January 20, 2005

Mono Evangelism - Part I

The panorama for Mono in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is certainly off to a good start. First let me tell you briefly about the presentation that Joseph Hill gave to the North Texas Linux User Group.

The NTLUG is a great group of folks that meet at the Nokia building in Las Colinas. Joseph delivered a presentation that focused mostly on the things that you can do with Mono rather than allocating the majority of his allotted time to defining what is Mono. This proved to be a great choice! The crowd was certainly engaged throughout his delivery and asked a lot of pertinent questions. He did a few slides and then turned his attention to demonstrating running copies of Beagle and Tomboy in his SuSe 9.2 powered laptop.

Although audience was mostly composed of the NTLUG regulars (SysAdmin types and not so much developers), there were quite a few folks that went there because of Mono.

Perhaps the most interesting sentiment that I perceived from the questions being asked was that most Linux users were totally ready to use Gtk# applications in Windows even if these apps were not identical in their look and feel with other "Windows" applications.

I want to invite all windows users that have the .NET Framework 1.1 Runtime installed to also install our Gtk# 1.9.1 Runtime installer. If you are a developer and have Visual Studio .NET 2003 installed and/or the .NET Framework 1.1 SDK, I would recommend that you install our Gtk# 1.9.1 Win32 installer for the .NET Framework 1.1 SDK. Then, go ahead and install these applications:

Gaim for Windows - Without the GTK+ Runtime

The Gimp 2.2 for Windows - Again no need to install the GTK+ Runtime since our Gtk# Runtime installer will satisfy those dependencies.

AbiWord - AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft® Word. It is suitable for typing papers, letters, reports, memos, and so forth.

Gnumeric - The Gnome Office Spreadsheet. This is a very good spreadsheet application that may give Excel and OpenOffice a run for their money! The creator of Gnumeric is pretty sharp fellow also :)
NOTE: For now you must use the GTK+ Runtime that comes with Gnumeric. :( Hopefully, we wil revise the GTK+ runtime that we bundle with our Gtk# installers so we meet and/or exceed the base requirements of Gnumeric for Windows.

Running all of the above applications will give you an idea of just how powerful GTK+ applications can be and how Gtk#/Mono can enable you to achieve similar results across so many more platforms than just the choices made available by Microsoft and their Operating Systems.

Understand that I am not trying to be misleading here. The applications I just sent you links to are likely C or C++ coded applications and not written in C# or VB.NET. However, keep in mind that I am making a call to arms to create applications that will have as much stature in both the Windows and Linux world from your Windows dev environment using Gtk# and/or System.Windows.Forms.

A guy called Daniel Morgan already got started and he is the example I follow.

Over the next few days I will be making a blog entry that will review the aftermath of my Mono presentation at the Fort Worth .NET User Group. Expect the slide deck used in the presentation as well as a less than stellar video of the event :)

The progress being made on bmcs (the new Basic compiler) and the Managed Windows Forms is exiting and very promising. However, I want to make sure that the VB.NET developers don't feel that they have to wait before they can start sharing their creations with the *NIX world. To that end, I am now dedicating some time to improve the Glade# and the soon to be available Gtk# Visual Studio .NET 2003 project templates for Visual Basic .NET. Within the next couple of weeks I will post some VB/Gtk# code for our experts to review and hopefully we will promptly make that a part of the Gtk# Win32 Installer for the .NET Framework 1.1 SDK.

Posted by martinf at 08:08 AM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2005

Mono Tejano

Is another great day for Mono! Last night Paco Martinez, Joseph Hill and Zac Bowling met at this local Dallas Cafe to talk about Mono evangelism in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Gecko# Win32 installers, gotmono.net and much more.

I am very impressed with Zac. He is a very talented dude (there was a certain Ben Mauer "je ne sais quoi" to him). Joseph as usual is one of the most grounded and matured professionals that like a trusted compass, keeps me focused and on target for the mission of Mono education and dissemination in North Texas.

Joseph has a presentation coming up this Saturday morning for the North Texas Linux User Group. We were going over his slide deck and discussing some of the challenges of reaching to Linux Admin types while speaking of a project that is so closely related with software development.

While talking about presentations, I want to thank the Fort Worth .NET User Group for opening their doors to us Moneros ;) I will be doing a presentation in Fort Worth this coming Tuesday. I owe a special gratitude to Cory Smith and to Stephen Swienton for the coordination and getting the word out to the members of the User Group.

Already in the horizon there is another Mono presentation at the Plano .NET User Group (March 2, 2005). That presentation promises to be great and there is even the possibility that we will have our own Erik Dasque (Mono Product Manager) visiting us! Again here I want to thank Eric Sowell for mobilizing and encouraging this event and the great Jason Alexander (President of the PDNUG and author of NGallery). Although there will be some overlap in the contents of the presentations, my intention is to build a bit on the previous one (FWDNUG) so if you attend one you will then be better prepared for the other.

If we could only get Todd Berman, and Miguel de Icaza to come over here for that banquet I keep promising them at Boi na Braza.

Atsushi and Sebastian are back at helping me out with, my quest for the prefect Cygwin distribution for building Mono from SVN in Win32. These two guys have helped me test my CDs before but just yesterday Atsushi pointed me to this source forge location where I found the perl XML::Parser that we were missing for building ./mono/cil/make-opcodes-def.pl. We are getting very close. Thank you guys!

Sometime over the weekend Kevin Shockey and I will publish an entry in his blog at O'Reilly describing how to build Mono from source in Win32 while using the readily available Mono combined installer to quickly and easily satisfy build prerequisites.

My Beloved Son Called!

Paquito my Son (a.k.a FM5) called me from Iraq yesterday thanks to a phone card that my Mom Mimi Martinez sent him! Well done Mom!

He is doing great and he is in good spirits. He keeps talking about all the plans he has for once he gets out of the military. I think he is a very talented graphic artist and has quite a clue about web designs and more. As soon as he gets out we will have a great set of hands to help with all things multimedia :)

Posted by martinf at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2005

More on my References to SVG and Mono

Kevin Brown left a comment on my previous blog entry and has made an interesting entry of his own.

You can check it out here.

Posted by martinf at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)