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<h1>
Mono Project Roadmap
<br>
<font size=1>Miguel de Icaza (miguel@ximian.com)</font>
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<p>
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<i>Last update: Jan 18th, 2004</i>
<h3>Introduction</h3>
<p>This document describes the high-level roadmap for <a
href="http://www.go-mono.com">Mono</a>.
<p>The Mono project started in 2001 as an effort to implement
the .NET Framework to Unix. To bring both the new programming
model based on the Common Language Infrastructure and C# as
well as helping people migrate their existing knowledge and
applications to Unix. Mono today supports a wide variety of
operating systems, CPUs and a large chunk of the functionality
available in the .NET Framework.
<p>At the October 2003 PDC conference a number of new
technologies were announced. From the Mono release schedule
perspective, we should think about these technologies from
their release time standpoint, and the features that must be
supported.
<p>This document outlines the roadmap for the Mono project
from my perspective: what we can effectively deliver on the
dates outlined. Since Mono is a large open source project,
things might change and new features can be incorporated
into the plan if external sources devote enough attention to
those problems.
<p>This is the timeline:
<p>
<center>
<img src="roadmap.png">
</center>
<h3>Background</h3>
<p>So far Microsoft has published two versions of the .NET
Framework: 1.0 and 1.1, the later with incremental updates to
the changes in 1.0
<p>The Mono project has been tracking some of the
improvements available in those two releases, some of the
highlights of our work so far are:
<ul>
<li> Core: mscorlib, System, System.Security and
System.XML assemblies.
<li> ADO.NET: System.Data and various other database
providers.
<li> ASP.NET: WebForms and Web Services are
supported. Work on WSE1/WSE2 has also started.
<li> Compilers: C#, VB.NET and various command line tools
that are part of the SDK.
<li> Open Source, Unix and Gnome specific libraries.
</ul>
<p>Other components like Windows.Forms, Directory.Services,
Enterprise Services and JScript are being developed but are not
as mature as the other components but are under development by
various people.
<p>Some other smaller and less used components do not have yet
a Mono equivalent (System.Management, System.Drawing.Design).
<h3>Mono release strategy</h3>
<p>The levels of maturity of Mono fluctuate depending on the
development effort we have put into it, and the use we have
given to them. For example, the virtual machine and the C#
compiler very mature, while less commonly used functionality
in Mono like Windows.Forms or VB.NET are still under heavy
development.
<p>Our strategy is to release the mature components as Mono
1.0, and have upcoming versions of Mono add extra
functionality.
<h3>Mono 1.0 goals</h3>
<p>The Mono 1.0 release would include the following
components:
<ul>
<li>C# compiler.
<li>VM, with JIT and pre-compiler.
<li>IL assembler, disassembler.
<li>Development and security tools.
<li>Core libraries: mscorlib, System, System.XML.
<li>System.Data and Mono database providers.
<li>System.Web: Web applications platform and Apache
integration module.
<li>System.Web.Services: client and server support.
<li>System.Drawing.
<li>System.DirectoryServices
<li>JIT support: x86, SPARC and PPC architectures
(interpreter available for other architectures).
<li>ECMA profiles: special build options to build
Mono as an implementation of the various ECMA profiles
will be available.
<li>Java integration through IKVM.
<li>Embedding interface for the runtime.
</ul>
<p>Packaging:
<ul>
<li>mono: will contain the above features implementing
the .NET 1.1 API.
<li>mono-1.0-compat: Will include a build of the
libraries with the .NET 1.0 API, this is a
compatibility build for people running .NET 1.0
applications.
<li>mono-unstable: Will contain a snapshot of the
other technologies under development for developer's
convenience, but will be unsupported at this time.
These include the Generics edition of the C#
compiler.
<li>mono-ecma: A build that only includes the ECMA
components.
</ul>
<p>Release target: Q2/2004.
<p>Bug fix releases would be done on a monthly basis.
<p>For a detailed list, see the <a
href="mono-1.0.html">mono-1.0 feature list.</a>
<h3>Microsoft's Whidbey</h3>
<p>To understand post 1.0 editions of Mono, it is important to
put it into perspective with the Microsoft Whidbey product, to
be released in 2004.
<p>The new features in the Whidbey release of the .NET Framework
include:
<ul>
<li><b>Generic types</b><br>
These introduce changes to the compiler, runtime and
class libraries.
<li><b>ASP.NET 2</b><br>
Many tools to simplify web application development:
Master pages, new controls for common operations,
personalization and themes.
