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Tag Archives: Mono

The Future of .NET on iOS and Android

Things certainly change fast in this business! After rumors of layoffs at Attachmate last week cast a shadow over the future of Mono, this week brings a new world of bright, shining possibilities. Miguel de Icaza just announced the launch of Xamarin, a brand new venture to carry MonoTouch and Mono for Andriod, (or as Miguel has re-branded them .NET for iOS and .NET for Android), into the future.

So now that we know the rumors were actually true, it’s apparent that Attachmate has no clue what they were losing when they laid off the entire Mono team. It is great to hear that funding has been secured to keep the team together, and Miguel is seeking additional investors. I, for one, will be waiting anxiously to see what investors answer the call.

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Mono is Alive and Well

There has been a lot of FUD in the past week about the future of the Mono Project after Attachmate announced layoffs at Novell’s Provo, UT headquarters. The consternation revolves around a rumor started last week that the layoffs included the entire Mono team.

My colleagues and I have been working closely with Miguel and the Mono Team for many months now, and I can definitively tell you that nothing has changed from our perspective. MonoTouch 4.0.2 was released this past week, and activity on the Mono for Android IRC remains active — with all the core Mono team members at Novell participating. Our support requests are handled as quickly as we can post them to the community. There is simply no evidence that any of the rumor is true. In fact the only official information from Attachmate is a statement from their CEO, Jeff Hawn, stating that “all technology roadmaps remain intact”.

The Mono Project has been in the crosshairs of many in the open-source movement for years because of it’s close ties to Microsoft. As a result there are many bloggers and journalists out there with a bias toward damaging public opinion of the project. As always, calmer heads will prevail: Johnathan Allen at InfoQ has managed to cut through the noise, and get to the root of the matter in an article posted earlier this week. It is the fairest, most accurate reporting of the facts I’ve seen yet.

I expect as time passes this rumor will be relegated to the dustbin with all the past rumors of Mono’s demise. Only a year ago the same people were predicting the death of MonoTouch after Apple modified the iOS developer agreement to prohibit third-party frameworks. Apple eventually reversed that decision, under scrutiny by the Department of Justice. Mono is alive and well, with a committed community of developers all over the world. It will take more than rumors and speculation to bring it down.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Mobile Development, Mono

 

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Monospace Conference in July

Monospace 2011 was just announced today, and tentatively set for July 20-23 in Boston. Looks like a great opportunity to come out and learn more about Mono, and rub elbows with the heavyweights from Novell 😉

I’m planning on attending; if you’re interested in some of the coolest cross-platform .NET technologies out there, you should plan to attend too. Looks like a great time!

For more info:

web: http://monospace.us
twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/monospace_conf

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Mobile Development, Mono

 

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Mono @ Microsoft

I wrote last week about C# and .NET for mobile development, since they are currently the only language and framework that is portable across the major mobile platforms, (iOS, Android, and Windows Phone). Well it looks like the idea is gaining some momentum in Redmond.

Both Rabi Satter and Rob Tiffany have been blogging on the subject, and the two have even ported their Mobile Line of Business Accelerator over to MonoTouch.

Rob even speaks of Mono as a key component of what he calls the Microsoft MEAP. For those unfamiliar, MEAP stands for Mobile Enterprise Application Platform — a term coined by Gartner in an attempt to provide a definition for software vendors who offer a packaged enterprise mobile solution. Currently Microsoft is listed as something of a “niche player” on Gartner’s MEAP Magic Quadrant due to their support for only a single platform. Mono would make support for multiple platforms simple, and greatly strengthen their MEAP offering. I for one hope Mr. Tiffany is successful in the bid to make his vision a reality.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Android, iOS, Mobile Development, Windows Phone

 

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C#/.NET: The New Mobile Standard?

Miguel de Icaza made a bold statement last month after Nokia announced they would be replacing Symbian with Windows Phone 7. He made the assertion that C# and .NET, via the ECMA CLI standard, is becoming the de facto language for cross-platform mobile development. As you can imagine, this resulted in some rather lively discussion in the open source and mobile development communities.

Politics and Religion aside, I think he makes a strong argument. Despite their recent troubles, and their virtually non-existent U.S. market share, Nokia still has more mobile devices in the market worldwide than any other manufacturer. The WP7 announcement advances the portability of C#/.NET code to these devices, and offers a world of possibilities across all of the major players in mobility today, as Miguel’s chart clearly shows:

Portability of C#/.NET code

Now I can already hear the arguments that HTML 5 provides the same portability, and is an open standard without all the excess baggage, (read: Microsoft), of C#/.NET. In fact, many clients I speak to today hail HTML 5 as the answer to their mobile prayers, but the reality is often not so rosy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love HTML 5. It brings incredible flexibility and power to mobile devices, and the apps you can write with frameworks like SenchaTouch, and JQuery Mobile are truly impressive. But there are just some things a web-based application cannot do. The HTML 5 Cache Manifest standard provides for disconnected capabilities, but it is still difficult to support full offline transactions without some intelligence to manage them outside the browser. Access to the device’s native features, (GPS, Camera, Accelerometer, File and Storage), all require native interaction via frameworks like PhoneGap; and despite the advances in the HTML 5 user experience it still cannot provide the same richness that the native platforms can.

HTML 5 can provide an elegant, cost-effective solution to many cross-platform problems, and I counsel my clients to take a long, hard look at it as a first step in any assessment of their mobile application strategy. Most enterprises already have an army of web developers who can be re-trained to develop mobile-optimized web applications, and this often provides a critical first-step for many of them into the mobile world. But as soon as the problem at hand requires disconnected transactions, or access to the device, or a rich user-experience that HTML cannot provide, native options have to be considered.

C#/.NET and Mono are my first suggestion for organizations who already have a significant investment in Microsoft technologies. They offer full access to the device, and all the native capabilities of Obj-C on iOS, and Java on Android — plus C# and Silverlight for WP7. What’s more, they can still deliver HTML 5 web applications via ASP.NET while leveraging existing investments in the .NET platform.

Time will tell if C#/.NET and Mono will become as Miguel puts it the “lingua franca of all major mobile operating systems”, but for most of my clients it is their best solution for their cross-platform mobile problems.

 
 

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