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Old 03-02-2018, 11:40 AM   #1
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Red face Is porting a VB.NET project to Linux possible using MonoDevelop? Or rather something else?

Hi there,

please don't hate me, as a beginner in terms of programming aside from some Python I really like Visual Studio and VB.NET at that seems quite fun and easy.

At work we use it to create small tools whose purposes are otherwise still going on either manually on paper or in Excel/LO Calc sheets.

Unluckily for me, I may have got the green light to run and maintain a Linux machine at work but I won't receive any help from a colleague if its about porting our projects.

So I wonder if it'd actually be possible in the first place to do so using either MonoDevelop or something else that's close to Microsoft's .NET framework and Visual Studio.

My program won't do much.
It's really just a small software that creates protocols for incoming wares at our warehouse featuring an access database that lists all the packages that reached us by date, supplier, amount and actual definition from the point on we're running the software (and that is also supposed to be accessed by my colleagues using Windows clients) and prints the result to paper if desired.

My code has not much going on so far other than the form window that's coming with a couple of dropdown menus for choosing departments and suppliers, as well as four radio buttons and a checkboxes that shall print additional information when clicked.

There's not much left either to be add, just a printer dialog and some buttons to print and reset the printed form.
Eventually, when clicking the print button those previously added information shall be written to the Access database so we can verify what happened to the stuff in future.

I'm really sorry for pointing all this out, you are probably not interested in all this.
All I want is to make clear of what sort of software we are talking about I'd like to port to Linux so it's also usable for me in the long run.

That said, can MonoDevelop do the job or do I need something else?
Old 03-02-2018, 03:15 PM   #2
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My first question would be "why"?

If as you say you like VS and VB.Net, your data comes from an Access source and goes to an Access sink, your users are all on non-Linux platforms and you want to write it in a proprietary non-Linux native language - why introduce a Linux machine at all?

So, I think the place to start would be to nail down your actual requirements and goals and see if they naturally include a Linux machine. If not, stick with what you have.

That said, if your requirements point to a Linux platofrm, then I would suggest writing the application that runs on the Linux machine in a native language and avoid trying to port the existing code altogether. As you say there isn't much that exists yet, there should not be much to rewrite. Doing so would be the key to keeping it usable for you, presumably on a Linux platform, in the long run.

And all of that said, I have avoided Mono altogether so must defer to others for specific answers. However, if you must use .NET code on Linux, that would seem to be the way to get there.

Good luck!

Last edited by astrogeek; 03-02-2018 at 03:23 PM. Reason: tyypos
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 03-03-2018, 07:16 AM   #3
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If it has to be ported at all, I suggest using the standard tools: Apache+PHP+MySql (and WebBrowser as client program).
Old 03-04-2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Short answer: quite possibly not. Quite a few .NET applications use extensions and/or libraries that aren't available for Mono.
Old 03-04-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Be very careful that you do not "push Linux" because you want it, because you think it's cool, etc. ... when the stated needs and orientation of the organization that you serve do not align with what you want. There's nothing per se wrong with what Microsoft has done: they've sold millions of copies of their system and there's actually a reason for it. They earned those billions of dollars, fair and square.

Although means exist for VB, C#, et al to be "ported," that's not really what their designers intended. Windows is really a vertically-integrated ecosystem of software components all produced by one vendor. Linux, even slightly under-the-covers, is a very different beast. The decision to introduce Linux into a Windows shop should be made soberly and at a very high level within the organization – not by a programmer of the line, however earnest (s)he might be. Sometimes it makes business sense; often, it doesn't.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-06-2018 at 10:04 PM.
Old 03-06-2018, 11:10 AM   #6
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You might consider FPC/Lazarus. It is a similar environment to Visual Studio except it uses Pascal instead of Basic or C#.


linux, porting, project, visualstudio, windows

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