A new release of Mono has been released. Mono is an open source implementation of the .NET Framework for Unix, Linux and Windows systems.
This release includes four components at once: the Runtime and Software Development Kit, the Documentation browser, and the ASP.NET server with its Apache module. Packages for various distributions are also available from our download page.
This is mostly a fine tuning release: bug fixing and performance improvements are the major benefits, but new classes and new features are also included. See the rest of the notes for details.
Since the last release, 2,655 individual commits were done to our runtime and class libraries.
1,397 bugzilla bugs were closed, four times as much as in the previous release cycle. So this is certainly a bug fixing release ;-)
A big thank goes again for Duncan Mak who worked steadily to get every new dependency of Mono compiled and tested on our Linux Platforms and to Dan Morgan who tested our Windows build and produced packages for us.
Pre-compiled packages for SUSE 9, Red Hat 9 and Fedora Core 1 are available from our web site from the download section.
On CVS the tags are: MONO_0_30, MCS_0_30, XSP_0_9, MOD_MONO_0_7, MONODOC_0_10, LIBGDIPLUS_0_1
Ports of popular open source applications are now maintained here: http://www.go-mono.com/ports/.
If you are installing from source code, there are a few optional dependencies that you will want to consider installing.
- icu 2.6.1: Required for supporting international information. Strongly recommended.
- libgdiplus 0.1: Required if you want to use System.Drawing APIs.
- Cairo 0.1.17: Required to install libgdiplus
Quick source code installation:
If we have no packages for your platform, installing from source code is very simple:
tar xzf mono-0.30.tar.gz
tar xzf libgdiplus-0.1.tar.gz
Many improvements to the class libraries (Patrik, Ben), JIT compiler (Paolo, Patrik, Zoltan) and C# compiler (Ben, Benjamin and Miguel). The net results are that C# compilation times are now 30% to 40% faster than in 0.29 (30% for plain, 40% for precompiled).
There are some nice low-level optimizations done in the JIT, from inlining string-length, to optimizing the object.GetType() call.
For instance the C# compiler will compile itself in 2.3 seconds on a 1.6GHz machine (20klines/second).
The whole system uses less memory now, and lots of pieces have been better tuned: ArrayList enumerators now use less memory; Patrik rewrote StringBuilder; FileStreams no longer use locking (Ben); the BinaryReader and BinaryWriter handle strings more efficiently (Ben) and Gonzalo reduced the use of memory in Reflection.
MonoDevelop has been a source of inspiration for areas that have not been optimal in the past.
Most tests now work on both MacOS X and LinuxPPC. Neither of them are ready for production use, but most simple programs will run with the JIT.
On MacOS X 10.2 and 10.3, we know that ICU currently is causing problems, and you will need to install the latest alpha version of Boehm GC.
The code generated by the compiler is much better in the presence of complex conditional expressions (thanks to Ben) and code generation has been fixed in various new corner cases that we mis-compiled before.
A large part of the performance of the compiler comes from its more conservative use of memory. The compiler should perform better as well on machines with limited amounts of memory. In the bootstrapping case, the compiler is down to 50 megs of memory.
The file format for the symbol table is much smaller as well (Martin).
Implicit method group conversions to Delegate types is available if you run the compiler with the -2 option, so this means that you can write less code:
ok_button.Clicked += new ButtonEventHandler (ok_clicked);
ok_button.Clicked += ok_clicked;
VB Compiler and JScript
Rafael contributed many updates to the grammar, and Anirban contributed many more tests to exercise the compiler now as well as many bug reports as a result of all these tests based on the published VB specification.
Cesar has got the basics of his compiler to generate IL for some basic expressions now, with various tests as well.
Mono Runtime Changes
Zoltan added support for unmanaged resources to the runtime, reflection emit and the C# compiler (/win32res: and /win32icon: are now supported).
Zoltan also added support for declarative security to our Reflection.Emit implementation as well as debugging information in Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiled programs.
Patrik implemented Stack spilling of floating point support in JIT for x86. This means that we now support complex floating point operations on 86 via the new floating point stack code.
FileSystemWatcher is here
Gonzalo implemented the long-awaited FileSystemWatcher for Mono. If your system support FAM, it will take advantage of it, if not, it will create a thread and periodically poll the underlying system for changes.
This means that our ASP.NET finally can recompile applications when configuration or source code changes happen without any delays.
Mono.Security.Win32 is working again thanks to Patrik Torstensson(callingconv).
Runtime RNG now works under Windows (using CryptoAPI) thanks to Mark Crichton.
Fixed MACTripleDES for 1.1 (which in some case has different results than 1.0)- Fixed some cases for None and Zeros padding modes in symmetric encryption (Sebastien).
Many new unit tests for permissions and code groups which resulted in lots of small patches in System.Security namespace.
Fixed lots of method signatures differences to match 1.1 (not yet perfect)
NET 1.2 - More stuff for 1.2 compatibility (PKCS, X509Certificate) including PKCS#12 decoding.
Regarding web services, this is mainly a bug fixing release. Many bugfixes in all areas: web services, xml serialization, wsdl processing,document discovery, etc. Thanks for all the bug reports! And thanks to Lluis for promptly fixing them all.
Lluis has also deployed a new web service test suite that will help ensure that Mono is interoperable with other web service platforms. The test suite currently processes more than 350 WSDL documents from various SOAP implementation which it generates around 600 proxies.
Implemented support for Dynamic Discovery documents (.vsdisco files).
The web service documentation page has been improved: now it can render sample requests and responses for all of the supported protocols.
This feature has also been added to the wsdl tool, which means that you can print sample textual requests/responses for all web services, not just Monoweb services.
