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September 14, 2004

10 reasons Microsoft developers should look at SharpDevelop

Posted 4840 days ago on September 14, 2004

SharpDevelop, the open-source development IDE for .NET, has recently announced its first full 1.0 release. Here's 10 reasons why you should take note.

  1. Unlike Visual Studio .NET, or even Borland's Delphi/C# Builder IDE, SharpDevelop is coded in C#. Yes, I know there is plenty of .NET code in those other IDEs, but Microsoft's IDE is primarily coded in C++, and Borland's in Win32 Delphi.
  2. It's good. Smooth and fast, Visual form designer, code-completion with tooltip help, lots of nice features.
  3. It's free. Download and go, no need even to register.
  4. It's open-source. Download the code, see how things are done, improve and contribute.
  5. Built-in editor for Wix, the XML-based build tool for the Microsoft Installer.
  6. One-click conversion of code to and from C# and VB.NET
  7. Integration with nprof open-source profiler.
  8. Integration with NUnit for unit testing.
  9. Assembly analyzer checks your code for errors and breaches of coding standards.
  10. Option to target Mono, the cross-platform .NET runtime for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

So time to throw away Visual Studio? Not for most of us: Microsoft's product has many more features and SharpDevelop comes up short in a few areas (no full debugger, no ASP.NET designer, weak online help etc etc). If you are targetting Mono and running on Windows, SharpDevelop may well be the best choice; and of course there are a few other things in SharpDevelop that you won't find in Microsoft's tools.

The key point is this: .NET developers now have more choice, with three major toolsets on offer (Microsoft, Borland, SharpDevelop). Of these three, SharpDevelop is the one that at least is cross-platform aware, which to me is a big deal and good for the platform. By the way, I firmly believe that cross-platform .NET is good for Microsoft too, so this isn't a matter of Linux advocacy or anything like that.

WiX development using SharpDevelop

Trackback from Tom's corner Posted 4837 days ago • Reply

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