back to article Visual Studio gets Linux dose with Mono

The idea of Microsoft releasing Visual Studio for Unix and Linux was once - quite literally - a joke. Not only was Visual Studio only built for Windows, but Microsoft's licensing had prevented people using its premier development environment with non-Windows platforms. Now, there's a little less to laugh about. Microsoft …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me do the math here

    So if you buy your licences in batches of five, they're double price? I think they're still sour that this was a real, and actually funny-as-in-gag joke only four years ago.

    Then again, it's doing a java only backwards and even more elaborate. Java was supposed to be ``cross platform'' only there were some details such that joe random windows codegrinder would easily manage to come up with windows-only java. Here, we see that this supposedly cross-platform thing comes with an entirely different and wildly incompatible UI toolkit on right the next platform over. Right, very useful. Carry on then.

  2. Goat Jam
    Gates Horns


    It will end in tears, you mark my words.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Tried to get mono going on Ubuntu, but was really dissappointed in it. I wanted to like it but it seemed like a big waste of time.

    Correct me if i am wrong (not looking to flame), but i was looking at mono to write one app then run for any platform, but its different languages on *nix to windows and mac, so don't work!

    Seems Java does a better job since you compile it.

  4. Joseph Lam

    Microsoft's strategy... to convert more developers (Windows or Linux or Mac) to become dependent on their technology. Once they've capture the developer base, it's much easier for them to kill off competitors by slowly dropping support for competing platforms or swaying developers' focus to Windows. It's the same old 'embrace, extend, extinguish' strategy Microsoft is always so good at.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "an limited commercial license to redistribute Mono on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X"? For a GPL application?

  6. Antti Roppola

    Party like it's 1999

    Mono lags behind C# as it is an after-the-fact reimplementation. There are still no plans to support .Net 3.0 in Mono. Maybe that's not important. I can't help think that Mono will never particpate on anything approaching an equal footing, and products like this will divert effort from more certain avenues. It's a great achievement, but even after all this time the project is leading people down what a appears to be a dark and shadowy alley.

  7. Shinku

    Convince me...

    Fair enough if you're a big business and such, maybe a couple of grand isn't terrible, but as a skint hobbyist coder I think $99 is too much for me to port the few apps a month/year I write to Linux or whatever else when I can never be quite sure it'll work.

    It's a nice idea, but I'm looking for incentives to use (and in this case develop for) alternative platforms more, and paying for those incentives really doesn't encourage me. Developing for Windows (which I can do for free) allows me to distribute my apps to anyone running any semi-recent version of the OS, and that's an awful lot of people. Why would I pay extra to allow another couple of % of the computing world to run them too? What kind of package do I stuff them in? deb? rpm? What type of rpm? Will it run on Fedora or Mandriva? Regular download or repository? On Windows I just release a zip with an exe and a text file inside (or even just a single install exe), I know that exe will work on pretty much any Windows machine which has the appropriate version of .net Framework on it.

    Not to mention the fact that VS05 was a notch below awful and that VS10 is already ploughing its way out of Redmond as we speak, they're only now looking to support VS08? Too little, too late, sorry Novell.

  8. Tim Bates

    Re: GPL FAIL?

    How is it a fail? They're selling licenses for the binaries, and it likely includes support. Nothing would stop someone taking the GPLed code and recompiling it, but they wouldn't get support and would need to track and compile updates themself.

  9. Martin Nicholls


    "but i was looking at mono to write one app then run for any platform"

    Sounds like you're assuming that Microsoft's .Net implementation is supposed to be cross-platform, which of course it isn't.

    Now, if you write mono and install the mono runtime on windows on the other hand...

  10. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    It could work ... maybe

    My past experiences with Mono were less than enjoyable and the results were far less than impressive ( it may be better now ) but the idea of cross-platform development does have its appeal for those who don't have skills in / on the targeted architecture.

    AppForge's MobileVB ( before being bought then killed by Oracle ) was a plug-in which allowed MS VB6 users to write VB6 code which would run on a variety of PDA OS's. A bit slow at runtime but it was a breeze to use for anyone familiar with VB6 but not a clue about PDA OS's or the native tools. I would never have developed any applications for any PDA without it and the apps developed served their purpose. In that sense it could only be classed as excellent and I probably fit the intended target market here.

    There have been previous cross-platform attempts, Java notably, Delphi/Kylix and REALbasic, probably others. Platform specific developers will no doubt see these as inferior to native development, but guess what - you're not the target market.

    The biggest mistake anyone using such tools can make is to imagine that developing a cross-platform app is write-once, run on anything. For non-GUI code that's possibly so but there's a lot of tweaking needed to give every platform user what they expect in terms of look and feel. Java isn't a universal panacea there.

    Some people won't like the idea, some will totally frown on the notion that MS VS users should even be writing code intended to run on Linux, but the way I see it is that if it brings apps to Linux which otherwise wouldn't exist it's got to be a good thing. Users want apps, only fanboi deveopers throw fits about how those apps are developed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @jeremy 3

    "Correct me if i am wrong (not looking to flame), but i was looking at mono to write one app then run for any platform"

    I've written (small) stuff in VS, compiled it there, shipped the executable across to a Mac, installed mono there and run the executable without any problems.

    The hiccup always seemed to be that mono didn't have a complete implementation, but it's been a while since I tried this so they may have more stuff now.

  12. Bassey
    Thumb Down

    In the real world

    Not even virus/malware writers, the lowest forms of life on this planet, bother writing for Linux/OSX because the market share is so utterly insignificant that it isn't profitable. There are so few linux/OSX users out there that it is not even worth the time to STEAL their money!

    Why, in the name of jobs, would anyone fork out a bucket-load of cash in order to port an application over to a platform used by a handful of freetards who consider paying for stuff to be against their civil rights? You'd have to be monumentally insane!

  13. Joe Burmeister

    Mono/.NET == WISE/Win32

    Argh I am so sick of hearing about Mono and .NET.

    We have a company with a stated policy of embrace, extend, extinguish.

    They have done this time and time again with existing standards.

    Now instead of embracing and extending an existing thing, said company invents a "open" "cross platform" standard and invites us all to join in. This company has done this before (WISE/Win32 1995), and guess what it was used to herd people to their platform and then lock them in using unfair business practices. Read Groklaw. Microsoft are not about standards or openness, they are about controlling the whole ecosystem. In a MS world there is no competition, least not to MS. Will I program .NET? HELL NO.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why do so many people always assume that people who use Linux are all Freetards who don't like paying for things? If that were the case, I guess Bassey is also a freetard, because I bet he doesn't like paying for things either. In fact, hand up who like paying for stuff? No-one.

    I use Linux at home because its free and does what I need it to do. But that doesn't make me a freetard. I believe that makes me sensible. I use Windows at work because my company supplies it to me. That is also sensible. Other home users pay for Windows because it does what they need it to do. Also sensible.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Write once...

    compile anywhere. Try Lazarus

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