Mono and the Google Summer of Code 2009

by Miguel de Icaza

Once again, the Mono project will be participating in the fabulous Google Summer of Code.

This is a great opportunity for students that want to get involved with open source to contribute, learn and get paid for their work during the summer.

We have been very lucky in recruiting some great students in the past years and these students have taken on some very sophisticated tasks over the years. MonoTorrent, ParallelFX, FastCGI for mod_mono, WinForms designer and theming, Gendarme development, Gtk# widgets and much more.

We have posted some ideas for students to get started, but students that are passionate about Mono should feel free to pitch their own ideas.

We tend to pick students for advanced projects over the milder, simpler tasks.

This year, I am excited about a few special projects:

  • Making the Mono VM use LLVM as a code generation backend.
  • Porting Mono.SIMD to new architectures.
  • ParallelFX updates.
  • Using NVidia's VDPAU library to provide a new codec implementation in Moonlight to support VC-1/H.264.
  • Managed (C#) implementations of Dirac and Vorbis as Silverlight 3 codecs.
  • A Database designer Add-in for MonoDevelop to support DBML editing.

There are many more of course, but the above are the ones that are making me drool.

Posted on 23 Mar 2009


by Miguel de Icaza

Christian just pointed me to BareFTP a graphical file transfer client that supports FTP, FTPS, SSH and SFTP protocols to transfer files.

I am a command line kind of person, but many of my friends like to use GUI clients for this.

Posted on 22 Mar 2009

Moonlight brings Playboy archives to Linux

by Miguel de Icaza

Since yesterday's announcement that the Playboy archives would be hosted using Silverlight's DeepZoom folks have been hard at work getting the remaining Silverlight 2 features implemented in Moonlight.

Click for screenshot.

Posted on 19 Mar 2009

Hot Off the Presses: Unity Goes to Windows

by Miguel de Icaza

Unity has announced that their Unity 2.5 IDE is now cross platform and now works Windows in addition to MacOS.

Unity rebuilt the entire Cocoa-based UI that they had previously with a Unity-powered UI. The entire UI is now built in C# using the Unity built-in APIs (all the controls, views, widgets).

This is a little bit like a compiler compiling itself. This time it is an IDE built using the IDE itself

Posted on 19 Mar 2009

Lucas integrates csharp REPL into Unity

by Miguel de Icaza

Lucas Meijer has integrated Mono's C# REPL into Unity.

Visit his post and check out the flash demo of the C# REPL in action.

Posted on 18 Mar 2009

Mono and Qt

by Miguel de Icaza

The KDE folks have created some brilliant bindings for Mono and .NET called Qyoto.

But there is nothing like a polished application to really test the bindings. This week Eric Butler announced Synapse: an advanced Instant Messaging platform.

This is the first large application built with Qt/Qyoto/Mono and it is a beautiful application:

I had a chance to see Synapse live a couple of weeks ago in Seattle when we met Eric for dinner. Eric has written a very polished application. This is what love does to software.

Congratulations to Eric for the release of his app, to the Qymono crowd for creating these polished applications and Nokia/Trolltech for releasing Qt under the LGPL license.

Developers interested in doing Qyoto development with MonoDevelop can take advantage of the QyotoDevelop add-in that Eric created as well. This add-in generates code from the Qt Designers UI files (click for a screenshot).

Posted on 16 Mar 2009

Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq

by Miguel de Icaza

My friend Victoria Fontan who works at the UN's University for Peace in Costa Rica just published the book from her research work on Iraq.

The book is Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq: Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny. From the editorial reviews:

Even today, most Americans can not understand just why the fighting continues in Iraq, whether our nation should be involved there now, and how we could change our tactics to help establish a lasting peace in the face of what many fear will become a full-fledged civil war. In the book at hand, Victoria Fontan - a professor of peace and conflict studies who lived, worked and researched in Iraq - shares pointed insights into the emotions of Iraq's people, and specifically how democratization has in that country come to be associated with humiliation. Including interviews with common people in Iraq this work makes clear how laudable intentions do not always bring the desired result when it comes to international conflict and cross-cultural psychology. For example, Fontan explains, one might consider the comment of a young Shiite: "The greatest humiliation of all was to see foreigners topple Saddam, not because we loved him, but because we could not do it ourselves." This gripping text is focused on a new and growing area of human psychology - humiliation studies.

Please vote to have the book available on Kindle. I got a hardcopy, but I would love to travel with it instead.

Posted on 16 Mar 2009

Mono's Text Template Transformation Toolkit (T4)

by Miguel de Icaza

At the ALT.NET Seattle conference I was introduced for the first time to the Text Template Transformation Toolkit. Also known as T4. T4 is built into Visual Studio and developers use TT to generate code from all kinds of data sources. This tutorial covers the basics.

T4 Support in MonoDevelop, with error reporting and document outline.

T4 is very much like ASP.NET in that code is mixed with output code. Additionally TT has access to data on its "host". This allows for some creative data extraction from the environments before it generates output.

To my surprise T4 thing is wildly used by lots of people. Daniel Cazzulino's company has a product just to improve Visual Studio's support for editing .tt files.

What really got me interested in T4 were the templates that Damien wrote to convert from DBML files into C# code that is suitable for use with Linq. A nice replacement for the SQLMetal tool.

I mentioned this -in passing- to Michael Hutchinson as he had been working on ASP.NET MVC support for MonoDevelop and there are some nice ASP.NET MVC T4 files out there.

In a week he implemented: the T4 command line tool, the MonoDevelop host (to support ASP.NET MVC) and he even added syntax highlighting to it (see the above screenshot).

We have also started using it to migrate the code that previously used assorted WriteLines to generate RPM files from Visual Studio/MonoDevelop projects into a nice T4 template:

Packaging Template

Posted on 10 Mar 2009

Gnome Do

by Miguel de Icaza

Gnome Do got a new and shiny web site.

Posted on 24 Feb 2009

ALT.NET this weekend

by Miguel de Icaza

My friend تلة جوزيف (Youssef) and myself will be heading out to Redmond for the ALT.NET Seattle event this weekend.

This will be my first ALT.NET conference and I do not know quite what to expect. Youssef keeps telling me "You should not prepare for this", but I feel like I should at least prepare something exciting to get the juices flowing for discussion.


Posted on 24 Feb 2009

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