I wonder if anyone has used MonoDevelop and what your thoughts are. I am not a developer but I have tinkered with Visual Studio .NET and I must say it is powerful but it has its flaws. I just heard that MonoDevelop is an alternative IDE designed for C# and other .NET languages and I'm wondering if it is good enough for someone who wants to get their feet wet with some serious development. The nice thing about it is that it is free to download and it now fully supports Windows.


commented: Informative. +6

He! Thanks for the link! This really is something to have a look at. In fact I have a Mac on which I run Boot Camp so I could install Vista, to be able to use Visual Studio. Thanks.

@ddanbe you are welcome :) and your thoughts on it will be appreciated i'm sure.

Well, I installed it on the Mac side of my notebook and it looks great, but I only seem to have the possibility to do console applications. If I want to do a forms application I have to do more installation and pay for it. But I'm not dissapointed, it is already a great improvement on what was available on a Mac if you wanted to program in C#.

Interesting. Thanks.

I've used Monodevelop on *nix briefly...And not for anything particularly serious either. More out of morbid curiosity than anything else I suppose.

Primarily I'm a C++ programmer by trade, but as a one-off I did some pretty heavy .NET development in C# a few years ago for one of my previous employers (using VS2005).

Now, I've not done any serious C# development since then, but I'd recently heard about Monodevelop as an alternative IDE for C#. And I've been quite impressed by some of the *nix apps that have been created for the Mono runtime (Tomboy Notes, F-Spot etc.). So I figured "What the hell, let's try it out!".

So I installed it on one of my Ubuntu machines.
After installation, I fired up the Monodevelop IDE and managed to successfully import the VS2005 solution for a multi-monitor screensaver I wrote back when I was learning C# (in preparation for my previous employers big project!). And lo and behold it built and ran with no problems. No modifications whatsoever were needed to the code...Great!

I've since tinkered about, creating a few other random apps and overall the Monodevelop IDE seems to me to be rather well featured. But personally, I don't think Monodevelop is quite as fully featured, or as powerful as Visual Studio. However, it is certainly a very viable, not to mention FREE alternative to Visual Studio.

Definitely worthy of consideration whatever OS you run IMHO! It's great for anybody starting out with C# but it can also be used for some serious application development.

It should be said that I haven't tried Monodevelop on Windows, I only tried the *nix version. But personally, if you're running Windows I'd say VS should be the C# IDE of choice, with Monodevelop a close 2nd. But if you're on *nix or Mac, then Monodevelop is pretty much the only choice. (Unless you dual boot with Windows and install VS!)

At least that's the way I see it!
Cheers for now,

Its a good IDE. but its not the only free alternative to Visual Studio for .net projects. besides the obvious Visual C#.net free from Microsoft there is also SharpDevelop. http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/ I don't use it primarily as my preference is Visual studio. But its amazing and also open source.

Not knocking monodevelop. I have used all 3 of these and they all have their ups and downs, But they all are wonderful IDEs. I recommend Visual Studio first and foremost as it always supports the newest trends as soon as they are available. But otherwise, both SharpDevelop and MonoDevelop are great too.

I'm also a fan of snippetCompiler too, although i no longer use it because i wrote my own version that opens faster, supports more languages, and saves file tabs between session via a checkbox below the close button.

On another note, there is a free Adobe Flash open source IDE called FlashDevelop that is pretty nifty too. Its a good time for open software with the boom in computer science students about.

Thanks for the info about SharpDevelop. I'll have to try that out on my work PC (all of my personal PC's are running *nix at the moment..Long story!).

And as for Flashdevelop....I've been using that for the last few years...Or at least I had been, until my last windows machine did it's final BSOD.
FlashDevelop is an amazing IDE for flash development! If you use something like Inkscape (or any other vector GFX package) to create .svg GFX for your flash apps, you can completely forego the Flash IDE. It's nothing short of brilliant.

And if you add the Papervision AS3 3D library and Blender to that mix you're laughing! 3D fps in flash anybody?? heh heh!

Now I'm on *nix, I've had to leave Flashdevelop behind, so I'm using Inkscape and the Flex3 SDK command line tools for my flash dev stuff. I think Flashdevelop is the only thing that makes me miss Windows! But I've started working on my own *nix frontend for the flex SDK tools, so who knows...Maybe I can get that working before Phillipe and the rest of the Flashdevelop guys finally manage to port FD to *nix! heh heh!

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble and go off-topic now...Time to shut up methinks!

JasonHippy, I love windows with a fiery passion you couldn't put out if you had the entire open source community wielding extinguishers. Besides. all the really cool open source stuff, even mono and monodevelop its self are all based on open standards that Microsoft designed, created, and released to the world.

Don't get me wrong. Microsoft has had its problems. But sir I would never dare to have not a single windows machine.

I have 7 PCs 2 running Ubuntu, 1 windows 7 (my favorite), 2 vista (least favorite), and 3 with XP sp3.
and I have one MacMini running snow leopard or whatever they are calling the latest release. bah.

Free stuff is cool and all, but the best things in life come at a price.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of open source, but I'm not one of those frothy mouthed *nix/open source zealots or anything. Heh heh!

The only reason I'm running solely on *nix ATM is because my old windows machines at home were quite old and ran very slowly with XP. Especially after service pack 3. The hardware didn't meet the minimum specs for Vista or 7 (nowhere near!), so upgrading the OS wasn't an option. And I can't afford to buy a new PC ATM either.

So when the hard-drives in the XP machines eventually started dying one by one, I decided there wasn't much point in replacing the hard drives and putting XP back on them. Especially with XP reaching the end of its shelf life! So I stuck various flavours of *nix on 'em and they boot and run noticeably faster than ever before.

At the end of the day; to me a computer is a tool, a means to an end. And the operating system is merely a component of that toolset.
I can do all of the things I did in Windows with *nix. A lot of the open source stuff I use in Windows is available in *nix and there are open source equivalents for everything else I used in Windows (except FlashDevelop!), so my workflow hasn't really changed much. So for now *nix is the best tool for the job!

But I do have a Windows machine at work, so I can always work on any personal windows-only projects during my lunch break. So I haven't completely forsaken Windows!