Herding Code 95: MonoDroid with Miguel and the Mono gang

Hey, it’s a bunch of Mono guys! That’s always fun. This time they’re talking about MonoDroid. Joining the gang this week are Miguel de Icaza, Joseph Hill, Geoff Norton, and Mike Kestner talk about developing .NET applications for the Android platform with Mono.

  • Jon asks about where MonoDroid is at in the product lifecycle.
  • Jon asks about the install experience, which currently requires installing a few dependencies to get set up. Miguel and Joseph clarify that it’s a pretty simple setup, and explain why it currently works that way.
  • We talk about the File / New Project experience, and how MonoDroid projects are structured.
  • Miguel describes the API flavor for MonoDroid, and how it follows the MonoTouch and GTK# approach of keeping pretty close to the underlying API’s and pipeline – e.g. accessing images as resources. Mike talks about how API is mapped to run on the .NET primitives and collections.
  • The guys talk about how software architectures vary across iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Miguel and Geoff talk about the difficulty in building real-world applications which are can share back-end code across platforms.
  • The talk shifts to nerdy details about how .NET code is being deployed to the Java-based Android platform and a discussion of  the performance impacts of crossing those boundaries.
  • Geoff and Mike talk about the challenges of integrating the different platforms.
  • Kevin asks about what MonoDroid brings to the Android platform, since the Java runtime is already kind of similar to .NET. Miguel talks about how they’ve seen even higher developers interest in MonoDroid than MonoTouch, and everyone speculates about why that might be.
  • Scott K asks about some of the challenges in implementing Mono on Android, and Mike digs into the differences in generics between .NET and Java.
  • K. Scott asks about the ability to wrap or extend the Mono.Android API’s.
  • Kevin asks about rather underlying services are exposed as native API’s or generalized API’s. Miguel explains why it’s necessary to expose at the native API level.
  • Kevin asks more about how code can be shared between MonoDroid and MonoTouch projects.
  • Jon asks about whether they’re looking at anything for Windows Phone 7. Miguel talks about the possibility of adding unsupported API’s, and Geoff talks about how this has been pretty popular on Windows XBox.
  • Greg Shackles asks a question via Twitter about how developers can get involved and contribute to both Mono and MonoDroid.
  • Geoff talks about the MonoMac project.
  • K. Scott asks if there’s still support for PowerPC in Mono.
  • Sara Chipps asks whether iPhone or Androids are more difficult to support. The surprising answer: neither!
  • Everyone talks about how people will actually buy apps on their phones, and the iCircuit app comes up as an example of a great MonoTouch app that’s making some money.
  • Kevin asks about the pricing for MonoDroid. The word is that it’ll be pretty similar to MonoTouch.
  • Miguel mentions Manos de Mono from Jackson Harper.
  • Scott K asks about plans for other phone platforms. Joseph says the plan is to go where developers go.

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Herding Code 95: MonoDroid with Miguel and the Mono gang