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MonoMac - .NET/C# Bindings to the Cocoa API MonoMac provides a new set of C# bindings to the Cocoa APIs on OSX and can be used to create applications that use the native OSX APIs using Mono and C#. The code is licensed under the terms of the open source MIT X11 license. Building: To build MonoMac, you need to get two packages: * maccore * monomac The first contains the code that is shared between MonoMac and MonoTouch. MonoMac contains the actual bindings that are OSX-specific. You MUST check out both modules side by side currently. To build monomac type "make" which will create the monomac.dll MonoMac requires Mono v2.6.4 or higher, you can find a RC for 2.6.4 at http://mono.ximian.com/monobuild/preview/download-preview/ Discussion: The discussion of the development of MonoMac is taking place on irc.gnome.org in channel #monodev and on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list: http://lists.ximian.com/mailman/listinfo/mono-osx Pending Tasks We are looking for contributors to these areas: * API binding for the rest of the Frameworks * We need samples to be written * We need tutorials to be written (like the ones we did for MonoTouch) * We need to port existing Cocoa samples to C#: * To exercise the binding * To serve as reference for new developers * To identify missing frameworks * To prioritize bindings * We need to alter MonoDevelop's plugin to produce OSX Application bundles. Binding APIs Information on how to bind new APIs can be found on the MonoTouch web site: http://monotouch.net/Documentation/Binding_New_Objective-C_Types Goals We had two main requirements: the binding should just work and the code should be MIT X11 licensed. For the binding to just work, we turned to the .NET Framework Design Guidelines book as it captures years of design decisions, programming idioms and advise that would help C# and .NET developers. By following the Design Guidelines we: Avoid surprises Blend with other C# and .NET libraries Reduce the room for errors Increase developer joy Minimizes time for the developer to be productive Every bit of existing .NET knowledge translates Luckily for us, .NET was designed from the start to be an interoperability framework. A framework that supports the most advanced requirements to make multiple runtimes and frameworks to communicate seamlessly with each other. We used these features to create our bindings. The above goals turned into the following technical requirements: * Developers should be able to consume Cocoa APIs as C# APIs * Allow developers to subclass Objective-C classes * Subclass should work with C# standard constructs * Derive from an existing class * Call base constructor * Overriding methods should be done with C#'s override system * Do not expose developers to Objective-C selectors * Provide a mechanism to call arbitrary Objective-C libraries * Make common Objective-C tasks easy, and hard Objective-C tasks possible * Expose Objective-C properties as C# properties * Expose a strongly typed API, for example instead of exposing the generic-container NSArray or individual NSObjects. This means that developers get a few benefits: * MonoDevelop can flag errors as you write the code * MonoDevelop can present documentation popups on types, methods, properties and parameters as you type them. * Minimize runtime errors by catching invalid casts at compile time. * Encourage in-IDE API exploration without rebuilding, and without having to look up the types in the documentation. * Turn int and uint parameters that should have been enums as C# enumerations and C# enumerations with [Flags] attributes * Expose the basic Foundation as C# native types: * NSString becomes string * NSArray becomes strongly-typed array * Events and notifications, give users a choice between: * Support the Objective-C delegate pattern: * Strongly typed version is the default * Weakly typed version for advance use cases * C# event system * Class libraries should be MIT X11 licensed, like the rest of Mono's class libraries. * Expose C# delegates (lambdas, anonymous methods and System.Delegate) to Objective-C APIs as "blocks". * Curated APIs: there is no point in binding every UNIX or CoreFoundation C API available, as those are not very useful in practice. Bind only those that are required to build applications or get access to mandatory functionality.