Ever wondered a scenario where you want to develop a cross platform .NET application ?
What kind of framework is required for this kind of applications ??
Well lets discuss!
Mono software platform allows developers to create cross platform applications which is an open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework based on ECMA standards.
Main components of Mono
1) C# compiler for compiling C# 1.0 and C# 2.0 features and additionally many of the C# 3.0 features.
2) Mono runtime which implements Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) , Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiler, a library loader, the garbage collector, threading system and interoperability functionality.
3)Base Class Library which provides comprehensive set of classes for building applications.
4) Mono Class Library provides additional classes for Gtk+, Zip files,LDAP,OpenGL etc.
The whole advantage of this Mono framework is , it provides a framework for user for Cross Platform development which is varied on Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, and Sun Solaris, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, Apple iPhone and many others with a additional advantage that developer is already used to .NET framework and programming language such as C#, VB.NET and Eiffel etc. Scripting and Embedding can also be used for various purposes.
This Wiki Page gives detailed information about Mono framework and its extensions.
As given on Wikipedia Several projects extend Mono such as
- Cocoa#  wrappers around the native Mac OS X toolkit (Cocoa).
- Gecko#, bindings for embedding the layout engine used in Mozilla (Gecko).
- Gtk#, C# wrappers around the underlying GTK+ and GNOME libraries, written in C.
- Tao, a collection of graphics and gaming bindings (OpenGL, SDL, Glut, Cg).
- Mono Migration Analyzer (MoMA) tool.
- Moonlight, an implementation of Silverlight that uses Mono.
Updates and Resources
Mono 2.6.1 is now available.
There are various forums and blogs which discuss latest updates about Mono which can be accessed here.
Mono Tools for visual studio is available for download with 30 day trial.