Release notes for MonoDevelop 2.0 Alpha 1

MonoDevelop 2.0 Alpha 1 (1.9) has been released. MonoDevelop is a GNOME IDE primarily designed for C# and other .NET languages.

This is the first release of a series of releases that will lead to MonoDevelop 2.0, hopefully around the end of the year. This release contains lots of new features and improvements. Read below.

Installing MonoDevelop

Compiling the following order will yield the most favorable response.

  • Gtk# 2.8.0
  • Mono.Addins 0.3.1
  • Monodoc 1.0
  • MonoDevelop 2.0 Alpha 1 Source

It is highly recommended to use Gtk# 2.8.4 or later, since it includes important memory use and performance improvements.

You can download MonoDevelop 2.0 Alpha 1 source from here. The Mono download site contains packages for everything for many popular distros.

This release of MonoDevelop needs at least Mono 1.1.10 to run.

Installing Add-ins

There are some add-ins which are distributed as separate packages. Those packages are:

  • monodevelop-boo: Boo language binding.
  • monodevelop-java: Java language binding (with IKVM).
  • monodevelop-database: database management add-in.

Other add-ins are available using the MonoDevelop Add-in Manager (in the Tools menu, click on ‘Add-in Manager’ and then on ‘Install Add-ins’).

New Features and Improvements

Project Management

MSBuild File format

MonoDevelop now uses the MSBuild project format as its native file format. This improves compatibility with Visual Studio, and will allow MonoDevelop to transition to using xbuild/MSBuild as the build engine.

The old MonoDevelop project file format (mdp) is still supported. The default file format to use when creating new projects can be configured in the MonoDevelop preferences dialog, Load/Save section.


(Lluis Sanchez)

New project model: Workspaces and Solution Folders

The MonoDevelop project model has been reorganized to better fit the MSBuild model, but without losing particular features that MonoDevelop used to have.

One important change is the introduction of Solution Folders. Solution folders allows organizing projects using folders inside a solution. This organization used to be done with nested solutions, but the solution folder model is more robust and it is compatible with the Visual Studio model.

Another change is the new support for Workspaces. A workspace allows grouping together a set of solutions (or other child workspaces). Workspaces are useful when you have several related but independent solutions and you want to open all of them at once.

(Lluis Sanchez)

Opening Multiple Solutions

MonoDevelop now supports opening multiple solutions at the same time. This is useful when you are working with a solution and want to review code side-by-side which belongs to another solution. To open a solution without closing the currently opened, you can:

  • Click on the Open command, select the solution, and uncheck the “Close current workspace” option.
  • In the “Recent Solutions” menu, click on the solution you want to open while holding the Control key. The same applies when opening from the Welcome Page.

Configurable Project Base Directory

All projects have a base directory assigned. This base directory is where the project file is located. All files included in the project are supposed to be under that directory, and it is the directory structure shown in the Solution Pad (files outside the project directory are still alowed, but they are shown all together in a special ‘External Files’ folder).

In order to support other project directory structures, it is now possible to specify a custom base directory for a project. So for example, now a project file can be saved in a directory and project files in a different directory. The Solution Pad will show the correct source file structure, and all version control operation will be directed to the custom base directory.

The base directory can also be specified for solutions, solution folders and workspaces.

(Lluis Sanchez)

Option Dialogs Reorganization

The options dialogs have been reorganized to make it easier to find the settings to manage.

Configuration-specific option panels are grouped together with all other panels (configuration selection is now done inside the panel, not in the options tree), so option panels can be more logically organized.

(Lluis Sanchez)

Web Development

This new release of MonoDevelop makes editing and deploying websites easier than ever.

Code Completion

Code completion of tag, attributes, attribute values and event handlers is now supported for ASP.NET and various HTML DTDs. (Michael Hutchinson)

Path Bar

The path bar shows the current tag hierarchy and offers a quick way to select tags and their contents. (Michael Hutchinson)

Document Outline

The outline pad shows the document structure and enables quickly selecting any element.



Tags in Toolbox

ASP.NET controls are shown in the toolbox for the text editor. Dragging them to the text document automatically adds the necessary assembly reference and tag prefix registration.

Source Code Editing

MonoDevelop 2.0 will have a new text editor component written from the ground up in managed code, and this has enabled the addition of many advanced features. (Mike Krüger)

Code Folding

Regions, members and comments can be collapsed in order to navigate code more easily. Tooltips show a preview of the collapsed contents. (Mike Krüger)

Incremental Search Bar

The non-intrusive search bar makes searching and replacing text easier. (Mike Krüger)

Colour Schemes

Colour schemes are available for changing the appearance of the text editor. (Mike Krüger)

Split View

The text editor can be split into two panels viewing different parts of the same file. (Mike Krüger)

Transparent Popups

The 'Control' key can be used to make any of the completion and information popup windows transparent, to reveal the code underneath. Note that this is only available with GTK+ 2.12 and a compositing window manager such as Compiz. (Michael Hutchinson)

Toolbox clipboard snippets

Copied text snippets are now retained on the toolbox for later access. (Mike Krüger)




XML Editing

The XML Editor from SharpDevelop has been fully integrated into MonoDevelop and improved. It supports code completion of tags, attributes and attribute values (available for registered XSD schemas). A range of schemas are supplied with MonoDevelop.

XML files can be validated using the built in schemas, and can have XSL transforms applied. in addition, XSD schemas can be generated from XML files.

