Michael Yuan's Windows Mobile Thoughts

Mono and .Net Compact Framework

The Mono project has just released its first beta. Since the Mono runtime does support StrongARM processors (interpretator not JIT compiler though), a lot of people ask, what does it mean to .Net Compact Framework developers? Can I now deploy my CF apps to a Linux PDA now? The answer is "yes and no": You should be able to compile and deploy non-UI .Net CF libraries on Mono without much trouble. But for the UI applications, the water is muddy.

1. The GUI implementation in Mono is based on GTK# and Qt#. GNOME/GTK is not available on handhold devices -- so GTK# is out of the question. Qt is used by quite a few Linux PDAs. However, Qt# support for embedded devices is still not available.

2. Mono has limited support for Windows.Forms over the WINE emulation layer. Since WINE is not going to be ported to embedded Linux, I do not think that we can see Windows.Forms apps running on a Linux PDA anytime soon.

That means the vast majority of existing windows forms based .Net CF apps will not run on Linux PDAs. When Qt# support for embedded Qt finally becomes available, we might be able to rewrite the UI components of a .Net CF app and deploy it a Linux-Qt PDA.

Posted: May 06 2004, 02:24 PM by juntao | with 16 comment(s)
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