Primed for mobile development, Mono upgrade focuses on performance

Mono 3.6.0, intended for Linux but picked up by mobile app developers, boosts performance and cuts memory usage

Xamarin upgraded Mono, the open source runtime enabling .Net developers to build applications for non-Windows platforms, this week with improvements in areas ranging from garbage collection to class libraries. Version 3.6.0 enables developers to build multiplatform applications using C#. Initially intended for building Linux applications, Mono has found a home in mobile development.

"In terms of numbers, yes, Mono is now more successful on mobile with tens of thousands of apps published with it than it ever was on Linux," said Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaz. With Mono and the Xamarin Platform toolset, C# can be used to build native applications for such platforms as Apple iOS and Mac OS, Google Android, Windows, and Windows Phone.

"We continue with our main themes: improving performance, reducing memory usage, eliminating bugs, and improving our platform support," de Icaza said. He further noted that development of Mono has been switched from long release cycles to short cycles.

Class libraries in version 3.6.0 feature multiple HTTP stack improvements as well as the System.IO.Compression namespace for basic compression and decompression services for streams. Garbage collection has been enhanced through the implementation of two new modes to improve some workloads. The Mono debugger, meanwhile, has received performance improvements and bug fixes. A buffered response mode has been added to improve network efficiency on high-latency links, such as USB.

Runtime performance counters have been integrated into the Mono profiler. Also in the performance space, fine-grained locking is implemented instead of a big hot lock, and better hashing of runtime internal items avoids some slowdowns with generics.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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