(Matt Ward, Michael Hutchinson)

New Tools

Assembly Browser

The new assembly browser allows inspecting the contents of an assembly. It can display type and member definitions, and the IL of methods.


(Mike Krüger)

Code Metrics

The Code Metrics add-in scans a project and provides basic statistics about line counts and source code licenses.


(Mike Krüger)

Pad/Document Switcher

A new pad/document switcher can be shown by pressing Ctrl+Tab.


(Mike Krüger)

Integrated Debugger (Work in Progress)

Work on the debugger integration has started, and there is already basic support for step-by-step debugging, breakpoints and variable watching.

The debugger add-in has not been included in the release because it requires Mono and the Mono Debugger from SVN.

(Lluis Sanchez, Ankit Jain)

Vala Add-in

The new Vala project type allows managing, editing, and compiling Vala code (using valac). The compilation is configurable, including define symbols, linked libraries, custom VAPI paths and arbitrary additional arguments.

Integration with Vala’s API binding system allows users to easily reference packages like SDL, DBus, or libsoup. Library projects produce VAPIs for use with Vala, as well as pkg-config files for use with C and other languages.

Class pad browsing is supported via exuberant ctags, as is limited code completion. (Levi Bard)

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  • The Gettext translation editor has been overworked and is much more feature-complete. (Mike Krüger)
  • MonoDevelop’s UI now better conforms to the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. (Mike Krüger)
  • Support for running MonoDevelop on Macs and other platforms has been improved. (Geoff Norton, Jonathan Pobst, Lluis Sanchez)
  • Namespaces of new file can be based automatically on folder names (Aaron Bockover)
  • Improved encapsulate fields dialog (Ankit Jain)
  • Improved mime type handling (Lluis Sanchez)
  • The Welcome Page now shows news published on-line. (Steve Y.)



The following people contributed in this release:

Lluis Sanchez, Michael Hutchinson, Ankit Jain, Mike Krüger, Mike Kestner, Wade Berrier, Thomas Wiest, Ben Motmans, Rolf Bjarne Kvinge, Marcos David Marín Amador, Ben Motmans, Zach Lute, Geoff Norton, Jonathan Pobst, Aaron Bockover, Steve Y.

This is the list of all project contributors:

Aaron Bockover, Alberto Paro, Alejandro Serrano, Alexandre Gomes, Alex Graveley, Andrés G. Aragoneses, Andre Filipe de Assuncao e Brito, Antonio Ognio, Ankit Jain, Ben Maurer, Ben Motmans, Christian Hergert, Daniel Kornhauser, Daniel Morgan, David Makovský, Eric Butler, Erik Dasque, Franciso Martinez, Geoff Norton, Gustavo Giráldez, Iain McCoy, Inigo Illan, Jacob Ilsø Christensen, James Fitzsimons, Jeff Stedfast, Jérémie Laval, Jeroen Zwartepoorte, John BouAnton, John Luke, Joshua Tauberer, Jonathan Hernández Velasco, Levi Bard, Lluis Sanchez Gual, Marc Christensen, Marcos David Marín Amador, Martin Willemoes Hansen, Marek Sieradzki, Matej Urbas, Maurício de Lemos Rodrigues Collares Neto, Michael Hutchinson, Miguel de Icaza, Mike Krüger, Muthiah Annamalai, Nick Drochak, nricciar, Paco Martínez, Pawel Rozanski, Pedro Abelleira Seco, Peter Johanson, Philip Turnbull, Richard Torkar, Rolf Bjarne Kvinge, Rusty Howell, Scott Ellington, Thomas Wiest, Todd Berman, Vincent Daron, Vinicius Depizzol, Wade Berrier, Yan-ren Tsai and Zach Lute.

This list may not be complete, some contributors who sent patches by email or via our bugzilla may be missing. Your work is still greatly appreciated. If your name was left off the list, it was not intentional, please send an email to the MonoDevelop mailing list and it will be corrected as soon as possible.


Catalan Jonathan Hernández Velasco, Jordi Mas i Hernández
Czech David Makovský
Danish Martin Willemoes Hansen, Jacob Ilsø Christensen
German Gustav Schauwecker, Martin Dederer
Spanish Antonio Ognio, Alejandro Serrano, Andrés G. Aragoneses
French Vincent Daron, Nicolas Favre-Félix
Galician Ignacio Casal Quinteiro
Hungarian Gergely Kiss
Indonesian Fajrin Azis
Italian Alberto Paro, Milo Casagrande
Japanese Atsushi Eno
Dutch André Offringa
Polish Marek Sieradzki
Portuguese Vitor Hugo Barros
Portuguese (Brazil) Mauricio de Lemos Rodrigues Collares Neto, Andre Filipe de Assuncao e Brito, Rafael Teixeira
Russian Maxim Krentovskiy, Semyon Soldatov, Daniel Abramov
Slovenian Matej Urbas
Swedish Daniel Nylander
Turkish Enver Altin
Chinese (China) Yu Lindong, Funda Wang
Chinese (Taiwan) Yan-ren Tsai


To all of our wonderful testers, who had the patience to use unstable versions of MonoDevelop for everyday use, and managed to post nice bug reports.

To Mike Krüger and the rest of the AlphaSierraPapa team for giving us a great codebase to start from, and continuing improvements.

To Pedro Abelleira, Todd Berman, John Luke, and other early contributors who started this adventure 4 years ago, and who believed in the feasibility of the project.

To all of the active and not so active (we miss you!) MonoDevelop developers.