Grasshopper hops code from Visual Studio .Net to Linux--for free

Grasshopper hops code from Visual Studio .Net to Linux--for free

Summary: Mainsoft launched a free Visual Studio .Net plug-in called Grasshopper and a developer community forum for creating Web applications and Web services that run on Linux, Windows and Java platforms.

TOPICS: Software

Mainsoft launched a free Visual Studio .Net plug-in called Grasshopper and a developer community forum for creating Web applications and Web services that run on Linux, Windows and Java platforms. Formally titled Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, Grasshopper benefits from two years of collaboration by Mainsoft and the Mono team on Mono's ASP.NET, ADO.NET, XML, Visual Basic and .NET class libraries class libraries--about 3.5 million lines of code, according to Mono leader Miguel de Icaza. The Mono Project, sponsored by Novell, is developing an open source version of Microsoft's .Net platform that allows developers to cfreate Linux and cross-platform applications. With Grasshopper, .Net developers can contribute class libraries, bug fixes and other improvements enhancements that can be used in Mono and Visual MainWin for J2EE.

Mainsoft decided to offer the new Linux plug-in for Visual Studio for free as a way to achieve broader distribution for its development platform . "We want to scale the business and move beyond the early adopters to reach the thousands of Visual Studio .Net developers," said Mainsoft CEO Yaacov Cohen. He cited a report by Evan Research claiming that 22 percent of Visual Studio .Net users developed for Linux in 2004, and more than half used open source code in their applications. "Today, a lot of [Visual Studio] developers don’t have the skills to move to Linux. We want to make it easy to 'hop' from Visual Studio .Net to Linux, Java platforms or Windows,” Cohen added. However,  enterprise-class features such as support for multiple processors and fully-featured J2EE servers requires Visual MainWin for J2EE Enterprise Edition, which, according to Mainsoft's site, has a base price of $5,000 per developer for a two year license. Visual MainWin for J2EE has an ECMA-compliant C# compiler for compiling Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) directly into standard Java bytecode. Mainsoft also has a development environment for porting Windows applications developed in Visual Studio with C++ to Unix and Linux.

Mono update: de Icaza said Mono 1.2  is on target to ship in September with much better performance and reliability. Compared to version 1.0, the new version is doing 8x more requests per second on a single processor server. It will also support Windows.Forms, Xquery and have a debugger. “ Now we have a debugger like real men did three decades ago,” said de Icaza. "It's really an IDE [Integrated Development Environment]." He said the debugger was in the final stages of testing and would support multiple languages--C#, Java, and Basic. 

Topic: Software

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  • VB programmers & MCSEs don't have the skills

    "Today, a lot of [Visual Studio] developers don?t have the skills to move to Linux.

    The problems in IT today are because of incompetent staff in the IT departments.

    MCSEs don't have any valuable skills and are unable to migrate their corporate systems to Linux.

    VB programmers are simply useless and can't code any decent software. Their programs are buggy and flawed.
    •'s not about the skills

      As much as it is about the economics.

      If corporate systems are to move to Linux it has to be for tangible, profitable reasons. They (usually) have shareholders and customers to answer to.

      And if they don't have the skills to do it, should they spend the excessive coin to hire new developers and new consultants to replace thier existing systems? What would be the point in that?

      Have you seen how much J2EE, Unix et al savvy consultants cost nowadays?

      If you have apps that do what you need to do, today, written in VB.NET or C#, and there is a good business reason to move them to the J2EE platform (and by possible extension, Linux), what better option is there than a product such as this?
  • ....something long needed

    It's about time.

    Since the .NET framework first saw the light of day, MS bashers have been calling it a 'copy' of Java and the JDK thanks to the MSIL (analagous to JBC) and the CLR (analagous to the VM) amongst other things.

    Mainsoft have used those similarities to virtualize the difference between the 2 runtime platforms, and that is a good thing for everyone (except maybe MS).

    Think about it -- the vast majority of large scale enterprises have extensive development resource and IP invested in C# and VB.NET code, and aren't going to simply throw it away to migrate to Java and Linux because the techies say it's a good thing. Business simply doesn't work like that.

    Bring in the 'unified architecture' that Mainsoft are pushing and it suddenly becomes a whole lot easier.

    Thumbs up.

    Thumbs WAY up.
  • Alternative of Grasshopper

    There is a another alternative service "CodePorting C#2Java Converter" available at It is a web-based application that converts your .net app, projects and files to java in the cloud which means you don't have to download it just upload your .Net code and it will be converted to java instantly.