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

“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.”

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