Easy-to-use developer tools have, for the most part, been largely Windows-only. I guess that's not true anymore, what with the latest Eclipse IDE
and the up-and-coming MonoDevelop IDE
. In case you've been living in another planet for quite some time and you have no idea what MonoDevelop is, MonoDevelop is an IDE that runs in Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems that allows you to develop applications running on the Mono CLR
, which is an open source port of the Microsoft .NET
Framework. MonoDevelop started life as a port of the open source SharpDevelop IDE
for .NET on Windows.
MonoDevelop 0.10 (and its later versions; currently it's at 0.11) already features an integrated GUI window designer for the Gtk toolkit. Since the Gtk# library for .NET allows cross-platform (Windows and non-Windows) desktop apps to be developed, I think it's a big feature. You can find out more information about the announcement of the GUI designer here
. A Flash screencast can be viewed here
I played around with the MonoDevelop in the latest Ubuntu Dapper beta
(flight 7) and was delighted to see it was already working :) Last time I tried it, it just crashed after opening a Gtk# project. I've attached here links to screenshots I took:01 - new Gtk# project 02 - view of IDE 03 - designer view 04 - putting in widgets 05 - running it on Linux 06 - Linux and Windows side by side
Some pet peeves:
- Even if you change the window's title (by setting its Title property using the Widget Properties pane), it still shows as "MainWindow" in the GUI designer.
- The drag-n-dropping of controls into the window/form needs refinement. You can't just drag controls around; you'll have to cut-n-paste them if you want to move them across boxes in the layout. You can't press the Del key either to delete a widget...you need to right-click on the widget and select "Delete" from the context menu. Oh well.
- The IDE seemingly hung up when I exited it. It was there for a few minutes then it disappeared. Weird huh?
- Running a Gtk# app on Windows first produces an ugly black console window (see screenshot #6). Exiting the Gtk# app automatically removes the black console window. While workable, I don't like it.
Still I think the clincher here was that I was able to compile a desktop app in Linux and run the same compiled binary in Windows. Next time I'm gonna test if the reverse (compile in VS.NET, run in Linux) is just as effective. Cross-platform .NET, here we come!
Oh I forgot: here's a link to the Gtk# installer for Windows
. The SDK will allow you to develop Gtk# apps on Windows while the redistributable will allow your end users to run them.
05-09-2006 9:14 AM