The Mono Project, which develops an open source implementation of the .Net Framework, released the long-awaited 2.0 version on Monday.
Mono 2.0 offers complete API compatibility with ASP.Net and Windows Forms applications, and is compatible with desktop and server components of Microsoft's 2.0 version of its .Net Framework.
Mono 2.0 lets users develop and run .Net client and server applications on Linux and other operating systems.
It also features the Mono Migration Analyzer, which helps determine changes applications need for .NET-to-Linux migrations, if any.
The .Net Framework is used by developers and includes a collection of pre-coded programming components and a virtual machine that manages the execution of .Net applications. The current Microsoft version of the .Net Framework is 3.5, and Microsoft last week starting talking about the 4.0 version and support for parallel computing.
Despite the 2.0 moniker for Mono, project leaders say the length of time it took to complete the version allowed them to add enough features so that it is more like a release that aligns with the .Net Framework 3.5.
Mono 2.0 includes 3.5 features such as the C# 3.0 compiler and support for .NET Language-Integrated Query.
Mono Project leader Miguel de Icaza, who is also vice president of development platforms for Project Mono supporter Novell, says work on Windows Form support was the holdup.
"Every six months I kept promising [2.0] would be done, but it took longer than expected," he says.
The only missing components in comparison with Microsoft's implementation are support for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) and Windows Presentation Foundations (WPF).
De Icaza says work on WCF and WWF have produced some alpha code and that release of the final product is targeted for next year.
"We need to go through the whole process to make sure it is complete," he says.
As far as WPF, de Icaza says he does not see as much demand for that and pointed to Moonlight, an open source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight, as a capable stand-in for WPF support.
Mono 2.0 also features one-click install for Suse Linux Enterprise and Open Suse, new installers for other platforms such as Windows and Mac OS X, improved scaling and performance for ASP.NET, ADO.NET and the Mono runtime, and a virtual machine image that comes with a ready-to-use development environment.