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Novell Unveils Mono 2.8 Development Framework

The release will evolve into version 3.0 of the free, open source .NET developer tool.

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Novell's Andrew Jorgensen this week unveiled the preview of Mono 2.8 , the first early version of what will become Mono 3.0, the next long-term supported iteration of Mono, an open source, cross-platform .NET development framework.

"This release contains many improvements and new features," said Jorgensen on the developer forum.

For example, the performance of its generational compacting garbage collector -- SGen -- has dramatically increased, he said. In addition, Mono 2.8 supports a high-performance low level virtual machine (LLVM) backend, often used for intensive applications such as science and finance, Jorgensen said.

Mono 2.8 also fully supports C# 4.0, he added.

"The Mono Project is very much alive and a lot of work has gone into this release," said Jorgensen. "The next release after 2.8 will be 2.8.2 which will be branched from Git master. This means that we will not be maintaining the mono-2-8 branch (except possibly for security fixes). We will continue in this fashion until 3.0 to allow developers to stay focused on their work and not maintain multiple branches."

The free, open source project, which is led by Novell, also comes bundled with Managed Extensibility Framework, ASP.NET MVC 2, System Dynamic, and System Data Services Client, with all code open sourced by Microsoft under OSI approved licenses, he said.

In May, Mono Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 Beta 1 (MonoTools) was released. The tool is a commercial add-in for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 that lets developers build, debug, and deploy .NET applications targeting Mono without leaving Visual Studio, said Jorgensen. The professional version of the tool is available for $99 from Novell's Mono store. The enterprise edition costs $249.

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