Incase you haven't heard of MonoDroid before, it is a future product to be released by Novell which allows you to use C# and the .Net framework to develop applications on an Android device.
If this sounds something you're interested in, then make sure you sign up here - http://go-mono.com/monodroid/
On Wednesday night a Private Preview went out to 250~ developers, this release is not to represent a release worthy product of MonoDroid, nor be bug free, but a Community Tech Preview, to borrow a Microsoft term, to allow the MonoDroid team to iron out any issues with MonoDroid that may occur and to steer the product in a direction that makes it better for everyone that uses it. This is similar to the way that MonoTouch was released almost a year ago, first to developers to shape the final output and then finally release MonoTouch but continue to provide amazing support and exciting new features with every release.
Currently, MonoDroid only works on a Windows machine running Visual Studio 2010. Since it uses a Visual Studio plug-in, you won't be able to use an "Express" edition of the product to preview MonoDroid either. The good news is that MonoDevelop, a cross platform IDE, support is likely to show up in Preview 2 or 3 of MonoDroid. This should then allow you to develop MonoDroid applications on a Mac and Windows; I have no idea about Linux but I don't see why not if the emulator runs on Linux too!
If you're lucky enough to get selected to be part of the MonoDroid preview, then the most important thing you can do is to submit bug reports if you come across anything that doesn't work or that doesn't work in a way you expected. This is incredibly important as doing this correctly will not only make the product as bug free as possible, but it will also make the product better for everyone, and of course make it better for you. To submit a bug, you will need to create an account on Novell's bugzilla site here - https://bugzilla.novell.com/index.cgi and submit a bug with plenty of information about what you were doing, where you were doing it and what made the bug happen. If the bug is Runtime/Code related then a simple solution/project that re-creates the bug would be the best.
If you want to see more information on MonoDroid, then check out the offical page here - http://monodroid.net/ and also the GitHub code samples here - http://github.com/mono/monodroid-samples. There's also a great video on a Hello World MonoDroid app here - http://vimeo.com/14257921.
I'm going to be speaking on MonoTouch and MonoDroid in Manchester at the NextGen UG on Wednesday September 15th 2010 so if you're in and about Manchester then pop in and hear about MonoTouch and MonoDroid in more detail.
Update: If you're interested in knowing *how* MonoDroid works then there is a lot of detail on this over on the MonoDroid site here: http://monodroid.net/Documentation/Architecture
By signing up for the MonoDroid previews, you will automatically get added to the MonoDroid mailing list. Whilst there are lots of e-mails flying around, this is a great place to find out about the following;
- Find out about bugs other people have found so that you do not have to submit the same bug on Bugzilla.
- Know when a bug is fixed and when a new preview is available with bug fixes for downloading.
- Ask for any enhancements to the product, though I recommend taking a look at the MonoDroid site and Roadmap to see if it's a feature already being worked on.
I recommend using a filter on the mailing list to make sure your inbox doesn't fill up with all the MonoDroid e-mails and if you don't want to help out on the mailing list then you can click on the link at the bottom of any e-mail to unsubscribe.
Hope this helps,