The Mono 2.8 preview release created some stir in our comment section when it was announced with performance improvements and a new more efficient memory system. It was since released , and had a maintance update to address a number of issues.

However as Miguel de Icaza reports, the Mono and Moonlight communities have not just been fixing bugs but also prepared a stunning amount of improvements available now for testing in their code repositories.

Mono and Moonlight are now smarter, faster and use fewer resources than ever, and it is only the beginning, as the improvements trickle down, are tuned, and application developers start utilizing some of the new tools they will be getting.

Moonlight has gotten some hardware acceleration and additional support, and to add mockery to it, spanks Microsofts Silverlight implementation running the same test on Windows.

Mono on the other hand has seen improvements the new SGen Garbage Collector which was introduced in 2.8. At that time bringing with it 30% improvements for ASP.NET loads but also impressive gains in other applications. These are hinted at being just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Mono can offer in terms of performance and memory consumption. Numbers have not yet been announced (nor likely fully processed yet) but the code is available to be tested today.

The upcoming Mono 2.10 release will also bring with it a new profiler which will make it easier to find and fix bugs in applications using Mono. Moonlight developer, Novell employee Alan McGovern has written a memory leak detector for Moonlight to demonstrate how easy it is use the new profiler to track down difficult resource control problems. Already resulting in at least one improvement which would have been extremely difficult to address without the new profiler.

To the OMG! Ubuntu! army though I think Mr. McGovern will mostly be known for spending his off hours as the fixer of many a portable media player bugs, introducing new iPod/iPhone to Banshee, and assorted incidents of general badassery.

Mono using developers will also be getting full support for an additional 4 choices of programming experiences with the newly open sourced F#, IronPython, IronRuby and UnityScript languages.

Monodevelop has gained a new visual profiler as well as support for the popular distributing revision control system GIT on, not just your Ubuntu machine, but on Mac and Windows as well.

The Cecil tool which lies at the heart of much of Mono has gotten a revamp to reduce memory use and improving the programming experience, which has already seen use in the Visual Basic compiler.

Mono on the iPod, for Android. LLVM and insane amounts of really impressive sounding stuff…

… Listen people I could go on about what all of the greatness to come, here is what you care about right, will it be in Natty?

To which the answer is maybe.

Natty is currently at least slated to include Mono 2.8, the transition to which will be a big task. 2.10 is desirable but inclusion of it depends on release schedules and time available for packaging.

Now go read Miguels fantastic post and be overwhelmed with awesome.

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