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Ximian has a plugin (http://mono-tools.com/) that lets you remote deploy/debug mono applications from Visual studio - it was free after a survey not sure if it still is or if it will be updated to vs 2012.

There are other tools sharpdevelop (for window) and monodevelop (all platforms) - but they are somewhat lacking. Sharp develop seems to slow down dramatically on large projects or WPF projects. Monodevelop seems to lag sharp develop in features and maturity.

GUI toolkits for dotnet are hit-and-miss. GTK# has the most traction and is cross platform - the documentation was lacking last time I looked. But, if you have a GTK background it may be a non-issue. Wx and QT bindings exist but I believe development has slowed down/stalled. Of course, there are OS X, android and iOS bindings that ximian sells. Unless you have a large existing c# code base it probably doesn't make sense to use them for greenfield development.

Server-side is where I think mono actually does shine a bit. Although you need to move out of the standard NetFX stack (i.e. WCF) to other open source libraries (i.e., ServiceStack). ASP.NET and MVC do run on mono - there are tutorials to deploy against apache or nginx.

As you can imagine there is some lag between mono and microsoft dotnet framework (see http://www.mono-project.com/Compatibility). The gist of it mono tries and succeeds keeping up with the framework but there are large holes with respect to .NET 3.0 (WWF, WCF, WPF). There was a silverlight plugin (moonlight) but much like silverlight new development has stopped.

I should add: the value proposition for mono is a bit bizarre.

On the server, typically mono is chosen because mono on linux is much cheaper than azure, or windows hosting (AWS, etc) therefore you trading slightly more development and setup effort for cheaper run-time costs.

For the phone/tablet market, you are doing the opposite trading money (monotouch licenses) to save development time and learning a new platform.

On the desktop, I think the value proposition is much less well defined. It depends alot of the mix of clients you are supporting.


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