[Mono-osx] End user question
mono-osx at iaincollins.com
Fri Feb 1 11:48:28 EST 2008
On 1 Feb 2008, at 06:41, Dennis Hayes wrote:
> I have a fairly simple Winforms app.
> It uses the timer control.
> It reads/writes data from/to \\server\drive\directory\file.txt but
> that could be changed to the default directory.
> We are 100% Windows, but have a couple of people who use Macs at home.
> The home users are not computer people. They edit documents and surf
> the net. I doubt they have ever even installed software on the Macs.
> Everybody will be impressed if my app could be run on these Macs.
> Can they just click on the Mac install from the download page, copy
> my .exe, and run?
> Or will it require any complicated setup or dependancy issues?
It's possible to create a .app (double clickable extension) that has
the mono runtime built in to it, which would allow users to just
double click it and go. Realistically you'd need the assistance of
someone with a Mac and with some Mac development (and ideally some
Mono on OS X) experience to help package it up - though that's all
pretty straightforward really - and if you are interested I'd be happy
to do that for you if you were to send me a compiled copy of your app.
This would increase the over all size of course, the other option
being of course to have them install a separate Mono package first.
Realistically - given the relatively small amount of diskspace that
would be required - I think you could easily getaway with just
bundling a mono runtime environment with the app (so that it just runs
when clicked on).
The downside is that at present they would need to have X11 installed
(this used to come on the "Developer Tools" CD that came with all Macs
and copies of Mac OS X, but it's now in an optional extras folder on
the Mac OS X Install DVD's, although in theory you could bundle a copy
of X11 with it so it's just double clickable out of the box, but that
would probably getting on for overkill. :-) * Although that's exactly
how some X11 based applications are currently distributed.
Needless to say, sadly most users do not have X11 installed already
(and even with it installed, it's going to have the look and feel of a
GTK app for Linux, rather than a Mac look and feel). So it really
depends on your target audience if they are going to find that
acceptable. I use GIMP under X11 all the time and am very happy with
it, but I might not be very representative of your userbase. :-)
I gather there is work afoot in the Mono project to allow Winforms
apps on Mac OS X to have a native look and feel under OS X (I also
here there is also work being done to allow GTK interfaces to run
natively with a Mac OS look and feel, although I don't know the status
of that and the CocoaSharp project is probably a much better bet as a
hope for the future - it seems like there may be an announcement about
CocoaSharp development progress coming soon? :-).
It is possible to create a native-look-and-feel Coca App with C#
backend, but that's a bit more work at the moment (it would require
some front end glue). It doesn't sound like you'd want to bother
enough to go down that route, but if you are interested feel free to
contact me off list about it.
Iain Collins, me at iaincollins.com
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