[r-t] Composition Library

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Wed Apr 15 01:35:30 UTC 2009

2009/4/14 Richard Smith <richard at ex-parrot.com>:
> Of these, #1 is written in C#, which, while a Microsoft-instigated
> technology, is not a Microsoft-only technology. Mono allows C# code
> to be run on Linux, the various BSDs, and OSX

I assume you're using C# as a sort of code for .NET. Programming
languages are easy; the hard parts of making something work cross
platform are the APIs.

I, too, have no personal experience of Mono. However, I worked with
someone that has, and he claimed it's pretty much useless on the Mac.
He claimed it can't really do anything GUI-ish, just command line; or
if you worked hard enough at it you could make the Mac pretend to be a
Linux box running X and get something to crawl along that way, though
few non-developer Macintosh users are comfortable using such a
Frankenstein's monster. This was about a year ago, though, so perhaps
things have improved.

Since I have no personal experience, I can't really say for sure. But
experience with other portability schemes leads me to suspect that if
Mono is to be used as a cross platform vehicle, the app should be
written against Mono from the word go, even on Windows. If written
against .NET and only later ported to Mono, I suspect it may be
harder, as subtle semantic differences are discovered. But, as I said,
I don't really know for sure.

Exacerbating the (admittedly unsubstantiated by personal experience)
fear expressed in the preceding paragraph is that I believe I've read
some bits of chatter on the web by .NET folks about the pains of
different versions of .NET only being available on different versions
of Windows, and difficulties they've had making stuff they've written
on newer versions of Windows against .NET run on earlier versions of
Windows. Though as I wasn't motivated to pay a lot of attention, I
have perhaps misunderstood. But if true, it would lead one to surmise
the pains of .NET->Mono are likely greater than those of .NET(Windows
7)->.NET(Windows XP) or whatever.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."

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