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07 October 2010, 10:12

Mono 2.8 released

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The Mono developers have released Mono 2.8, a major update to the implementation of Microsoft's .NET technology for Linux and other platforms. Miguel de Icaza, project lead, said in his blog that the release "contains ten months worth of new features, stability fixes, performance work and bug fixes". The Mono C# compiler is now a complete implementation of the C# 4.0 specification and defaults to operating as a 4.0 based platform.

A new Generational GC (Garbage collector) offers better performance for applications which consume and reuse large amounts of memory; benchmarking shows CPU use is now much more predictable. Support for LLVM has now been marked as stable with a mono-llvm command allowing server applications to run with an LLVM back end, potentially offering greater performance; JIT compilation with LLVM is described as "very slow" in the release notes and therefore only currently suits long-lived server processes.

Other changes include the incorporation of a range of new frameworks; the Parallel Framework and System.XAML are new to the core of Mono, while Microsoft's open sourced frameworks (System.Dynamic, Managed Extensibility Framework, ASP.NET MVC 2 and the OData client framework System.Data.Services.Client) are bundled with Mono. Support for OpenBSD has also been incorporated into the release.

Mono 2.8 is not a long term support release as the updates have "not received as much testing as they should"; Mono 3.0 will be the next long term supported release and users wanting the "absolute stability" of a thoroughly tested version are recommended to use Mono 2.6. Information on other new features and details of removed libraries are available in the release notes. Mono 2.8 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X, openSUSE, Novell Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS and other Linux systems and is licensed under a combination of open source licences.


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