Back from vacation.....

and it stinks. I mean, it was 75 degrees in Orlando, Florida and now I'm back home and it's 25 degrees (with three feet of snow) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Oh well, I have a nice Internet connection now so all is good. =)

While I was sitting by the pool, I decided that it would be fun to play with two open source .NET tools that some of you may have used or heard of before:

1) Draco - from the Draco website, "Draco.NET is a Windows service application designed to facilitate continuous integration. Draco.NET monitors your source code repository, automatically rebuilds your project when changes are detected and then emails you the build result along with a list of changes since the last build. " I have written many times before (in the ASPAlliance Times newsletter) about the importance of a build process in many of my projects. Draco is a fantastic tool for automating parts of the build process. I will be writing about my Draco experience in my next AspToday article.

2) Mono - from the Mono website,

"Ximian announced the launch of the Mono project, an effort to create an open source implementation of the .NET Development Framework.

Mono includes: a compiler for the C# language, a runtime for the Common Language Infrastructure (also referred as the CLR) and a set of class libraries . The runtime can be embedded into your application. "

I think Mono is intriguing because the possibility of writing my ASP.NET applications once and having it run on both Linux and Windows is an interesting possibility. I personally believe Windows is superior to Linux in most regards but there are times when my client demands Linux and not having to spend weeks/months trying to convince them that Windows/.NET is the way to go would be a welcome relief in many ways. I have not done this myself but I hear that Miguel has a virtually unmodified version of IBuySpy that runs on Linux, Mono, MySQL, and XSP (a stand alone web server written by Mono developers). Unfortunately, I believe that Mono will developers will always be one step behind. I mean, about the time they have a really stable/usable set of version 1 libraries Microsoft will release version 2 of the .NET Framework. Time will tell.