As as web application developer, I work in a number of vastly different programming languages. Although there are many camps out there, I don’t really subscribe to one or the other. I believe in the best tool (language) for the job. Sometimes, my clients simply need a quick blog site. Enter: WordPress or Joomla, written in PHP and modified quickly if needed. Sometimes they want flashy realtime desktop type of web apps. Enter: Adobe Flex, with either a .NET or Coldfusion middletier. I think all of these languages have their pros and cons. In .NET, I use C#. But herein lies the rub… I don’t like the Microsoft business model or their operating systems. However, to actually develop a C#.NET application, I have to have a Windows based machine running Visual Studio. This makes me irritable, especially when dealing with legacy code (1.1 framework) versus newer apps (using 2.0 or 3.5). In some cases, not only do you need Windows running Visual Studio, but you need multiple versions of Visual Studio (2005,2008, etc) to handle code written in different frameworks. How ridiculous, I don’t even want to use Windows anyway, let alone bog it down with multiple versions of the fattest IDE ever written! Enter: Monodevelop. Yay!
Monodevelop is an opensource IDE for Linux and now Mac OS operating systems that allows you to develop, compile, and deploy .NET applications. Dig this, the footprint is only 25MB in size. Compare that to Visual Studio’s massive 1 GB+ per version. With Monodevelop, you can also choose which framework to use, right there within the IDE. It also comes with its own self-contained web server so you don’t need IIS or any of those type of trappings to develop with. Now don’t get me wrong, you hardcore .NET developers are not going to wanna drop Visual Studio anytime soon because Monodevelop doesn’t have anywhere near the functionality of Visual Studio, especially when it comes to the powerful Intellisense features of VS. But for the guys like me who only have to do a little .NET work now and again and have to maintain legacy .NET code, it is an awesome alternative.
For more info, you can visit the MonoDevelop website by clicking here.