Back to the Mac

by Niel M. Bornstein

This spring, I expected to travel to the XML Europe conference to present a tutorial based on my book, .NET and XML.

As it happens, the tutorial was cancelled, but I had already begun preparing for the trip. I had bought a laptop.

Although the topic of my tutorial was Microsoft .NET and its XML capabilities, I decided to go ahead and get an iBook. I figured I could use either Rotor, the Microsoft shared-source CLI, or Mono, then pre-beta but working well enough for my purposes.

I have not yet regretted that decision, even though it was more expensive and perhaps not the best machine for the task at the time.

The truth is, although I haven't used one in my day job since 1996, I've always loved the Mac. And I just had to try out Mac OS X and the shiny new hardware it runs on.

Since making my purchase decision, Mono has gone from pre-beta to version 1.0.2, with a Mac version complete with Cocoa interfaces.

Mono on the Mac was good enough for me to write my share of a book about Mono, working interchangeably on the Mac, Windows, and Linux.

In fact, it works so well that I'm going to be doing a talk about Mono on Mac OS X at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference in Santa Clara on Wednesday, October 27.

Oh, and the .NET and XML tutorial that was cancelled? I'll be giving it at the US version of the XML Conference on November 19. Using Mono on my iBook. See you there!

Have you made a leap back to your old favorite?

2004-10-06 08:55:46
.NET development with Linux
How viable is Linux as a platform for developing in .NET? Especially, with regards to inter-operating in an otherwise all-Windows environment with an all-Windows team.

It appears that Mono supports C# and Is this accurate and, if so, viable?

2004-10-06 09:23:03
.NET development with Linux
In my opinion, Mono is viable as a C# and ASP.NET environment on Linux. The areas that still need work (and, indeed, are being worked on heavily) include Windows forms and Visual Basic .NET support.

There is an IDE, MonoDevelop, which runs on X and is under active development. There are also a C# modes for Emacs and VIM. You can generally use any editor that supports Java, since the syntax is similar.

As far as interoperability with a Windows-based .NET team, that's really going to depend on what your project is concentrating on. If it's a Windows forms GUI application, or one that uses a lot of .NET remoting, you're going to have problems. If it's a console app, a web service, or a web site, you'll probably have great success.

I suggest you visit the Mono project's website ( and IRC channel (irc:// for more information.