The Mono project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell, today announced the availability of Mono 2.0, an open source, cross-platform .NET development framework.

Mono 2.0 provides all the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, as well as other operating systems. The new Mono 2.0 release is now compatible with the desktop and server components of version 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET framework and features the Mono Migration Analyser (MoMA), an analytical tool for .NET-to-Linux migrations.
According to an IDC study, nearly 50% of IT decision makers, developers and architects surveyed, reported that they use Microsoft .NET as the application technology platform on which their mission-critical applications (excluding email) run. With Mono 2.0, developers can leverage their existing investment and skill sets to build .NET 2.0 applications for deployment on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Solaris, Unix, and Mac OS X.
"Mono 2.0 gives .NET developers the freedom to run their applications on a wide variety of operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS, and Unix," says Miguel de Icaza, vice president of Development Platforms at Novell and maintainer of the Mono project. "Mono 2.0 benefits a wider range of developers, ISVs and end-users by allowing them to write their applications once and run them on any OS platform, dramatically increasing portability and expanding their market reach."
More than 2 000 .NET applications are Mono 2.0 compatible with no code changes.
Mono 2.0 now includes MoMA, the Mono Migration Analyser. MoMA, which runs natively on .NET or on the Mono framework, helps developers quantify the number of changes required to run their .NET application in a Linux environment. In an analysis of 4,600 .NET applications using MoMA, 45% of the applications required no code changes to work with Mono. An additional 24% of the applications were shown to require fewer than six code changes to run on Mono.
One of the most recent successful uses of the Mono framework is the rapid development of Moonlight, an open-source, Mono-based plug-in version of Microsoft Silverlight, which is used to create and host next-generation, rich interactive applications. Linden Lab uses Mono in the development of their Second Life project to improve the stability and speed of scripts – particularly calculation-intensive ones.
"Deploying Mono as the primary scripting engine on the Second Life Grid has had enormously positive effects for our Residents," says Jim Purbrick, technical director, Core Platform, aat Linden Lab. "In fact, some of the internal benchmarking we've done has shown that scripts running on Mono run up to 220 times faster. The speed and reliability that Mono provides opens up new possibilities for content creators and improves the experience of even casual users."