<li><b>Remoting</b><br>
New security channels and version-resistant remoting
(good news in the interop department).
<li><b>XML</b><br>
XQuery debuts on this release as well as an improved
XmlDocument system based on XPath: XPathDocument.
<li><b>Networking</b><br>
FTP client, Ssl streams.
<li><b>Console and Serial ports:</b></br>
Console terminal input/output is available as well as
serial port handling.
<li><b>Windows.Forms</b><br>
Layout containers finally appeared on Windows.Forms as
well as various new controls.
<li><b>ObjectSpaces</b><br>
An API for simpler data-base access.
</ul>
<h3>Mono 1.2</h3>
<p>The Mono team is developing in parallel some features that
wont make it to the 1.0 release in stable form. These will be
the foundation for the 1.2 release. The focus of this release
is to track the core API for the .NET Framework 1.2, but
again, only a subset of the total framework will be
available.
<p>Mostly, Mono 1.2 consists of components that were not
stable enough for Mono 1.0, but that would be mature at this
point, plus the incorporation of some new features from
Whidbey. In addition to the Mono 1.0 components, this release
will add:
<ul>
<li>Generic types support: C# compiler, execution
system and core class libraries.
<li>ASP.NET 2.0 improvements.
<li>Remoting improvements from Whidbey.
<li>System.XML: simpler improvements from Whidbey,
lacking the large additions (XQuery for example).
<li>Console and Serial ports support.
<li>New compilers: VB.NET and JScript support.
<li>WSE1/WSE2 implementations.
<li>System.Windows.Forms officially debuts with .NET
1.0 API; 1.2 API available as an unstable addition.
</ul>
<p>This release will by default provide .NET 1.2 APIs, but
compatibility libraries for 1.0 and 1.1 will be distributed in
the mono-compat package. The unstable components of Mono will
be distributed on the `mono-unstable' package, the libraries
in this release will be unsupported.
<p>Release target: Q4/2004.
<h3>Mono 1.4</h3>
<p>A refresh update on the Mono 1.2 release containing the
missing components from the previous release and complete any
under performing pieces. Updates to System.Xml, ASP.NET and
Windows.Forms to match the .NET 1.2 API.
<p>Release target: Q2/2005.
<h3>Peer projects</h3>
<p>Other projects like the debugger, the documentation
browser, Java integration through IKVM and Gtk# will remain on
their own schedules. This page will be updated to contain
that information when it becomes available.
<h3>Unscheduled activities</h3>
<p>A missing component of Mono is the Code Access Security
(CAS). This functionality is not needed in today's Mono as
currently Mono is being used to run fully trusted
applications, and we are not using it on embedded scenarios
where assemblies would have different trust levels.
<p>This is an important component, but requires three major
pieces of work:
<ul>
<li>Runtime support for implementing the security
demands.
<li>A guidelines document outlining what and where
must have security demands in place.
<li>A full audit of our class libraries: method by
method
</ul>
<p>All of these are major pieces of work, and we currently
have no plans to implement any of those. A volunteer effort might be
able to help with the runtime requirements and the document,
but until those are done, we are unlikely to start doing any
work on the actual class library audit and instrumentation.
<h3>Mono and WinFX: 2006</h3>
<p>WinFX is the name given to the new set of libraries that
makes up .NET in the Longhorn operating system: the existing
.NET set of class libraries, plus the new functionality
available in the OS.
<p>WinFX adds things like storage facilities (WinFS), a
new versatile communications stack (Indigo) and a new
eye-candy packed GUI programming system (Avalon).
<p>Although WinFS, Avalon and Indigo are very exciting
components, at this time it is too early to tell when those
components will be available for Mono. Open source developers
will very likely start work on these, but since they are still
far from being officially released, they are not in the radar
at this point.
<h3>Unsupported technologies</h3>
<p>Some technologies are very hard to implement or are being
phased out by components in the Longhorn time frame. In some
cases, we feel that they are not crucial to the future of the
open source desktop.
<p>System.EnterpriseServices and System.Management come to
mind, and we are unlikely to put any resources into the task.
We would gladly host the code if someone cares to implement
it, but they would likely remain unsupported features of Mono.
<h3>Mono Developer Strategy</h3>
<p>Mono Developers should read the <a
href="mono-hacking-roadmap.html">Mono Hacking Roadmap</a>
<h3>Comments</h3>
<p>Feel free to send your comments or questions the roadmap to
<a href="mailto:miguel@ximian.com">miguel@ximian.com</a>
<p>
<i>Last Updated: Nov 1st, 2003</i>
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