/Appkit controls such as NSView? If they are using Appkit are the controls just subclasses made to look like Winforms rather than native controls?

    If they are using Cocoa/Appkit controls then things are really looking up for being able to use WinForms under OS X.

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