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Open Source Version of .NET Ready

Version 1.0 of the Mono Project, an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET platform sponsored by Novell , is out the door.

Mono 1.0 is used to create applications that are compatible in Linux, Windows, Apple MacOS X and some UNIX versions.

The software tool can be used to create rich client, Web services and server-side applications. In beta tests since May 4, the project has undergone a prolonged development cycle since its launch in 2001 by Ximian co-founder Miguel de Icaza.

Novell bought Ximian in August 2003 to move into the Linux space. The Provo, Utah company later acquired Germany-based SuSE Linux.

de Icaza, also a vice president of development at Novell, said the timing is just right for the open source community, particularly among Linux programmers in an enterprise setting.

"I think 1.0 is a lot more important for people in companies that want to support a version of this thing, they want to deploy it and have a certain level of polish in the product," de Icaza told internetnews.com.

"The open source community has already picked it up, they are already writing applications," de Icaza continued. "The open source people are like early adopters, they've adopted it and there's things in Mono we didn't even think to ship but they came up to us and contributed to the project and now it's in there."

de Icaza said no major revisions occurred between the launch of the beta and Mono 1.0 -- mainly bug fixes and tweaks to improve stability and scalability.

The Mono 1.0 download comes with a C# compiler, an assembler/disassembler, a virtual machine with pre-compiler and JIT compiler support for several architectures, core libraries and others. Also included are support for Visual Basic, Python, JScript and Java, as well as a Gtk# GUI programming library.

Project officials plan on releasing bug fixes on a monthly basis and are working on Mono 1.2, which is due out before the end of the year. Mono 2.0 is expected around this time next year and will include updates to .NET 2.0's System.Xml, ASP.NET and Windows.Forms.

Mono's beta garnered 40,000 downloads in the first few hours of its release back in May, and that success has translated over to the first day of Wednesday's launch of 1.0. It's Web site has been swamped, sometime requiring several tries just to download the home page, and next to impossible to download the installer from the download page.

de Icaza said Wednesday's launch was much more demanding on his servers; he credits the demand for the finished project as well as the "Slashdot effect."