$ wsdl -sample:Register http://docs.go-mono.com/server.asmx?wsdl
Mono Web Services Description Language Utility
Sample request message:
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
Useful if you want to use shell scripts to write your web clients.
We have finally switched to managed XSLT as our XSLT engine, this replaced the older libxslt based implementation. Atsushi has implemented the missing features and fixed all the remaining bugs. He added support for msxsl:script as well as extensions objects.
This managed XSLT implementation is very robust. We have integrated various XSLT test suites into the tree to verify its conformance continuously.
XML Schema: David has been improving facet validation support and it became much more close to MS.NET.
Schema component properties, compilation engine, and validation engine are improved. Atsushi got nearly 20 W3C msxsdtest failures out of 7400 cases from this release.
Boris, Tom, and many people gave us several excellent bug reports that helped us improve several classes such as DOM, Schema and XML Resolver.
ASP.NET Web Forms
We continue with the pattern of using tests in this module as well. We have integrated NUnitASP into the testing process for ASP.NET web pages (Gonzalo)
Support for custom error pages (Gonzalo)
Authentication (Basic, Digest, Ntlm) for client side code in System.Net has been implemented (Gonzalo)
Browser capabilities support has been added to ASP.NET. The database we ship is courtesy of
http://www.GaryKeith.com (More Gonzalo!)
Jackson implemented Cookie-less session support and added support for Trace handlers (Trace.axd) to ASP.NET.
Jackson added support for ASP.NET caching to our implementation: partial page caching (caching of user controls)
Jackson has been working on porting various open source ASP.NET applications to run on Unix and Mono, you can find the ongoing ports effort here.
Currently these include the PetShop, FlexiWiki and DasBlog.
Pen, Brush, Matrix and GraphicsPath implementation and bug fixes from Duncan and Ravindra.
Jordi fixed our BMP encoder, completed various C#-side components of System.Drawing. He has started to move the font handling code to the libgdiplus layer.
Our GDI+ implementation has been split from the MCS source package, and has moved into its own package: libgdiplus
Lluis Improved support for the SoapFormatter, including the implementation of the SdlServerSink remoting sink, which renders the wsdl document for a remote object published using http and the soap formatter.
Lluis also did other improvements and bug fixes, such as complete support for channel configuration properties, and better interoperability with MS.NET remoting.
Npgsql: Postgres bindings
Initial support for connection pooling. You can use the connection pooling by specifying the MinPoolSize=value in the connection string. The MaxPoolSize can also be specified, but it is not implemented yet.
Note that some logs about connection not being closed will be shown as a side effect of connection pool. The unmanaged socket is closed, but server complains and logs about the sundden close. Please, check this post for more details about it.
Faster support of bytea binary data. Thanks Jackson Harper (jackson at ximian dot com) and Jonathan Gilbert (2a5gjx302 at sneakemail dot com).The performance for adding binary data is 10x faster than original code :)
CommandBuilder and better Dataset support. Thanks Pedro Yoros (yoros at wanadoo dot es).
bearm (bearm at mail dot it) and Marcus Better (marcus at dactylis dot com) also helped with bug fixes in this release.
New Assembly Linker (al) from Zoltan Varga.
Lluis Implemented the soapsuds tool, which can generate schemas and client proxies for remote classes.
There has been some momentum on the Gtk# backend for Windows.Forms in this release, you would need to compile manually and install these assemblies.
The WineLib-based version of Windows.Forms is on hold, while Peter Bartok is updating our patches for WineLib to the latest version of Wine. Large internal changes in Wine rendered our previous WineLib implementation obsolete.
As part of the renewed patch, Peter is merging the Cairo and Xlib rendering paths to avoid the co-existence issues we had between WineLib and Cairo.
The people behind this release
Roughly 60 developers following developers contributed to this release:
Alexandre Pigolkine, Alon Gazit, Andreas Nahr, Atsushi Enomoto, B Anirban, Benjamin Jemlich, Ben Maurer, Bernie Solomon, Carlos Alberto Cortes, Cesar Octavio Lopez Nataren, Chris Masters, Daniel Morgan, David Sheldon, Dick Porter, Duncan Mak, Eduardo Garcia, Ettore Perazzoli, Francisco Figueiredo Jr., Gert Driesen, Gonzalo Paniagua, Hector E. Gomez Morales, Jackson Harper, Jan Jaros, Jean-Marc Andre, Jochen Wezel, Joel Basson, Joe Shaw, Johannes Roith, John Luke, Jonathan Gilbert, Jordi Mas, Laurent Guerby, Lluis Sanchez, Marek Safar, Mark Crichton, Martin Baulig, Martin Willemoes Hansen, Miguel de Icaza, Mike Kestner, Nick Drochak, Pablo Baena, Paolo Molaro, Patrik Torstensson, Pedro Abelleira Seco, Pedro Martinez, Peter Williams, Philip Van Hoof, Rachel Hestilow, Radek Doulik, Rafael Teixeira, Ravindra Kumar, Ravi Pratap, Richard Thombs, Sanjay Gupta, Sebastien Pouliot, S Umadevi, Sunil Kumar, Tim Coleman, Todd Berman, Ugo Albarello, Wojciech Polak, and Zoltan Varga.
This list is not complete, it is missing contributions that were sent to the list, as it was very hard to track the one million incremental line patch since the last release.
New Crew Members
Jordi Mas from Barcelona joined Novell to work on our implementation System.Drawing he will be working with Duncan, Ravindra and Sanjay.
Sebastien Pouliot, the man behind most of the Cryptography and Security code in Mono joins Novell to complete this work in Mono as well. Our first full time security/cryptography person on the team.