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Summer of Code Projects Announced

Summer of Code Projects Announced

Big 5, Big 50
The Mono project celebrates its 5th anniversary this month. The Mono project was launched in July 2001; I started following Mono in the press almost immediately, and soon started checking the homepage. In November I downloaded the source, and in February 2002 I started contributing to System.Drawing and System.Window.Forms.

Counting articles, columns and book reviews, this column is my 50th contribution to DNDJ since my first article on Mono, "What the Monkey Can Do," was published back in March of 2003.

Summer of Code Projects Announced
The list of projects for this year's Summer of Code has been released. Last year Mono sponsored 16 projects; this year they are sponsoring 17 projects, with two students from last year returning again this year. Jb Evain worked on write capability for Cecil last year; this year he is using that knowledge to write a CIL linker to link assemblies for Mono. Michael Hutchinson is the other SOC veteran; he returns to extend the work he did last year on an ASP.NET GUI designer for MonoDevelop, to include full support for creating and testing WEB pages (see current status at http://mjhutchinson.com/journal/2006-03-07/monodevelop_asp_net_addin_is_live). In addition to the ASP.NET GUI designer, MonoDevelop will gain Source Control Integration, a "new class" wizard, and an assembly browser.

Four projects will implement the BitTorrent client, server, GUI, and Gstremer interface. The PHP.NET compiler from last year is planned be completed to the third milestone. One project is expected to produce a new version 8 compatible VB.NET compiler, which will be able to bootstrap itself by the end of the summer. Unlike the old mbas, this will not be based on the C# compiler. Some redundant checks will be removed from the JIT compiler. A daemon will be created to extend the current Mono local transactions to handle multi-process transactions.

Currently, the Mono version of MBuild creates a build graph in memory, and then transverses the graph to process the build. One of the SOC projects will write the graph to disk instead of to memory, and then process the disk image. MBuild will not be split into two halves; however, this will still clean up the code while improving efficiency, as well as eliminating the need to rebuild the graph on runs where the build rules do not change.

Mono now supports local transactions, and one of the SOC projects will be to write a daemon to support multi-process transactions.

Other projects include implementing .NET 2.0 strip controls, XGL composting, WebParts implementations, a GCC CIL backend, more work on the PHP.NET complier started last summer, and the elimination of redundant checks in JITted code.

The complete list of projects sponsored by Mono can be seen at www.mono-project.com/Summer2006.

Callisto Multi-Project Release
The Eclipse project has created an umbrella project for related projects called Callisto. The projects remain separate, and maintain their own project management, but they do coordinate their releases with Eclipse, and promise not to break dependant projects. Currently, the projects include business intelligence and reporting tools, a C/C++ IDE, a data tools platform, graphical editor framework, the Eclipse project itself, Eclipse Test and Performance tools, Eclipse Web Tools, and the VE Visual Editor. You can find out more about Callisto at www.eclipse.org/projects/callisto.php. The first release was scheduled for June 30, should be on the market by the time you read this.

Odds and Ends
Ubiquity hosting now supports .NET on Linux using the Mono project for as little as $5 a month. Details can be found at www.ubiquityhosting.com/.

SecondLife is a virtual world supporting over 150,000 users on 2,000 CPU cores. Currently, they use their own scripting language, but will soon be using Mono. Here is a discussion of how they used Mono to do their own version of microthreading: http://secondlife.blogs.com/babbage/2006/05/microthreading_.html, and here is a presentation they gave at the Google Tech Talks: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5182759758975402950&q=second+life.

SharpDevelop has released RC2, the last release candidate before SharpDevelop2 is released. This release is strictly bug fixes.

The Gardens Point Ruby.NET compiler has been released as a beta. Details can be found at http://plas.fit.qut.edu.au/Ruby.NET/. It is not complete, optimized, nor does it interop with other .NET languages, but all that is being worked on. The goal of this release was to pass all 871 standard Ruby tests, which it does; the other issues will be addressed later. It has a liberal open source type license, and was funded in part by Microsoft.

An excellent example of how XGL can be used to create a new type of computer desktop is the "Bump Top" table. Additional information can be found at http://honeybrown.ca/Pubs/BumpTop.html. This is simply a research/thesis project, but it does show what the future may have in store for us.

The Mono live CD is being updated to work with the latest stable Mono release (1.13).

There is now a Mono installer for Mac on Intel. Mono on Mac on Intel has been around for a while, but it had to be installed manually.

MonoDevelop, the IDE for Linux, is now in the process of being ported to Windows.

More Stories By Dennis Hayes

Dennis Hayes is a programmer at Georgia Tech in Atlanta Georgia where he writes software for the Adult Cognition Lab in the Psychology Department. He has been involved with the Mono project for over six years, and has been writing the Monkey Business column for over five years.

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