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Developing .NET Applications on Windows with MonoDevelop 2.2

| by Abel Avram on Sep 11, 2009. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

MonoDevelop has become the first cross platform .NET IDE supporting development on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

MonoDevelop version 2.2 is currently in Beta. While MonoDevelop could be installed and run on Mac OS in the past, now it is officially supported. But the greatest change is Windows support. It comes as a Windows MSI installer that contains everything except GTK# which needs to be installed separately. .NET Framework 3.5 is required.

Some of the new features in MonoDevelop 2.2 are:

  • Targeting Multiple Runtimes – applications can be targeted either at Microsoft .NET or Mono on Windows, or at different Mono versions on Linux.
  • Initial .NET 4.0 support – requires latest Mono version or .NET Framework 4.0.
  • Integrated Debugger support – debugs Mono applications and native ones. Support for ASP.NET/Linux debugging.
  • Add-ins – ASP.NET MVC, IPhone, Moonlight.

The MonoDevelop team wants to support more languages, according to Miguel de Icaza:

We want to embrace not only .NET-based projects like Gtk#, Silverlight, ASP.NET, Boo, C#, F#, Visual Basic and Windows.Forms. We are also embracing other developer platforms like Python, C/C++, Vala, and we want to expand our presence to work with the Flash, PHP, Ruby, Rails, Flex and any other communities that need a cross platform IDE.

One significant change Icaza mentioned is moving all the code to a new license:

We are moving MonoDevelop away from the GPL, it is now either LGPL or MIT X11. We have rewritten all the old pieces that depended on the GPL, and we want to avoid introducing any GPL code back into MonoDevelop.

Because of that license change, F# support existing in MonoDevelop 2.0 has been dropped in 2.2 because the F# plug-in was initially licensed under GPL.

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SharpDevelop by Sam Corder

I've used MonoDevelop on Linux a good bit and it is passable. On Windows I prefer SharpDevelop. It may not have all the features of Visual Studio but it gets close to the 80/20 mark.

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