Roadmap, platforms targeted, memory footprint...

Apr 7, 2009 at 8:22 PM
Hello Olivier (Bonjour, devrais-je dire???)

Your project looks very interesting and promising. Yet, it appears there has been no release for a long time now. Do you still devote some time on it? What's the roadmap for it?

I see some nice situations where such an "environment" would be interesting: small ARM boxes but as well dedicated virtual machines. If I understand well Crossnet, it would allow to avoid having the whole "fat" .NET/Mono CLR and to just have a lightweight environment. Am I right? If that's the case, I'd really like to get a clear idea of what's implemented and what's not, and of course to see the project going forward (or even maybe I'll try to participate as that could be a + for our company).

Best regards,

Chris
Coordinator
Apr 13, 2009 at 4:17 AM
Bonjour Chris! :)
Sorry for the delay.

>>Do you still devote some time on it?

Right now, I do not devote any time on CrossNet, for a couple of reasons:
- The latest point release contained enough features / was stable enough to be used as a good starting point.
- Although I receive here and there emails from people using it (like cellphone and video-game companies...), there is not enough traffic for me to justify spending much more time on the implementation :).

Now things could change (i.e. I could get back to it) quickly if I feel that customers were interested by a more active participation and there was a bigger "live" community. :)
I always answer support questions though (mostly offline) and do my best to help people get started.
And I'm always open for new contributions.

>>What's the roadmap for it?

Most of .NET 2.0 features are supported. (A big one missing though is everything related to multi-threading).

You can find here the features that could be added relatively easily (but are not critical for most embedded projects):
http://crossnet.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Features%20to%20be%20supported%20soon

And here the features that are not going to be supported as either it's a ton of work, a big memory cost or cannot be "emulated" in C++.
http://crossnet.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Features%20not%20expected%20to%20be%20supported%20soon

That being said, the biggest amount of remaining work is related to the BCL implementation (CrossNetSystem is just a basic framework). But usually people are just re-implementing the small set they are using or use the Mono implementations.

>>If I understand well Crossnet, it would allow to avoid having the whole "fat" .NET/Mono CLR and to just have a lightweight environment. Am I right?

Yes, CrossNet is extremely lightweight. Just the bare minimum. For a complex project, most of the cost will depend on the BCL usage though.
Also some features (like reflection) are not supported mostly for memory reasons. If one wants a full .NET compatibility / feature set, then Mono would be a better fit, but unlike CrossNet the commercial license is not free.

Do not hesitate if you have more questions.
Cheers,
Olivier