Microsoft vs Linux

Many industry experts believe that soon people would be able to enjoy platform-freedom while effectively using Microsoft products. While talking about the differences between Microsoft and Linux, you can not overlook the subject of Bridge NET development. There are some people who raise questions on its overall support and compatibility with Linux. Earlier, Bridge.NET could only be built with MVS or Microsoft Visual Studio on Windows. People never thought that it would be possible to build it over Linux with Mono. According to the company, it was trying to port the .NET framework into Linux.

After receiving positive feedback from our community, we planned to give it a shot. The processes related to adding basic support for Linux surprised us. We noticed a few positive things. Even though Bridge.NET was built on the operating system Windows, we were able to run the compiler on Linux without experiencing any problems. There were only a few minor bugs, such as backslashes in the paths. However, the compiler libraries and core were running and linking. It was like using a well fitted engine with a new car battery.
With the overwhelming response and appreciation, we could have easily started building Bridge.NET projects on Linux. In fact, we could also run the Windows .NET binary or interpreter on Linux or turn C# into basic JavaScript with Mono. However, this wasn’t the end. Our community feedback once again suggested to not only run the compiler, but also build the advanced builder. Within a short period of time, we could easily have the project fully compatible with Apple OSX, Linux and Windows.

Until now, there has not been a lot of effort from Microsoft in this regard. The only support is that .NET applications are sometimes able to run on Linux. Most of the efforts made by the company are community-sourced. It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft has been researching and working on something special for some time. The company has been rigorously working on the ASP.NET 5. It’s supposed to bring a wide range of innovations for the community and people involved with using ASP.NET 5.

It’s important to understand that ASP.NET 5 is a project hosted on GitHub, which is a major competitor to TFS in advanced version control system. In addition to this, it’s open source, which is quite unexpected from Microsoft products. Until now, ASP.NET 5 is hosted on GitHub and even functions as an open source platform. In addition to this, it’s supposed to work on OSX, Windows and various Linux distributions with DNX or .NET Execution Environment. Even though ASP.NET 5 still is in development stages, it’s innovative and promising.

When Linux was making some serious support efforts, Microsoft announced the public beta edition of something called the Visual Studio Code. It’s not an open source platform, but an advanced cross source platform. In other words, it’s a simpler and more convenient version of the Visual Studio with full IntelliSense support and code coloring. We even tried using VSCode on Linux, OSX and Windows, and it looked really good. In the current 0.5.0 version, it basically allows you to open solutions created on existing Visual Studio version and also offers support for ASP.NET 5 projects on architecture and file format.

Following the trend, we tried to bring Bridge.NET to VSCode. With a lot of community feedback, we were able to make both .csproj and DNX versions of the Bridge NET projects. We could easily build and run the projects on Linux, Windows and OSX. Currently, we host one of the GitHub repositories, i.e, a sample of .csproj of a VSCode project. It’s worth mentioning that a DNX project still requires a great user effort and changes in the short-term. Therefore, we planned to stick to the .csproj approach. However, we can easily develop a sample for DNX without any problems. You can access the .csproj demo through GitHub at the below mentioned address:

https://github.com/bridgedotnet/Demos/tree/master/VSCode/CSProjDemo

It’s important to understand that the demo given above requires some additional steps to pull various Bridge packages from servers. Due to this, we also built a revamped or packaged edition of the demo using the link below. You can check out this link and provide your valuable feedback.

http://www.avenger.ws/objnet/bridge.net-crossplatform_demo-1.7.0.zip

In order to run these packages, all you need are some basic requirement specifications. These have been listed below:

  • If you’re running the packages on Windows, you need Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio 2013.
  • If you’re running the packages on OSX or Linux, you need Visual Studio Code and Mono 4.0+.

It’s worth mentioning that the sample project mentioned above isn’t limited to VSCode. We also tested the demo project with Visual Studio on Windows. In addition to this, we tested it with XamarinStudio on OSX. It’s important to understand that XamarinStudio is the advanced Mono-IDE that works effectively on Linux, Windows and OSX. We encourage everyone to try it. We would appreciate your feedback on the community forums and GitHub.

Industry experts believe that Microsoft finally realized that it could benefit a lot from user feedback. Thus, it decided to distribute the product at large. Due to this, Microsoft was able to extend the experience to many other branches within the company. Personally, I never expected .NET applications to receive support on Linux. In order to win the battle, Microsoft had to work with some other companies. Once again, I have this opinion because of whatever I’ve learned over the years.

According to most industry experts, Microsoft is giving in to joining forces and community efforts to enhance user experience while maintaining its market share. It has been leaving aside strictness over products. Now, Microsoft doesn’t believe that products should only be used on Windows. Thus, the company is allowing cross-platform usage.

We would love to know what you think about the company’s efforts. In case you’ve been working on any .NET Windows application, whether on VB, C# or F#, please tell us how similar is it to running on different platforms. We would also like to know if you would expect better audience if the software could be used among various users on the same system. In the next few months, there may be some industry-wide changes. Thus, we would love to get some feedback.

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