Miguel's Ambitious Plans For Mono, Moonlight
Miguel de Icaza has put out a new blog post last night detailing what he and his team at Novell are "cooking" for future versions of their Mono software platform. Some items, like Mono GPU acceleration, are already known, but some of the other items are quite interesting on this long TODO list of new items to be presented within Mono and Moonlight (the Mono-based Microsoft Silverlight implementation for Linux) over the next few months.
The first feature item mentioned by Miguel was support for new languages by Mono on Linux as well as other supported platforms like Mac OS X. We already reported that F# support is going into Mono after Microsoft open-sourced the language, but other languages to be supported by this open-source stack include IronPython, IronRuby, and UnityScript.
There are also planned improvements under-way for MonoDevelop, the GNOME-based integrated development environment (IDE) for Mono. MonoDevelop 2.6 is soon going to be released with Git version control system support. The MonoDevelop Git support is going to be called NGit and is based upon jGit in the Eclipse IDE, after the Mono guys automatically converted its Java source-code into C# source-code.
Also cooking for Mono is a new logging profiler, support for shipping Mono on Google's Android platform with full binding support for Android APIs, and better support for WCF in Mono 2.10. Android is not the only mobile phone platform where Novell is looking to bring Mono, but there's already support for Mono within applications on Apple's iPhone, iPod, and iTouch (well, anything running Apple iOS). The Mono developers are looking to update MonoTouch (their Mono for iOS platform port) to run against the new Mono 2.8 rather than Mono 2.6. Mono 2.8 brings LLVM optimizations that will be of interest on the Apple platform for faster and smaller code generation.
MonoDevelop is also picking up an Online Template System where users can upload any .NET project to share with others in an online gallery system. MonoDevelop is also gaining MonoDroid support. Last but not least for this Mono development environment, MonoDevelop will also gain a user-interface to Mono's new code profiler.
The list of Mono plans is not over yet... Some of the other upcoming work includes deploying Cecil/Light, adding the IKVM engine as a second back-end for C# code generation, switching the Visual Basic (VB) code compiler to using the Cecil Engine as its back-end engine, and Mono's online API documentation will be seeing an upgrade soon.
When it comes to Moonlight for bringing Silverlight to Linux and other non-Microsoft Windows platforms, there is the aforementioned GPU acceleration and perspective 3D transforms support as well as RichText control support, a test suite for Silverlight 4, a public beta of Moonlight 4 early next year, and improvements to Moonlight's Platform Abstraction Layer for bettering the support on other platforms like Google Android and Apple Mac OS X.
As the final batch of new work being mentioned by Miguel de Icaza and his crew, there's improvements to MonoMac, performance tuning to Mono's garbage collector, an XAML parser coming to Mono, DeepZoom support in Mono, Intellisense for Android, and many improvements to ParallelFX. This covers most of the changes you can expect to see from Mono and Moonlight in the coming releases of this very polarized open-source project.
The list can be found on Miguel's blog.
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