Back from vacation…..

and it stinks. I mean, it was 75 degrees in Orlando, Florida and now I’m back home and it’s 25 degrees (with three feet of snow) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Oh well, I have a nice Internet connection now so all is good. =)

While I was sitting by the pool, I decided that it would be fun to play with two open source .NET tools that some of you may have used or heard of before:

1) Draco – from the Draco website, “Draco.NET is a Windows service application designed to facilitate continuous integration. Draco.NET monitors your source code repository, automatically rebuilds your project when changes are detected and then emails you the build result along with a list of changes since the last build.” I have written many times before (in the ASPAlliance Times newsletter) about the importance of a build process in many of my projects. Draco is a fantastic tool for automating parts of the build process. I will be writing about my Draco experience in my next AspToday article.

2) Mono – from the Mono website,

Ximian announced the launch of the Mono project, an effort to create an open source implementation of the .NET Development Framework.

Mono includes: a compiler for the C# language, a runtime for the Common Language Infrastructure (also referred as the CLR) and a set of class libraries. The runtime can be embedded into your application.

I think Mono is intriguing because the possibility of writing my ASP.NET applications once and having it run on both Linux and Windows is an interesting possibility. I personally believe Windows is superior to Linux in most regards but there are times when my client demands Linux and not having to spend weeks/months trying to convince them that Windows/.NET is the way to go would be a welcome relief in many ways. I have not done this myself but I hear that Miguel has a virtually unmodified version of IBuySpy that runs on Linux, Mono, MySQL, and XSP (a stand alone web server written by Mono developers). Unfortunately, I believe that Mono will developers will always be one step behind. I mean, about the time they have a really stable/usable set of version 1 libraries Microsoft will release version 2 of the .NET Framework. Time will tell.

Comments (5)

  1. Mike says:

    Firstly, why is this comments box so small?

    Secondly, I feel I should point out that Mono is being built primarily to be useful to Linux developers (such as myself), rather than for perfect compatability with the MS implementations. So for instance the GNOME .NET bindings are basically complete, and there’s already enough of the framework in place to write pretty cool desktop apps. Unfortunately SWF isn’t done, and won’t even start for quite some time it appears, but that doesn’t influence web development.

  2. Alex Lowe says:

    I don’t know why the comments box is so small.

    I would argue that Mono is being built to be useful for anyone who has a use for it (which includes both Linux and Windows developers in many environments). Yes, the principal idea is to bring the power of .NET to Linux developers who do not operate in a world with both operating systems. I work in an environment with both operating systems so it’s of interest to me as it should be to any Linux developer.

    I’m fully aware that Miguel has made decisions regarding the direction of Mono that make it not perfectly compatible with the MS implementation. However, in reading on the website, it appears that these decisions were based more on technical complications than on the need to "target primarily Linux developers".

    At any rate, I like Mono and I want people to be aware of it’s existence and potential power.

  3. Angus says:

    "…I personally believe Windows is superior to Linux…"

    Yeah, right… Believe it, but dont tell it…