comComparing the free .NET implementations Mono and DotGNU


Article from Issue 61/2005

The Open Source projects Mono and DotGNU open Microsoft’s .NET platform to Linux developers. This article investigates how well-suited these alternative implementations are for building simple GUI applications.

In 2002, Microsoft launched a new system for platform-independent development that they dubbed .NET (pronounced “Dotnet”). The .NET pro-ject aims to simplify the development of network and Internet applications. It supports object oriented programming and comes with a unique class library suitable for use with multiple programming languages, such as C# and VB .NET for example. In the course of launching .NET, Microsoft has discontinued support for its previous favorite, the MFC library for Visual C++. All future Microsoft products will be based on the new technology. Free .NET? Despite the platform-independent approach of the .NET framework, Microsoft is highly unlikely to release a Linux implementation, and this lack of Linux support has prompted two projects to step into the gap: Novell’s sponsored Mono project [1] and the open source DotGNU [2] project. Both Mono and DotGNU are aiming to provide as complete an implementation of the .NET platform as possible. The goal of both projects is to allow developers to exchange software across operating system boundaries.

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